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First Name: Terry

Last Name: Kawamura

Birthplace: Wahiawa, HI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Oahu, HI
Middle Name: Teruo

Date of Birth: 10 December 1949

Date of Death: 20 March 1969

Rank: Corporal

Years Served: 1968 - 1969
Terry Teruo Kawamura

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Terry Teruo Kawamura
Corporal, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Corporal Terry Teruo Kawamura (10 December 1949 - 20 March 1969) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War.

Kawamura was born on 10 December 1949 in Wahiawā, HI. He joined the Army from Oahu, HI. On 20 March 1969, he was serving as a Corporal in the 173rd Engineer Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade. On that day, at Camp Radcliff, Republic of Vietnam, Kawamura covered an enemy-thrown explosive with his body, sacrificing his life to protect those around him. For his heroic actions he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Cpl. Kawamura distinguished himself by heroic action while serving as a member of the 173d Engineer Company. An enemy demolition team infiltrated the unit quarters area and opened fire with automatic weapons. Disregarding the intense fire, Cpl. Kawamura ran for his weapon. At that moment, a violent explosion tore a hole in the roof and stunned the occupants of the room. Cpl. Kawamura jumped to his feet, secured his weapon and, as he ran toward the door to return the enemy fire, he observed that another explosive charge had been thrown through the hole in the roof to the floor. He immediately realized that 2 stunned fellow soldiers were in great peril and shouted a warning. Although in a position to escape, Cpl. Kawamura unhesitatingly wheeled around and threw himself on the charge. In completely disregarding his safety, Cpl. Kawamura prevented serious injury or death to several members of his unit. The extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by Cpl. Kawamura are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Corporal Terry Teruo Kawamura's name is inscribed on Panel 29W - Line 90.


The gate facing east connecting Wheeler Army Airfield with Mililani is named in honor of CPL Kawamura.

Death and Burial

Corporal Terry Teruo Kawamura was killed in action on 20 March 1969. He is buried at Mililani Memorial Park, Mililani Town, HI, in Lot 14, Block 23, Section U.


Honoree ID: 990   Created by: MHOH




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