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The FReeper Foxhole Revisits The USS Juneau and the Sullivan Brothers - June 19th, 2004 ^

Posted on 06/19/2004 12:05:59 AM PDT by snippy_about_it


Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.

...................................................................................... ...........................................

U.S. Military History, Current Events and Veterans Issues

Where Duty, Honor and Country
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.

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The FReeper Foxhole is dedicated to Veterans of our Nation's military forces and to others who are affected in their relationships with Veterans.

In the FReeper Foxhole, Veterans or their family members should feel free to address their specific circumstances or whatever issues concern them in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, brotherhood and support.

The FReeper Foxhole hopes to share with it's readers an open forum where we can learn about and discuss military history, military news and other topics of concern or interest to our readers be they Veteran's, Current Duty or anyone interested in what we have to offer.

If the Foxhole makes someone appreciate, even a little, what others have sacrificed for us, then it has accomplished one of it's missions.

We hope the Foxhole in some small way helps us to remember and honor those who came before us.

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The FReeper Foxhole Revisits

The Loss of USS Juneau

In early November 1942, as the struggle for control of Guadalcanal remained undecided, both the Allies and the Japanese were desperately trying to reinforce the island with troops, food, and ammunition while trying to prevent the other side from doing the same. Although two American convoys arrived safely on 11 and 12 November, they had only partially unloaded their cargoes when Magic (intercepted Japanese messages) intelligence and reconnaissance reports indicated strong Japanese naval forces were approaching the island on a shore bombardment mission. As the American transports steamed eastwards for safety, an American force of five cruisers and eight destroyers, under command of Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan took up station in the strait between Guadalcanal and Florida Island, called "Ironbottom Sound" owing to the many sunken ships littering the sea floor from the naval battles.

After midnight on 13 November, a Japanese formation of two battleships, a light cruiser, and eleven destroyers steamed past Savo Island, heading toward Guadalcanal. At 0124, these warships appeared on American radar and the two forces closed rapidly. Poor radar coordination, however, left the American warships vainly trying to pin down the location of the Japanese warships. The leading destroyers of both forces sighted each other briefly in the darkness and at 0145 USS Juneau received the order, "Stand by to open fire." A few minutes later, just after a Japanese searchlight flicked on, the lead American destroyers opened fire at the Japanese warships at a mere 1,600 yards. The Japanese replied in kind and the two formations quickly mingled together, firing into each other at point-blank range in the glare-lit darkness.

Within minutes, the Japanese destroyer Akatsuki and the American cruiser USS Atlanta lay dead in the water, victims of shell and torpedo hits. Meanwhile, the two Japanese battleships, worried that American torpedo-armed destroyers were too close for comfort, tried to turn away. Still, the four American destroyers in lead fired guns and torpedoes at Hiei, the nearest Japanese battleship, damaging her superstructure with numerous shell hits. Two of the American destroyers USS Cushing and USS Laffey were mortally wounded after a brief fire fight, with Laffey exploding and sinking shortly thereafter.

The engagement turned against the American task force when three Japanese destroyers conducted a torpedo attack from the northern flank. Torpedo hits damaged cruiser USS Portland and sank destroyer USS Barton. Gunfire from these and other Japanese warships turned USS Monssen into a smoking wreck and damaged both cruiser USS San Francisco and destroyer USS Aaron Ward. In return, by the time the fifteen-minute battle ended, destroyer Yudachi was a burning hulk and battleship Hiei was left crippled, steering an erratic course to the northwest. By the following afternoon, owing to scuttling charges or damage, Atlanta, Cushing, and Monssen had all sunk. Two Japanese ships soon joined them when Yudachi exploded under shell fire from Portland, and Hiei went under following bomb and torpedo hits delivered by Navy and Marine aircraft.

