Photo: Naval History and Heritage Command


Photo: Naval History and Heritage Command

Juneau, New Jersey, January 5, 1942.

brothers Sullivan. They hailed from Waterloo in Iowa, and all enlisted in the Navy

at the same time, on January 3, 1942. They

presented one condition though – they

were all to serve together. The regulations

did not allow it but the command looked

the other way and all of them ended up

on Juneau. It turned out as an unfortunate decision. Frank, Joe and Matt, according

to the witnesses’ account, perished in the

ship’s explosion. Albert, the youngest one,

died on the second day and the oldest brother George held for five days. Then delirious from thirst and sorrows for his brothers he jumped off the raft and drowned.

After the death of Sullivan brothers the

US Department of Defense implemented

the directive that the last surviving family

descendant must not continue serving if all

other siblings were killed in combat. Still

during the wartime, a movie about Sullivan

brothers was made. Steven Spielberg also

mentioned them in his movie Saving Private Ryan.

In 1943 the new Fletcher class destroyer

was named after Sullivan brothers. The

ship, USS The Sullivans (DD-537) was

christened by their mother, Alleta Sullivan. Out of her six children she was left

with only one – daughter Genevieve. Her

boyfriend, William Ball, perished on the

battleship USS Arizona in the attack on

Pearl Harbor. The wish to avenge his death

motivated Sullivan brothers to enlist in the

Navy. Albert was the only one married and

had a son Jimmy who later served on the

aforementioned destroyer The Sullivans.

Besides WWII the ship also participated

in the fighting in Korea and in 1961 was

a part of the group of vessels that recovered from the sea the capsule with the first

American astronaut, Alan Shepard. Later

the destroyer served in training duties and

in 1961 she was struck of charge. Nowadays she is a floating museum in Buffalo,

New York state. In 1997 another destroyer

The Sullivans (DDG-68) entered the service, this time in Arleigh Burke class. In 1995

she was christened by Kelly Ann Sullivan

Loughren, Jimmy’s daughter, and Albert

Sullivan’s granddaughter.

New Juneau

Photo: Naval History and Heritage Command

By the way, the name USS Juneau reappeared again. In 1944–1946 the American

shipyards built three cruisers based on the

Atlanta class but with the improved system

of the waterproof bulkheads and better designed superstructures. The cruisers were

armed with twelve 127 mm caliber guns

in six turrets and were named Juneau,

Spokane and Fresno.

The whole class was named after Juneau.

She missed WWII but took part in the Korean war where on July 2, 1950, together

with two British ships faced the attack

of six Korean torpedo boats and gunboats. They sank five of them without a loss.

In 1955 this Juneau was struck of charge

and later sent to the scrapyards. In 1969 the

class Austin amphibious landing ship USS

Juneau (LPD-10) entered the service. She

participated in the Vietnam war and served

as the command vessels during the battle

against the oil leak from Exxon Valdez tanker. In 2008 she was struck of charge.

Discovering the wreck

Juneau photographed in New York harbor on February 11, 1942, wearing the camouflage she received shortly

after completion.


INFO Eduard

The Iron Bottom Sound could not have

escaped the attention of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in his search for WWII

shipwrecks. In January 2015 his ship Octopus mapped 980 sq kilometers of the ocean bottom and located 29 sunken ships

and several shot down airplanes. She also

February 2023