SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico National Guard commemorated the 81st anniversary of the fall of Bataan Saturday in Santa Fe.

The Battle of Bataan, which was fought in the Philippines, was the first major military campaign in the Asian theatre of World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

More than 1,800 New Mexican soldiers from the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments fought in the battle.

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On April 9, 1942, the Bataan military surrendered to the Japanese, and those who survived the battle were forced to march 65 miles through the jungle in what later became known as the Bataan Death March.

Only half of the New Mexicans who fought on the island survived. The survivors would be freed when in February 1945.