Shipwreck linked to ‘Fighting Sullivans’ found

USS Juneau propeller
The propeller of the USS Juneau rests on the South Pacific seafloor. (Navigea via

The latest chapter of an Irish-American family tragedy played out on St. Patrick’s Day when an expedition team backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen discovered the shipwreck of the USS Juneau in the South Pacific.

The Juneau was sunk by a Japanese torpedo during the Battle of Guadalcanal on Nov. 13, 1942, leading to the deaths of 687 sailors — including the five Sullivan Brothers.

The Sullivans insisted so forcefully on serving together that naval officers bent their rules against having brothers serving on the same ship during wartime.

The Iowa family’s tragic story rallied the nation during World War II, inspired a movie titled “The Fighting Sullivans” and led to the christening of two Navy ships in honor of the Sullivans.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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