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Tonga is located in the South Pacific.

Prewar History
Tonga was a British colony with its own royal family whose eighteen year old daughter became Queen Salote.

Wartime History
During the the Pacific War, Tonga formed a local defense force of about 2,000 men, which saw action in the Solomon Islands.  For most Tongans the war was the 'American Invasion' beginning on May 10, 1942 with the arrival of USN base construction and garrison convoy reached Tonga. The 1st Construction Battalion (Seabees) went to Tonga and built Tongatabu Airfield and main wharf. At its height, there were 10,000 Americans on the island. The 1st Marine Division briefly staged through Tonga on their way to Guadalcanal. As the war moved forward, the American presence rapidly withdrew. By July 1944 there were only 31 Americans stationed on Tonga.

Tongatapu (Western Tongatapu)
Main island of the Tonga Group. Also known as "Western Tongatapu". New Zealand and American troops were stationed on Tongatapu, which became a staging point for shipping at Nukualofa Harbor (Nuku'alofa Harbor).

The United States Invasion of Tonga In 1942 by Tom McLeod

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017


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