Next Presentation 

The Lexington Veterans’ Association under the auspices of the Friends of the COA will present their monthly program on Monday, June 10, 2019, at 1:15P.M., in the lower level meeting room at the Cary Memorial Library. 1875 Massachusetts Avenue. Open free to the public, come and enjoy coffee and refreshments along with friends and fellow veterans at 12:45 P.M. followed by our program at 1:15P.M.

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Muskets and Tomahawks - The Battles of Saratoga

Bob Lewis, Captain USNR retired, Naval Aviator, Patrol Plane Commander on aircraft carrier and later, shore-based patrol planes.     


    It was 1777, two years into the American Revolution. While the Colonists were desperately seeking financial support from a reluctant France, the Britishconceived a daring plan to use three armies in a pincer movement to cut off and isolate New England from the rest of the colonies. This campaign failed utterly, which turned the tide of the war in America’s favor, and convinced the French that the Americans could actually win.

    Bob will analyze the Battles of Saratoga and describe battle plans gone wrong, starving troops, the brutal murder and scalping of a local beauty, and the bravery of American General Benedict Arnold as some of the elements that led to the American victories at Saratoga. 

    The British pincer movement called for General Burgoyne to move south from Montreal; General St. Leger to march eastward from Lake Ontario along the Mohawk River Valley; and General Howe to move northward from New York City, all planning to meet at Albany, New York. General Howe’s southern army never materialized as he chose instead to proceed to Philadelphia and capture that city, and, perhaps, the Continental Congress. General St. Leger’s force surrounded Fort Oriskany, but soon afterwards, hundreds of Iroquois Indian allies deserted, forcing St. Leger to abandon his planned march Eastward to meet Burgoyne at Albany. Only General Burgoyne’s troops remained to follow the original plan. Before the Battles at Saratoga, after capturing Fort Ticonderoga, Burgoyne’s army had continued south on Lake Champlain, then marched cross country to the

    Hudson River enroute to Albany where they encountered an American force in the First Battle of Saratoga. By now, the British supply lines were stretched thin and troops were starving. Burgoyne was forced to retreat. Things got worse over the next several days after the Second Battle of Saratoga, when Burgoyne’s Indian allies deserted and his supply lines completely deteriorated. Burgoyne surrendered his army on October 17, 1777. A few months later, the French began sending ships, troops and supplies to the newly-energized Colonial Army.

    Captain Bob Lewis spent seven years with the U.S. Navy as a Patrol Plane Commander, serving on the aircraft carriers WASP, INTREPID, and SARATOGA. As a Naval Reserve officer, he flew P-2s and P-3s and commanded his Naval Reserve unit. In his 30 years with the MITRE Corporation, he spent eight years in Germany at Headquarters, US Army Europe, helping to develop joint communication systems to integrate the Army, Air Force and Marines. He later returned to Germany to lead the communications engineering effort for an alternate command base in Romania. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Lexington Veterans Association.