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Another WWII veteran’s daughter publishes book on Saipan

A NAVAL historian is publishing a book on her father, WWII veteran and Navy Cross awardee U.S. Marine Maj. Roger G. B. Broome who died after sustaining wounds in the Battle of Saipan in 1944.

Award-winning author, naval historian and history professor Dr. Kathleen Broome Williams’ book, “The Measure of a Man: My Father, the Marine Corps and Saipan,” will be released by the Naval Institute Press next month.

Williams pored over letters Broome wrote as well as testimony by surviving Leathernecks who served with Broome on Saipan, to get to know the father she never met.

Williams told Variety yesterday, “I worked on the book off and on for about 8 years because I had many other projects I had to complete too.”

She said that her father died in January 1945 of wounds he received on Saipan.

“I never knew him,” she said.

For Williams, her book “is really about my search to find out who he had been.”

She said her father survived for six months after being wounded.

Williams said this left him incapable of writing again and so he “did not leave any memories of his time on Saipan.”

“I have many accounts about him from that time though, told to me by men who served with him on Saipan,” she said.

The book, its blurb states, reconstructs her father’s life as a University of Virginia Law School graduate who obtained a commission in the Marine Corps despite his colorblindness and eventually won the combat command be lobbied for.

Broome took command of the Regimental Weapons Company, 24th Marines, Fourth Marine Division.

Williams told Variety, “My father was born in Wenatchee, Washington state, but his parents were only there for a few years and they returned to Virginia where he grew up. He was 19 and a student at the University of Virginia when he joined the Marine Corps in a special summer program to train college students for the reserves.”

In her search to learn more about her father’s life, Williams, according to the book’s blurb, “not only found a hero who was awarded the Navy Cross for his courageous actions, but also uncovered a profoundly human individual with strengths as well as obvious faults.”

The book offers an inside look at the U.S. Marine Corps during the pivotal years of WWII.

For Williams, if her father had survived the war, “he would undoubtedly have gone back to the practice of law.”

Meanwhile, her friend and fellow historian Bruce Petty, who is now based in New Zealand, was the first one to tell Variety about William’s latest publication.

“There is a new book out about the Marines on Saipan during WWII. It was written by a friend and fellow WWII historian, Kathleen Broome Williams.”

Petty said the book tells the story of Williams’ father “who was wounded on Saipan the day she was born, and who died six months later from that wound.”

“I interviewed her mother for my book about Saipan back in the 1990s. Both Kathleen and her mother later flew out to Saipan and I gave them a tour of the island, and also introduced them to some of the local people who remembered the war,” he said.

Petty recommends, “This book should be a good read. I say this because I have also read her other books.”

Dr. Kathleen Broome Williams is currently director of general education and professor at Cogswell Polytechnical College.

Williams is an alumna of Wellesley College, Columbia University and City University of New York.

Her book, “Grace Hopper: Admiral of the Cyber Sea,” is a North American Society for Oceanic History award winner.

Another book, “Secret Weapon: U.S. High-Frequency Direction Finding in the Battle of the Atlantic, and Improbable Warriors: Women Scientists and the U.S. Navy in World War II,” won a History of Science book award.

Her latest book is available at the Naval Institute Press for $34.95.

Those interested in buying her latest book, can go to or call 1-800-233-8464 or 1-410-268-6110.