At 0145 Juneau, in company with 4 cruisers and 8 destroyers encounter a Japanese force of 2 battleships, 1 light cruiser and 11 destroyers. Three Japanese destroyers conduct a coordinated torpedo attack of US Forces. One US cruiser and one US destroyer are sunk. Juneau is hit by a torpedo in her port side near forward fire room. The explosion buckles the deck, shatters the fire control computers and knocks out ship's power. ... At 1100 while conducting evasive maneuvering (zigzagging) in company with 2 US cruisers and 3 destroyers, Japanese submarine launches torpedoes at US force striking Juneau on port side near the previous hit. Ensuing magazine explosion blows Juneau in half, killing most of the crew. Survivors were noted in the water by accompanying ships but due to risk of further submarine attack, no other ships of the task force stayed in the area to rescue survivors. ... After eight days in the water survivors were spotted and rescue effected. Of the 115 crewmembers that survived the explosion on the ship and made it into the water, only 10 men were ultimately rescued. ... The Sullivan brothers, Joseph, 24; Francis,27; Albert, 20; Madison, 23 and George, 28 from Waterloo, Iowa died in the sinking of the USS JUNEAU (CL 52).
President Roosevelt directed that one of the new Fletcher class destroyers be named after the brothers.
To honor the five Sullivan brothers, the Navy has named two destroyers, USS THE SULLIVANS.
The first USS THE SULLIVANS was launched in San Francisco, California on April 4, 1943. Sponsored by Mrs. Alleta Sullivan, the mother of the five Sullivan brothers, USS THE SULLIVANS (DD 537) was commissioned on September 30. 1943. The ship sported the shamrock of Ireland on her forward stack and sailed into World War II with 23 crew members named Sullivan. She fought in the Marshalls, Carolinas, Marianas and Philippines and earned nine battle stars. After deployment in Korea, where she earned two battle stars, the Cuban blockade, and the rescue efforts for the sub Thresher, she was decommissioned on January 7, 1965. In 1977 the vessel was acquired by the City of Buffalo as a memorial and is on display at the Buffalo and ErieCounty Naval & Servicemen's park. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The second USS THE SULLIVANS (DDG 68)was laid down on 14 June 1993 at BathMaine, by Bath Iron Works Company. She was launched on 12 August 1995 by ship’s sponsor, Kelly Sullivan Loughren,
granddaughter of Albert Leo Sullivan. Commissioned on 19 April 1997 at Staten Island, New York and brought to life by Kelly Sullivan Loughren and brother, John Sullivan.
USS THE SULLIVANS (DDG 68) continues to carry on the fighting Sullivan sprit with the motto:
“We Stick Together.” USS THE SULLIVANS (DDG 68) recently underwent a massive and expensive Ballistic Missile Defense upgrade, making her one of the few elite destroyers capable of intercepting and destroying hostile exo-atmospheric intercontinental ballistic missile tracks. Utilizing this new skill set, THE SULLIVANS is currently on a 5th Fleet / 6th Fleet BMD Deployment, providing air defense coverage for a large portion of the Middle East.
Submitted by Charles Patrick Brown