9 Apr 2004

US Navy historians and archeologists visit American Samoa

11:22 am on 9 April 2004

A team of US Navy historians and archeologists will be in American Samoa today to gather information about the naval presence there during World War Two.

They will be looking in particular at the coastal fortifications.

The data will be used to gain national recognition of these sites and compile the final chapter of research on American Samoa under naval administration.

Historical Preservation Officer, John Enright, said the research will be a significant contribution to the territory's history.

"It's important because there were a few months especially in 1942, everybody in the US military expected Samoa to be the next target of Japanese aggression in the Pacific after Pearl Harbour and in fact we now know the Japanese did intend on conquering Samoa next, and if it wasn't for the battle of Midway up in northern Pacific that defeated the Japanese forces, the Japanese would have been attacking Samoa."