The light cruiser Juneau (CL-52), in which the five Sullivan brothers were surviving, suffered a different fate. Just a few minutes into the battle, Juneau was hit by a Japanese torpedo on the port side near the forward fire room. The shock wave from the explosion buckled the deck, shattered the fire control computers, and knocked out power. The cruiser limped away from the battle, down by the bow and struggling to maintain 18 knots. She rejoined the surviving American warships at dawn on 13 November and zig-zagged to the southeast in company with two other cruisers and three destroyers.

About an hour before noon, the task force crossed paths with Japanese submarine I-26. At 1101, the submarine fired a three torpedoes at San Francisco. None hit that cruiser, but one passed beyond and struck Juneau on the port side very near the previous hit. The ensuing magazine explosion blew the light cruiser in half, killing most of the crew. A message from USS Helena to a nearby B-17 search plane reported that Juneau was lost at latitude 10 degrees South and longitude 161 degrees East and that survivors were in the water. The sinking location was subsequently modified to 10 degrees South and 161 degrees East.

Owing to the risk of another submarine attack and because the sections of Juneau sank in only a few minutes, the American task force did not stay to check for survivors. However, approximately 115 of Juneau's crew survived the explosion. But, as Helena's message unfortunately did not reach Noumea and there remained uncertainty about the number of Japanese ships in the area, rescue efforts did not begin for several days. Exposure, exhaustion, and shark attacks whittled down the survivors and only ten men were rescued from the water eight days after the sinking.

The 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.

Albert Leo Sullivan
Francis Henry Sullivan
George Thomas Sullivan
Joseph Eugene Sullivan
Madison Abel Sullivan

FReeper Foxhole Armed Services Links

KEYWORDS: freeperfoxhole; guadalcanal; history; samsdayoff; savoisland; sullivanbrothers; usnavy; ussjuneau; veterans
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To: Professional Engineer
Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, Mr. Kennedy.

For most people maybe, but it sure seems to work for him.

81 posted on 06/19/2004 10:37:16 PM PDT by SAMWolf (I've had fun before. This isn't it.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; E.G.C.; alfa6; Samwise; Aeronaut; GATOR NAVY; bentfeather; ...

The Fighting Sullivans
Thomas Mitchell, Anne Baxter, Ward Bond, Bobbie Driscoll 1944 - B/W - 110 minutes

This true World War II story, and the basis for Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS contains some of the saddest moments ever filmed. The tragic story of the five Sullivan brothers who died together when their battleship, the Juneau, was torpedoed at Guadalcanal is the stuff of legend. This film depicts their boyhood growing up in Waterloo, Iowa, and their decision to enlist in the Navy together. Many theatres chose not to show this film because of the devastating effect the story had on families that lost loved ones in the war. More than a war movie, this is a soul-stirring film about the American spirit.

The left-handed salute is a clear sign these are apparitions--per Art Bell and George Norrie.

Director Lloyd Bacon
Producer Sam Jaffe
Director of Photography Lucien M. Andriot
Composer Alfred Newman
Screenwriter Mary McCall

They look young here.

Veterans applauded the decision to honor the Sullivans a second time.

"If they don't deserve it, nobody does -- the family, I mean," said Frank Holmgren, 74, of Eatontown, N.J., one of two living Juneau survivors. "They sacrificed five brothers. It just about destroyed that family."

Loughren said she thinks of the lost brothers almost every day.

"We have pictures of the boys up in the house," she said. "You think about it when you go to a sporting event and sing the national anthem. You think about the pride you have for your family and the pride you have for all military people and their sacrifices."

The Sullivans' loss was a symbol of the way everyone sacrificed, but "mothers who lost one child were just as devastated," Loughren said.

"You can't say one is more of a tragedy than the other."


Isn't it special that Speilberg was "inspired" by the Sullivans to make Saving Private Ryan.

Bob Dole reported in 1998 that Speilberg could not be "inspired" to give a dime to the WWII Memorial.

It's about the money with those people, isn't it? And they get so mad when you question their patriotism, don't they?


I cried watching the 1944 black and white movie on teevee at my grandparents' in Ohio in the fifties.

They stuck together through boyhead and battle, and Thomas Mitchell looking at his pocket watch to time the train after they died--

Another friend in conversation today suggested taking fifty out and shooting them, fifty gitmo rats.

