US Army Medical Command Japan

ASSOCIATION

"An Association Of Life Savers And Care Givers That Served In Post world War II"

Contact Us

History

Newsletter

Reunions

Calendar

Photo Album

ZamaSports

Invitation

Application

Other Sites

Member's Corner

By Laws

Memorial

Japanese Scenes

Books On Line

Links

Command Units

Roster

Officers

Members Websites

Our 14th Reunion is in Seattle, WA,  October 21 - 24, 2009. Come Join Us!

 

Welcome to the U. S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan

 

 

U. S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa Yesterday

      1958  - Today (Navy's Largest Hospital

U. S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa Today

Other Military Bases In Japan / Okinawa

Atsugi Naval Air Station

Misawa AFB

Yokota AFB

Yokosuka Naval Base

Iwakuni MCAS

MCB Camp Butler

US Naval Hospital, Okinawa

Naha Air Base

Futenma Marine Corp AS

Kadena AFB

 

U. S.  Navy  Hospital, Okinawa, Japan

 

 U. S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa

 

After World War II, military hospital facilities on Okinawa, originally isolated field hospitals, were organized into a strip of Quonset huts. The huts were situated in present day Ginowan City and known as Camp Mercy Hospital (click here for a 30KB photo). The medical center actively supported world forces during the various conflicts and continued to sustain readiness for troops stationed on the island. In 1954, construction began on the U.S. Army Hospital at Camp Kuwae. The hospital was commissioned in 1958 and it eventually expanded to a 700-bed facility to provide medical treatment for military members carrying out campaigns throughout the Pacific. Negotiations began in March of 1976 for the transfer of the hospital from the U.S. Army to the U.S. Navy and from October 1976 until its commissioning as the U.S. Naval Regional Medical Center on February 28, 1977, Army and Navy personnel jointly staffed the facility.

 
Today most Okinawan residents continue to refer to the base as “Camp Kuwae”, as was its name for almost thirty years. However, on January 28, 1982 (with an official dedication taking place on June 8, 1982), the base was renamed Camp Lester in memory of Medal of Honor recipient Hospital Apprentice 1st Class Fred Faulkner Lester.


On June 8, 1945, Lester, a Corpsman with 1st Battalion, 22nd Marines, 6th Marine Division, spotted a wounded Marine lying in an open field beyond the front lines. Disregarding his own safety, he crawled steadfast toward the injured Marine under a barrage of open fire, sustaining his own life-threatening injuries. While pulling his comrade to safety, Lester was struck by enemy fire a second time and realizing the mortality of his own wounds, he instructed two members of his squad in the proper medical treatment of the rescued Marine and two other injured Marines. He refused medical treatment for himself and soon succumbed to his wounds, gallantly giving his life to preserve the lives of others.


Today, the U.S. Naval Hospital, Camp Lester, Okinawa, is the largest overseas naval medical treatment facility and a referral center for the entire Western Pacific. It is jointly staffed both of Navy and Air Force personnel. The hospital serves a beneficiary population of 55,000 active duty personnel, their family members, civilian employees, contract personnel, retirees, and also provides referral service for almost 175,000 beneficiaries throughout the Western Pacific.


Besides the core facility itself, the U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa, is also responsible for the management of nine Branch Medical Clinics staffed by Navy personnel and III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) Major Subordinate Commands. These clinics are located at US Naval Hospital, Camp Schwab, Camp Hansen, Marine Corps Brig, White Beach, Camp Courtney, Torii Station, Camp Foster, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, and Camp Kinser. Four of these facilities are designated as Military Family Medicine Clinics providing comprehensive medical support to military family members.


Significant programs and accomplishments throughout the years include: a new customer service campaign, “We Go the Extra Mile”, to reemphasize its commitment to providing outstanding customer service, and on-going heat venting and air conditioning (HVAC) replacement projects to include a $1.2 million Emergency Room renovation.

 
While the location of the building has transformed over the past 50 years, the dedication of its staff members to provide quality service and promote military readiness remains constant. The United States Naval Hospital, Okinawa strives to offer superior services to the community and the world