Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bataan Museum


This month my wife Liz and I went on a long weekend trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We had stopped there briefly before, but wanted to spend some more time to explore the city.  Liz surprised me by discovering the Bataan Museum and actually suggesting it as a museum we could visit.  I had no idea such a museum existed and also found it interesting that the museum would be in Santa Fe.  It turns out the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments from New Mexico were part of the force defending the Philippines when the Japanese invaded in 1941.

The museum is not very big and is actually mostly non-Bataan related, but it is still good.  It is free to visit.  I liked the sections on the Spanish American War and World War One.  I thought the Bataan/Philippines section focused too much on the Bataan Death March.  Having read the story of the defense of the Philippines, especially in the Bataan peninsula, there are many incredible stories of holding back the Japanese.  I highly recommend the book Bataan: Our Last Ditch: The Bataan Campaign, 1942 by John W. Whitman.  Post WWII the museum touches on all the major conflicts.  The museum staff employee at the museum was very approachable and talked to us about the various WWII veterans living in Santa Fe and shared some stories he was told.  Maybe because there was only Liz and I, and a Father and Son visiting the museum first thing in the morning he shared the stories, but I am sure he would be completely open to giving a guided tour around the museum.  Behind the museum outside there is an area dedicated to vehicles/artillery and a helicopter.

All in all, well worth stopping in and checking out the museum if in the area.  Both Liz and I enjoyed the museum.

Museum website:

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