History of United States Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan
After World War II, military hospital facilities on Okinawa were organized into a strip of Quonset huts situated in present day Ginowan City and known as Camp Mercy.
In 1958, a hospital facility was commissioned on Camp Kuwae, across from what is now the American Village area. Known as U. S. Army Hospital Ryukyu Islands, the hospital provided medical treatment for U. S. forces operating throughout the Pacific. This hospital expanded to a maximum capacity of 700 beds during the peak casualty period of the Vietnam War.
On February 28, 1977 the facility became the U.S. Navy Regional Medical Center Okinawa. In 1982, the camp was renamed Camp Lester in honor of Fred Faulkner Lester, a U.S. Navy Corpsman who received The Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions while serving during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.
U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa relocated from Camp Lester to its current location on Camp Foster in March of 2013.
Although the hospital’s location may have changed, the dedication of the staff members to provide quality service and promote military readiness remains constant.