The Poloa Defensive Fortifications is located along the coast at the village of Poloa in western Tutuila, The largest island in American Samoa. During World War II three defensive fortifications were built here to defend the island from possible Japanese attack. The 2nd Marine Brigade landed at Pago Pago, American Samoa, on January 23, 1942, to defend the vital island and keep open the supply link with Australia, an American ally also at war with the Japanese The Japanese, having conquered Guam, the Wake Island and Gilbert island, and invading the Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Java and New Britain, remained a threat to American Samoa until they were defeated in the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 7-9, 1942) and the Battle of Midway (June 4-7, 1942). Following these battles, American Samoa became an Advanced Jungle Warfare Training Center for replacements and reinforcements of Marine Corps units being forwarded to amphibious operations in the Solomon and Gilbert Islands, and elsewhere.
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