Petty Officer 2nd Class Duane Williams, Naval Air Facility Misawa administrator, checks out a book on the Master Chief of the Navy Reading List.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Duane Williams, Naval Air Facility Misawa administrator, checks out a book on the Master Chief of the Navy Reading List. (Jennifer H. Svan / S&S)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — It just got easier and cheaper for sailors here to brush up on the Battle of Okinawa, learn about the life of former POW Adm. James Stockdale or get lost in a thriller about submarine warfare.

The Overstreet Memorial Library unveiled its latest collection Tuesday from the Master Chief of the Navy Reading List.

The Navy’s top enlisted leader, outgoing Master Chief Petty Officer Terry Scott, selected the books, a mix of naval history, memoirs, current events and some fiction. About 60 titles are available for checkout, with another 18 on the way, said Navy Lt. Shane Thomas, Naval Air Facility Misawa supply officer.

The books took about two months and $2,000 to procure, mainly through online booksellers, Thomas said, but the idea originated more than two years ago.

When Capt. Wayne Radloff, NAF Misawa commander, arrived at Misawa in 2003, he noticed the library carried the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force reading list — but not the Navy’s equivalent — and mentioned it to base leaders.

“We worked with the library to get these books,” he said.

Anyone can sign out the books, but they’re recommended for enlisted sailors looking to advance their careers, Radloff said.

“If you want to understand your profession, if you want to get a better appreciation of our naval history … and the challenges we are facing, these are the books you should read,” he said.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Duane Williams, NAF Misawa administrator, was the first to check out a book Tuesday, choosing “Shield and Sword: The United States Navy and the Persian Gulf War” by Edward J. Marolda.

Williams tests for first class petty officer in September and figures he might see some questions about the first Gulf War on the exam.

“Naval history questions come from books like this,” he said.

The Naval Air Facility and U.S. Naval Communications Detachment at Misawa bought the books and donated them to the library.

“I think it will be in our budget to keep it updated,” supply officer Thomas said.

What’s on the list

Here’s a sampling of books on the Master Chief of the Navy Reading List available at Misawa’s Overstreet Memorial Library:

“At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor,” by Gordon W. Prange“Crossed Currents: Navy Women in a Century of Change,” by Jean Ebbert“The Golden Thirteen: Recollections of the First Black Naval Officers,” by Paul Stillwell“Prisoners of the Japanese: POWs of World War II in the Pacific,” by Gavan Daws“Quiet Heroes: Navy Nurses of the Korean War, Far East Command, 1950-1953,” by Frances Omori— Jennifer H. Svan

author picture
Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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