During World War II, the Battle of Guadalcanal was where U.S. forces prevented the Japanese from establishing an extremely vital airfield in the Solomon Islands.
And it was here where U.S. Coastguardsman Douglas Munro lost his life saving U.S. Marines.
On September 27th, 1942, 22-year old Douglas Munro was speeding towards the shore of Point Cruz peninsula, Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands chain.
He was leading a convoy of 10 Higgins boats carrying 500 U.S. Marines.
After dropping all of them off, it was quickly radioed back to Munro that conditions were far hairier than anticipated and the Marines needed to be rescued ASAP.
So, Munro turned the boats around, loaded his .30 cal Lewis machine gun and went and rescued them single-handedly. He stormed the peninsula, using spare boats as cover and made sure all the Marines got back on the boats.
One of the Marines he rescued was famous USMC Lt. Col. Chesty Puller! Chesty Puller is the most decorated U.S. Marine in American history.
However, while protecting the last boat of Marines, Douglas Munro died under heavy fire from the Japanese.
This incident was later referred to as the Second Battle of the Matanikau River.
He remains the only U.S. Coastguardsman to ever receive the Medal of Honor.