as a young'un, the 1st naval history book i read was Walter Lord's 'Day of Infamy'. but it wasn't until i read Prange's 'Miracle at Midway' that i got the USN bug in a big way. the story of Midway captured me - Rochefort & Hypo, Layton & Nimitz, Yorktown's crew & shipyard workers, Marines digging in, long-range PBY patrols, the valiant VT-sqns, & the victorious dive-bombers - wow, the whole thing came together, at the time when it was most needed.
they all created history, while paving the 1st stage of the road to V-J day. i'm not at all religious, nor even especially patriotic - but when i put up the flag on Memorial & Veteran's day, it's the men of Midway i revere the most.