Posted on Nov 13, 2014
1SG Information Assurance Manager
1942 – Loss of USS Juneau (CL-52) during Battle of Guadalcanal results in loss of Five Sullivan Brothers.

In the aftermath of Juneau’s loss, the Navy notified Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Sullivan of Waterloo, Iowa, that all five of their sons were missing in action. Two of the brothers had served previous four-year enlistments in the Navy and so, when all five brothers enlisted together on 3 January 1942, the Navy was the obvious choice. They had also insisted on serving together on the same ship. Although the accepted Navy policy was to separate family members, the brothers had persisted and their request was approved. It was later learned, through survivors’ accounts, that four of the brothers died in the initial explosion. The fifth, George Thomas, despite being wounded the night before, made it onto a raft where he survived for five days before succumbing either to wounds and exhaustion or a shark attack.
The brothers received the Purple Heart Medal posthumously and were entitled to the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four engagement stars and the World War II Victory Medal. They had also earned the Good Conduct Medal. They were survived by their parents, Mr. Thomas F. Sullivan and Mrs. Alleta Sullivan, a sister, Genevieve Sullivan, and by Albert Leo Sullivan’s wife, Katherine Mary Sullivan. Their son, James Thomas, was twenty-two months old at the time of his father’s death. The service record transcripts for the five Sullivan brothers, as written on 16 January 1943 by the Bureau of Naval Personnel follow: Albert Leo Sullivan, Francis Henry Sullivan, George Thomas Sullivan, Joseph Eugene Sullivan, Madison Abel Sullivan.
Posted in these groups: Navy NavyF3af5240 Military History
Avatar feed
Responses: 1
TSgt Joshua Copeland
I was first introduced to this story by a song.
Avatar small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.