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All islands except for Swains Island are part of the Samoan Islands, located west of the Cook Islands, north of Tonga, and some 300 miles (500 km) south of Tokelau.
To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna group.
American Samoa is noted for having the highest rate of military enlistment of any U. This visit was followed by French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville who named them the "Îles des Navigateurs" in 1768.
British explorer James Cook recorded the island names in 1773, but never visited.
La Perouse named the island "Massacre Island", and the bay near Aasu is still called "Massacre Bay".
The largest and most populous island is Tutuila, with the Manuʻa Islands, Rose Atoll, and Swains Island also included in the territory.
The traditional leaders chose “American Samoa”, and, on July 7, 1911, the solicitor general of the Navy authorized the governor to proclaim it as the name for the new territory. With this distinction, American Samoans regarded Poyer as their hero for what he had done to prevent the deadly disease.
In 1918, during the final stages of World War I, the flu pandemic had taken its toll, spreading rapidly from country to country. The result of Poyer's quick actions earned him the Navy Cross from the U. The neighboring New Zealand territory at the time, Western Samoa, suffered the most of all Pacific islands, with 90% of the population infected; 30% of adult men, 22% of adult women and 10% of children died.
Travel writer Paul Theroux noted that there were marked differences between the societies in Samoa and American Samoa. This has meant that there has been a disproportionate number of casualties per population compared to other parts of the United States.
American Samoans have a high rate of service in the U. As of March 23, 2009, ten American Samoans had died in Iraq, and two had died in Afghanistan.
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The total land area is 199 square kilometers (76.8 sq mi), slightly more than Washington, D. American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the United States and one of two U. territories south of the Equator, along with the uninhabited Jarvis Island.