Treat everybody with respect. I live by the golden rule – I try to be nice and help as much as I can.

Dr. Minoru Tamashiro

Minoru Tamashiro

In Memory of Dr. Minoru Tamashiro (1924 – 2021)

UHFCU Board of Directors / Credit Committee (1969 – 2011)

Dr. Minoru Tamashiro was born on September 16, 1924 in Hilo, (then) Territory of Hawai`i to Jitsuyei and Oto Tamashiro, and the 2nd of three all brother siblings. Dr. Tamashiro graduated from McKinley High School. On March 24, 1943 he enlisted into the U.S. Army at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, and received training in infantry tactics, jeep driving and as an anti-tank crewman. Private (PVT) Tamashiro was assigned to Headquarters Company, 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT), and eventually attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC). PFC Tamashiro served courageously and gallantly in the Rome-Arno; Northern Apennines; (France) Rhineland-Vosges and Maritime Alps; and Po Valley Campaigns. He personally contributed to the liberation of Northeastern France to include the villages of Bruyères, Belmont-Biffontaine, and the epic rescue of the lost Texas battalion in the Vosges Mountains. On April 13, 1945, PFC Tamashiro was wounded by shrapnel to the right arm along the Lingurian Coast, Italy; he received the Purple Heart Medal. On December 30, 1945, Tamashiro was honorably separated from the U.S. Army at the Army Separation Center, Oahu, ToH. PFC Tamashiro received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal; Bronze Star Medal; Purple Heart Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four Bronze Campaign Stars; World War II Victory Medal; Distinguished Unit Badge (Presidential Unit Citation) with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster (2nd award); Combat Infantryman Badge; Sharpshooter Badge M1 Rifle and Expert Badge; Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II.

Minoru Tamashiro

Following the war, Dr. Tamashiro attended the University of Hawai`i and received Baccalaureate (1952) and Master of Science (1954) degrees in Entomology. In 1959, he went on to receive his Doctorate in Entomology from the University of California, Berkeley. The University of Hawai`i at Manoa then hired Dr. Tamashiro as an Assistant Professor of Entomology; and subsequently promoted him to Associate Professor, and lastly Professor. He retired in 1989 and was awarded Emeritus Professor status in the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, UH-Manoa. Dr. Tamashiro’s academic career encompassed mostly in teaching and research. He was most proud of his students and their achievements, many of whom have gone on to become leaders and teachers in their own fields. Dr. Tamashiro would later establish the Minoru Tamashiro Endowment for Entomology Scholarship, leaving an enduring legacy for future science students.

Dr. Tamashiro served on the University of Hawai`i Federal Credit Union (UHFCU) Board of Directors and Credit Committee for over 40 years, officially retiring in 2011. A loyal UHFCU member, Dr. Tamashiro was instrumental in growing UHFCU into one of the largest credit unions in Hawai`i.

Dr. Tamashiro’s contributions to his credit union, university, and country cannot be overstated and will be forever appreciated. UHFCU is proud to be part of Dr. Tamashiro’s incredible life story, and we are honored to continue his legacy of education and selfless service to his community.

Minoru Tamashiro was the very epitome of a selfless, honest, caring, generous, and humble man who was committed to his wife, his associates and friends, to his alma mater, his state, his nation, and the world. As the youngest recruit in the 100th battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team (he lied about his age to get in), he served with honor and distinction in World War II, and returned to Hawaii as a much decorated veteran. After earning his PhD, he joined the faculty of the UH College of Agriculture as a teacher and researcher, and invented a unique method of making the concrete foundation of a building resistant to ground termites. He probably holds the record for total years of service to the UHFCU, as a committee member and Director. We can try to, but will never be able to emulate this man. May God bless him and keep him.

Kenji Sumida (UHFCU Board of Directors)

Source: Japanese American Veterans Association