Remembering Pearl Harbor: Stephanie Castillo

— Submitted by UH alumna Stephanie Castillo (UH Mānoa, BA, 1984, MBA, 2000)

This is my dad Wallace W. Castillo, a Kaua‘i boy, son of a Filipino immigrant. He was in his last semester at UH Mānoa in criminology when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He was in the ROTC so he had to leave UH right away for the U.S. Army’s officer training. He became a 2nd Lieutenant and helped Gen. MacArthur retake the Philippines. He went in with MacArthur and was used in military intelligence to ferret out Japanese collaborators among the Philippines government.

It was in Manila that he met my mom and brought her back to Hawai‘i as a Philippine war bride, the first war bride on Kaua‘i where my dad was from. He went on to an Army career in military intelligence and raised his family as an Army family traveling to Asia and Stateside with his family during life in the Army.

He later retired on Kaua‘i, and unfortunately was struck with a nerve and muscle disorder right after settling on Kaua‘i. During the 8-year illness, my dad attended Kaua‘i Community College and got his AA degree in sociology. Thus, finishing as best he could what he started at UH Mānoa before Pearl Harbor.

He died at age 61 on Kaua‘i in 1981 and is buried at the Hanapepe Veterans Cemetery. His daughters—7 of us—and our children often go to remember him and my mom Norma who passed in 2014 and who is buried with him there. 

*Submission has been slightly edited for clarity purposes.

University of Hawai‘i Alumni