Medal of Honor



Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, 173d Engineer Company, 173d Airborne Brigade, Republic of Vietnam


Place and date: Camp Radcliff, Republic of Vietnam, 20 March 1969


Entered service at: Oahu, Hawaii


Born: 10 December 1949, Wahiawa, Oahu, Hawaii




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.





Thanks to Audrey A. Sue < [email protected] >, Terry Kawamura's sister, for the photo of her brother.



President Richard M. Nixon presenting the Medal of Honor to the Kawamura family.


The falling message was received from Judith Kawamura on 10 January 2001:

Terry is not only of Japanese Ancestry as written. His Father is Chinese Hawaiian (1/4 Chinese & 3/4 Hawaiian). Also his Dad served 27 years, from 1945 thru 1972 retiring as MSG E-8 United States ARMY AND STILL SERVING.





--- General / Personal ---


Last name: KAWAMURA

First name: TERRY TERUO

Home of Record (official): WAHIAWA

State (official): HI

Date of Birth: Saturday, December 10, 1949

Sex: Male

Race: Japanese

Marital Status: Single


--- Military ---


Branch: Army

Rank: CPL

Serial Number: 10127100

Component: Regular

Posthumous promotion as indicated

Pay grade: E3

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 62E2P


--- Action ---


Start of Tour: Wednesday, August 21, 1968

Date of Casualty: Thursday, March 20, 1969

Age at time of loss: 19

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Multiple fragmentation wounds (Ground casualty)

Country: South Vietnam

Province: Binh Dinh

The Wall: Panel 29W - Row 090