The war in the Pacific during WWII was wicked and harrowing, with the Japanese owning the ocean for the first part of the conflict. However, two decisive battles turned the tide — Midway and Guadalcanal — and signaled the beginning of the end for the Japanese Empire’s domination. Santa Barbarans have a chance to hear tales of the firefights from soldiers who were there when the Maritime Museum hosts The Turning Battles in the Pacific. Lieutenant John Wayne “Top Gun” Blankenship, USNR; Colonel Paul DuPre, USMC; and Colonel Harvey Walseth, USMC, share their firsthand experiences, with Brigadier General Fred Lopez acting as emcee, on Thursday, August 16, 6 p.m., at S.B. Maritime Museum (113 Harbor Wy.). Tickets are $10 (members and veterans), $15 (nonmembers). For more information, call (805) 962-8404 or visit sbmm.org.