WWII Pacific Theater Talk at NYS Military Museum: 'Makin Taken'

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Soldiers of the 165th Infantry (Fighting 69th Infantry Regiment of the New York Army National Guard) wade ashore through jagged coral boulders along the beach of Butaritari Island, Makin Atoll, 1943.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (02/17/2016)(readMedia)-- Military history author and former New York Army National Guard officer Patrick Chaisson presents a multimedia presentation, "Makin Taken: The 27th Infantry Division's Baptism by Fire, November, 1943" on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 2 p.m. at the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs.

The free program discusses WWII Operation GALVANIC, the American invasion of the Gilbert Islands. The battle is best remembered for the US Marine Corps' costly assault on Tarawa. Less well-known is the simultaneous attack on Makin Atoll, conducted by Soldiers of the 27th Infantry Division, many of whom mobilized to active service with the New York National Guard division in 1940.

Chaisson will trace the course of this four-day battle, the first clash between US Army troops and their Japanese opponents in the Central Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II.

History comes alive with interactive maps, first-person accounts of the fighting, and authentic photographs taken from the archives of the New York State Military Museum.

The museum is located at 61 Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs. The program is sponsored in part by the Friends of the New York State Military Museum and the Friends of the Saratoga Battlefield, www.friendsofthenysmilitarymuseum.com/index.php.

Veterans, history fans and students of all ages will enjoy this lively, fast-paced presentation on a little-known but strategically important World War II Pacific campaign.

Patrick J. Chaisson is a writer who lives in Scotia, N.Y. He recently retired from the U.S. Army after a 26-year career in both the Active Component and the New York Army National Guard. Chaisson's military assignments include service with the 82nd Airborne Division, 27th Infantry Brigade and the 42nd Infantry Division.

Pat Chaisson is available for news interviews prior to the program at patchais@aol.com.