Ken, one of the men in our Saturday morning breakfast group at the Cozy Corner, served on a destroyer during the Korean War. He loaned me Tales from a Tin Can, which is about the USS Dale, a destroyer that served in the Pacific during WWII. The author's father served on that ship, and the author had little idea of what his dad had done in the war until he went with him a few years ago to a reunion with the crew. He was amazed and fascinated by the stories they swapped, and, a writer by trade, he ran to the car and got his tape recorder. Like pearls on a silver thread, he has strung those stories chronologically in this book, along a narrative of his own that helps place the stories in context. It is an easy, enjoyable read, and I learned a great deal about destroyers, fleet movements, typhoons, the Japanese.
For example, I had no idea that the Japanese occupation of a couple of the Aleutian islands in Alaska caused so much concern in the US and resulted in one of the first of the war's amphibious landings, difficult though successful landings that helped prepare the Navy for landings later in the war.
When you read about the kamikaze and other suicide tactics that the Japanese desperately employed in 1945, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki makes a lot of sense. The US Navy lost almost half of the ships it lost in WWII in the Pacific during that year, 1945, because of the desperation of the Japanese. I've heard it before, but the book recounts the belief that there would be over 1 million casualties on the US side if it took an invasion of the Japanese homeland to finish the war. And the Japanese were willing to sacrifice millions of their own to make the cost so high that we would negotiate.