Intorpedoes from a Japanese submarine split the light-cruiser in half, sinking it almost immediately in the Pacific Ocean. More than sailors died that day, including perhaps the most well-known case of siblings lost during the war.
The USS Juneau sunk on November 13, , a year after being commissioned, killing men on board including the five Sullivan brothers. Wikipedia Who were the Sullivan brothers? Locals repeatedly told investigators that their father, Tom, was a physically abusive alcoholic who went on benders on his off days from work as a freight conductor on the Illinois Central railroad.
The Sullivan brothers all left school around the age of 16 All five boys left school at age 16 or so, barely completing junior high, and were often out of work—in part a result of the Great Depression.
The brothers immediately decided to join the navy—even the youngest, Al, who had married at 17 and had a month-old son, Jimmy. Yet, George, Frank, Joseph, Matt, and Albert refused to serve unless assigned to the same ship, so the policy was not enforced.
The publicity photo would later become a familiar emblem of American sacrifice. American and Japanese naval task forces engaged each other at point-blank range.
The Juneau was an early casualty, hit by a torpedo from Japanese destroyer Amatsukaze which ripped into her port side taking out its steering and guns and killing 19 men in the forward engine room.
Francis, Joseph, and Madison were killed in the initial attack and Albert drowned during the second attack. George was one of 80 men who made it to life rafts but allegedly died from a shark attack.
Two survivors remembered the death of the eldest Sullivan, George, in particular. He had been aboard one of the small life rafts and, after three or four days, was weak and hallucinating. He removed his uniform and jumped into the water.
Image: Wikipedia Within a half-hour of the sinking, however, an American B flying overhead spotted to sailors in the sea—many of them badly injured—clinging to debris from the cruiser. The B radioed the commander of the flotilla, Captain Gilbert Hoover of the light cruiser Helena, who continued onward.
The aircraft circled again to drop supplies, yet for several days the navy did nothing to assist the sailors. By the time the survivors were collected—a week after the sinking, only 10 men remained.
Ages of all five Sullivan brothers at the time of death There was a seven-year gap between George, 27, the eldest brother and Albert or "Al," who was the youngest at Roosevelt wrote a personal letter of condolence to the Sullivan brothers' mother At the behest of the navy, President Franklin D.
Roosevelt wrote Alleta a personal letter of condolence.
I offer you the condolence and gratitude of our country. We, who remain to carry on the fight, must maintain the spirit in the knowledge that such sacrifice is not in vain.
Pope Pius XII sent a silver religious medal and rosary with his message of regret and the Iowa Senate and House adopted a formal resolution of tribute to the Sullivan brothers.
USS The Sullivans was also the first ship commissioned in the Navy that honored more than one person. Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G.
Only 10 survived the sinking by Japanese torpedoes. This article was submitted to the IrishCentral contributors network by a member of the global Irish community.
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