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Saturday, January 22, 2000



Cutter to join in American
Samoa centennial

By Gregg K. Kakesako


The Honolulu-based U.S. Coast Guard cutter Kukui will be part of a Navy contingent April 17 that will help celebrate the raising of the American flag in American Samoa 100 years ago.

Joining in the centennial celebration will be the guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur from San Diego and military dignitaries from all services.

In preparation for the South Pacific event, Navy Seabees renovated a museum that originally was a commissary, replaced a roof at a school, repaired fencing at the Veterans Memorial Stadium and refurbished a baseball field and picnic area.

The U.S. Navy's involvement with American Samoa began on Oct. 10, 1939, when Lt. Charles Wilkes sailed into Pago Pago Harbor aboard the USS Vincennes.

Later, in 1872, a Samoan chief granted U.S. coaling station construction privileges in the harbor.

American Samoans have been part of the U.S. Navy since the creation of the Fita Fita guard on June 13, 1900.

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