Skip to comments.USS "THE SULLIVANS"
Posted on 07/03/2013 7:22:33 PM PDT by Dick Bachert
I awoke one morning during a September, 2005 cruise as we pulled into Nassau and looked out the porthole to see two US Arleigh Burke class destroyers next to us. After breakfast, I strolled out onto deck 7 and got goose bumps when I noticed the shamrock on the stack of one of them. Walked aft to catch a view of the transom of that boat. It was the USS THE SULLIVANS!" The goose bumps intensified as I recalled the story of the five Sullivan brothers who INSISTED that they be allowed to serve together and, persisting in the face of a naval reg prohibiting it, were assigned to the USS Juneau when she was sunk on November 13, 1942 at Guadalcanal. 4 boys died instantly and the 5th son died at sea either from his injuries, a shark attack or exposure.
THEIR MOTHER RECEIVED ALL 5 TELEGRAMS FROM THE NAVY ON THE SAME DAY!!!!
I related the story to several of those on deck with me who were also checking out the destroyers. I was greeted with BLANK STARES of disinterest. I wanted to grab one guy by the stacking swivel, hoist him off the deck and scream that it was men and ships such as that which make it possible for A**HOLES like him to enjoy a peaceful cruise around the Caribbean. Not wishing to spend the rest of the voyage in the brig, I contented myself with muttering "a**hole" as he wandered off in search of another buffet.
And in a sign of the times, both ships had armed sentries posted fore and aft in Nassau, an ostensibly friendly and safe port. But then, Aden was also considered safe at the time the USS Cole (also a Burke class destroyer) was attacked. And I believe that, unlike the guards on the Cole -- and the Marine sentries in Beirut years earlier -- THESE guys were locked and loaded with orders to fire for effect!
War is hell. It doesn’t get much worse than the story of the Sullivans.
Saw the movie when I was a kid and never forgot the story. Tragic.
Bless the Five Sullivans - both the brothers and the ship that bears their name.
There is an old B&W movie about the Sullivans.
It was so sad that I don’t think I would want to watch it again.
thanks for posting this.
the 5 sullivans hailed from Waterloo, Iowa, which is where I currently live..(well, really close to waterloo, anyway). The convention center in the downtown is aptly named Five Sullivan Brothers convention center.
Inside, they have a tribute to the brothers, pictures, life stories, etc. they also have a scale model of the Juneau, and the ship in your post.
It is a neat display to see, if you are ever in the Cedar Valley.
“I wanted to grab one guy by the stacking swivel, hoist him off the deck and scream that it was men and ships such as that which make it possible for A**HOLES like him to enjoy a peaceful cruise around the Caribbean.”
Too bad you let yourself get frustrated. It sounded like a great opportunity to teach. What happened to the Sullivan’s mom should never happen to another American mom, so help our nation.
Those guys deaths helped save Private Ryan you know.
War is hell. It doesnt get much worse than the story of the Sullivans.
No, it doesn’t.
I remember a story of WWI. At that time the British Army would let guys from the same town all serve together. I think it probably had something to do with morale.
The problem was that some towns had their entire population of young men wiped out in some battles.
Thank you for the post and the reminder of what Independence Day has cost some.
The movie was The Fighting Sullivans made in 1944.
It is apparent to me that history is lost on those that just believe they don’t have time for it...
Therefore they are indifferent, and their attitude is an affront to those that do their best to learn history, tradition, and honor the sacrifices of those that have served before us...
So the best we can do is keep on doing what we know best...And maybe, just maybe, our resilience will rub off on at least one other person in our lives...
Thanks for posting this, though very sad it shows the true sacrifice made by many during WWII.
The Five Fighting Sullivans:
Sad, but inspirational movie...
Saw the movie on TV when I was 10 and didn’t know the ending.
Only time I cried at a movie. I’m a Sullivan.
Any relation to Pat?
we might be going sort of kinda of that area in next week.....is there a statue or memorial?...