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Battle of Saipan at Curator's Corner

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Date: June 14, 2011
Contact: James Oelke, 671-477-7278 x1008

War in the Pacific National Historical Park will present a Curator's Corner on Saturday, June 18th, focusing on the Battle of Saipan, the first major Japanese community to be encountered by American troops in World War II. The presentation will take place at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center near the front gate to Naval Base Guam from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The Empire of Japan controlled Saipan since World War I. The island was defended by over 30,000 Japanese military personnel dug into the limestone cliffs and dry valleys. The ensuing Battle of Saipan in June of 1942 will be discussed during this presentation.

"Saipan was part of the defensive perimeter around the Japanese home islands. It was unlike anything our military had faced in the Pacific Theater – a civilian population living on Japanese soil in an urban center with 6,000 buildings. The loss of Saipan altered the entire war. America could now launch non-stop bombing raids from air bases less than 1500 miles from Tokyo." stated James Oelke, the park's museum curator.  

Curator's Corner is a monthly offering at the War in the Pacific National Historical Park's T. Stell Newman Visitor Center. Each presentation features items from our collection that are rarely seen by the public. The public is welcome and admission is free.

Did You Know?

Japanese gun

The three guns located in the Piti Guns Unit were never fired during the War? Japanese soldiers and local laborers never mounted the guns in time.