Shakespeare wanted to start with the lawyers. John Edwards, pick up the white courtesy phone, John Edwards.



Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski with Texas A&M cadets.

Memorial Ceremony

The conference culminated in a moving memorial service, "In Memory of Those Who Died That Others Might Be Free," which honored Americans as well as foreign agents who had lost their lives in the Cold War’s "silent intelligence war." DCI George Tenet delivered the eulogy. The service was organized and conducted by the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets, Band, and Singing Cadets. The ceremony also honored the memory of the Texas A&M students who died in the bonfire accident that occurred on the eve of the conference.

Also present at the memorial service as a speaker was Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, a Polish army officer who had provided crucial information on Warsaw Pact military plans to the West during the 1970s and early 1980s, before escaping to the West in late 1980. DCI Tenet called Colonel Kuklinski a "true hero of the Cold War, a man who risked great danger to work for us…. It is in great measure due to the bravery and sacrifice of patriots like Colonel Kuklinski that Poland and the other once-captive nations of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union are now free." In his brief but moving response, Kuklinski responded that he was "deeply honored to represent my many anonymous comrades who served on both sides of the front line. I am pleased that our long, hard struggle has brought peace, freedom, and democracy not only to my country but to many other people as well."


Speculation on a running mate for Jean-Fraud Kommie includes John Ambulance-Chaser Edwards.

We need a drawling wiseass worth forty mill beating us up over "two Americas". Or not.

82 posted on 06/19/2004 11:15:56 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: PhilDragoo

Evening Phil Dragoo.

Thanks for all the additional info to day Phil.

I lose it in the ending scenes of "The Fighting Sullivans", when the youngest brother yells "Hey Fellows! Wait for me!!" and when their motheer christens the USS THE SULLIVANS and says "Look, our sons are sailing again".

If Speilberg, Streisand, Reiner, kerry and Kennedy really belived that Socialist crap they spew, they'd give away all money they "don't need". They could keep enough to "live on" like everyone else and spread around the "excess they earn". Oh that's right, the Socialist redistribution doesn't apply to their wealth.

83 posted on 06/19/2004 11:49:41 PM PDT by SAMWolf (I've had fun before. This isn't it.)
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To: SAMWolf
Oh that's right, the Socialist redistribution doesn't apply to their wealth.

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

George Orwell, Animal Farm

84 posted on 06/20/2004 12:15:20 AM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: PhilDragoo


85 posted on 06/20/2004 5:28:10 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: PhilDragoo

Orwell sure got it right.

86 posted on 06/20/2004 7:29:49 AM PDT by SAMWolf (I've had fun before. This isn't it.)
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Comment #87 Removed by Moderator

To: Matthew Paul

Morning Matt.

88 posted on 06/20/2004 8:42:23 AM PDT by SAMWolf (I've had fun before. This isn't it.)
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To: PhilDragoo

All your posts are "keepers", imo but this is one to put toward the top. Now I'll have to see this movie.

May I ask what town in Ohio your grandparents were in?

89 posted on 06/20/2004 9:11:05 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: PhilDragoo

Yep, the real tear jurker part was when they were going up to Heaven with the youngest yelling wait for me as he always did when they were with the living.

90 posted on 06/20/2004 10:54:31 AM PDT by U S Army EOD (John Kerry, the mother of all flip floppers.)
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To: snippy_about_it


91 posted on 06/20/2004 9:05:07 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: PhilDragoo

I wonder if we crossed paths ever. I was born there and was initially there until I was 7 (1961).

92 posted on 06/20/2004 10:25:38 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it

Is there a James Hennessey listed as a fatality on the Juneau we lost in 1942?

93 posted on 11/08/2004 10:49:09 AM PST by jlmase
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To: jlmase
USS Juneau CL-52

Brave officers and
men killed or lost
in action

HENNESSEY, James Joseph Sea2c

LINK cached from google
94 posted on 11/08/2004 12:12:06 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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