It’s mid-February, and a troop of men are falling into formation with the letters “U.S.A.” adorning their bodies. They begin to undertake something like an army drill, with the American flag being raised into the sky. But this scene isn’t actually taking place in the United States. To the contrary, all of this is happening on Tanna, an island of the Pacific Ocean nation of Vanuatu.
To understand what’s going on here, we must consider a time when Vanuatu was a European colony called New Hebrides. There are conflicting stories about what initially happened, but one of these revolves around American soldiers during World War II. According to this particular tale, the inhabitants of Tanna observed black American soldiers who were in charge of cargo.