The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to decommission Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro (WHEC 724), the Coast Guard’s last 378-foot Hamilton class cutter, following 49 years of service, during a ceremony Saturday at 11 a.m. on Coast Guard Base Kodiak. A ceremony to honor the legacy of the Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro, the many Coast Guard men and women who served as part of its crew during its 49 years of service, and the cutter’s namesake Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro – the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient.
The cutter’s namesake is Signalman First Class Douglas Albert Munro, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for acts of extraordinary heroism during World War II. Munro was in charge of an eight-craft amphibious landing force during the Guadalcanal Campaign. Munro bravely used his landing craft and its .30 caliber machine gun to shield and protect several hundred Marines who were under heavy enemy fire. He was mortally wounded during this effort, but his actions allowed for the Marines to be extracted by other landing craft. For these actions Munro was posthumously bestowed the Medal of Honor.
USCGC Douglas Munrois a Hamilton-class High Endurance Cutter of the United States Coast Guardr. Douglas Munro was commissioned on September 27, 1971, at Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans, Louisiana. Secretary of Transportation John A. Volpe and Douglas Munro’s mother, Edith, were on hand to commission Douglas Munro. The 378-foot (115 m) cutters original complement included 17 officers and 143 enlisted men. It is expected to be disposed of by transfer to a foreign navy, in keeping with the disposition of the rest of the class.
The Hamilton-class cutter was the largest class of vessel in the United States Coast Guard until replaced by the Legend-class cutter, aside from the Polar-class icebreaker. The hull classification symbol is prefixed WHEC. The cutters are called the Hamilton class after their lead ship, or “Secretary class” because most of the vessels in the class were named for former Secretaries of the Treasury. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he Coast Guard installed MK 75 76 mm naval gun and MK 38 25 mm chain guns. Missile defense is handled by the MK 36 launchers and the Phalanx CIWS.