The Bataan Death March, just one of World War II’s many atrocities, was a particular tragedy in New Mexico, because most of the state’s national guard, which was drafted as the 200th Coast Artillery, was among the more than 70,000 U.S. and Filipino soldiers subject to torture, malnourishment, random execution, malaria, “friendly fire,” and three years’ imprisonment. Of the 1,800 who started in the regiment, fewer than 900 came home, and a full third of those men died in the first year back.
The catastrophe is recalled with newspaper clippings, maps, and testimonials at the home-grown Bataan Memorial Military Museum and Library (1050 Old Pecos Tr., 505/474-1670, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues., Wed., and Fri., 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Sat., free), which also contains Civil War memorabilia and exhibits on Native American contributions in U.S. wars, such as the Choctaw and Navajo code-talkers.
The museum opens one hour later and closes one hour earlier in winter.