ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York-based World War II researcher is in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific to participate in events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

Justin Taylan, of Hyde Park, will speak at a symposium Saturday on the first dogfights between American and Japanese planes after U.S. Marines landed on Guadalcanal on Aug. 7, 1942.

The landings started a six-month battle that ended with the Japanese evacuating the island. The campaign saw some of the fiercest air, sea and land battles of the Pacific war.

Taylan, an expert on the air war in the Pacific, is founder of Pacific Wrecks, a nonprofit group involved in the search for American MIAs from WWII.

Also attending the ceremonies is Harold Berg, a 91-year-old former Marine Raider from Peoria, Illinois, who fought on Guadalcanal.

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