Battle of Saipan Program Held at Lasdon Park in Somers

On the eve of his 96th birthday, Ralph Cipullo of Briarcliff Manor, right, holds up his Marine Corps honorable discharge paper accompanied by military historian Patrick J. Chaisson. Credits: Tito Davila
Mark Tolf, curator of the Westchester Veterans Museum, presents a check to Barney Puleo, president of Chapter 49 of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Credits: Brian Marschhauser

SOMERS, N.Y. – History enthusiasts were invited to Lasdon Park Arboretum and Veterans Memorial in Somers on Saturday for a multimedia presentation about one of the toughest battles in the Pacific theater during World War II.

“This presentation shows the valor of the men and women in our armed forces in the face of a determined enemy,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

Historian Patrick J. Chaisson, a retired U.S. Army officer, presented “Saipan: The Friction of War,” a presentation about one of the war’s most brutal and controversial battles.   

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Saipan, located in the Mariana Islands, was a strategic objective in the Central Pacific for the United States. About 50,000 Marines and soldiers of the 27th Infantry Division (formerly a New York National Guard unit) stormed ashore on June 15, 1944. Allied commanders planned to capture Saipan in three days but the fighting went on for six weeks and Chaisson discussed what went wrong with the offensive.

The program, which was held in Lasdon’s main house, was free.

Prior to the presentation, the Westchester Veterans Museum presented Chapter 49 of the Vietnam Veterans of America with a $1,000 donation. The money, raised during Lasdon Park’s Christmas tree sales, will benefit homeless veterans.

Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veterans Memorial is a Westchester County Park that is located on Route 35 in Somers.

Go to or call 914-864-7268. Information about the park is also available on the Friends of Lasdon Web site at

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