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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

The Sullivan Brothers: Transcripts of service

Related Resource: Photographs of 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.

The service record transcripts for the five Sullivan brothers, as written on 16 January 1943 by the Bureau of Naval Personnel follow below.

(1) Albert Leo Sullivan
(2) Francis Henry Sullivan
(3) George Thomas Sullivan
(4) Joseph Eugene Sullivan
(5) Madison Abel Sullivan


Sullivan, Albert Leo, Seaman Second Class, V-6, USNR; Transcript of service

 1- 3-1942 Enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Class V-6, as Apprentice Seaman to serve for two (2) years at the Naval Recruiting Station, Des Moines, Iowa
 1- 3-1942 Transferred to the Naval Training Station. Great Lakes, Illinois.
 2- 3-1942 Transferred to the receiving ship, New York, for duty in USS Juneau detail and on board when commissioned.
 5- 3-1942 Rating changed to Seaman second class.
 11-14-1942 Reported missing in action.

Place of birth: Waterloo, Iowa
Date of birth: July 8, 1922



(2) Francis Henry Sullivan, Coxswain, V-6, USNR; Transcript of service.

 5-11-1937 Enlisted in the U.S. Navy as Apprentice Seaman, to serve for four (4) years at the Navy Recruiting Station, Des Moines, Iowa and transferred to the Naval Training Station, San Diego, California, for recruit training..
 9-11-1937 Rating changed to Seaman second class. 
 9-15-1937 Transferred to the USS Hovey.
 3-25-1938 Transferred to the U.S. Naval Hospital, Navy Yard, Mare Island, California, for treatment
 4- 9-1938 Transferred to the USS Hovey.
 2-16-1939 Rating changed to Seaman first class.
 3-18-1939 Transferred to the USS Melville for temporary duty involving medical treatment.
 4-22-1939 Transferred to the USS Hovey.
 5-13-1941 Transferred to the USS Dunlap for transportation to the West Coast and further transfer to the Receiving Ship on that coast for discharge.
 5-20-1941 Received at the Receiving Station, San Diego, California.
 5-27-1941 Issued an honorable discharge by reason of expiration of enlistment.
 1- 3-1942 Enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Class V-6, as Coxswain to serve for two (2) years at the Naval Recruiting Station, Des Moines, Iowa.
 1- 3-1942 Transferred to the Naval Training Station. Great Lakes, Illinois.
 2- 3-1942 Transferred to the receiving ship, New York, for duty in the USS Juneau detail and on board when commissioned.
 11-14-1942 Reported missing in action.

Place of birth: Waterloo, Iowa
Date of birth: February 18, 1916



SULLIVAN, George Thomas, Gunner's Mate Second Class, V-6, USNR
Transcript of service.

 5-11-1937 Enlisted in the U.S. Navy as Apprentice Seaman, to serve for four (4) years at the Navy Recruiting Station, Des Moines, Iowa and transferred to the Naval Training Station, San Diego, California, for recruit training.
 9-11-1937 Rating changed to Seaman second class.
 9-15-1937 Transferred to the USS Hovey.
 10-11-1937 Transferred to the USS Melville for treatment.
 10-15-1937 Transferred to the USS Hovey for duty.
 10-16-1939 Rating changed to Seaman first class.
 2-16-1941 Rating changed to Gunner's Mate third class.
 4-22-1941 Transferred to the USS Santee for transportation to the West Coast and further transfer to the Receiving Ship, San Diego, California, for discharge.
4-30-1941  Received at the Receiving Ship, San Diego, California.
 5-16-1941 Issued an honorable discharge by reason of expiration of enlistment.
  1- 3-1942 Enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Class V-6, as Gunner's Mate second class to serve for two (2) years at the Naval Recruiting Station, Des Moines, Iowa.
 1- 3-1942 Transferred to the Naval Training Station. Great Lakes, Illinois.
2- 3-1942 Transferred to the receiving ship, New York, for duty in the USS Juneau detail and on board when commissioned.
 11-14-1942 Reported missing in action.


Place of birth: Waterloo, Iowa
Date of birth: December 14, 1914



(4) SULLIVAN, Joseph Eugene, Seaman Second Class, V-6, USNR
Transcript of service.

 1- 3-1942 Enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Class V-6, as Apprentice Seaman to serve for two (2) years at the Naval Recruiting Station, Des Moines, Iowa.
 1- 3-1942 Transferred to the Naval Training Station. Great Lakes, Illinois.
 2- 3-1942 Transferred to the receiving ship, New York, for duty in the USS Juneau detail and on board when commissioned.
 5- 3-1942 Rating changed to Seaman second class.
 11-14-1942 Reported missing in action.

Place of birth: Waterloo, Iowa
Date of birth: August 28, 1918



(5) SULLIVAN, Madison Abel, Seaman Second Class, V-6, USNR
Transcript of service.

 1- 3-1942 Enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Class V-6, as Apprentice Seaman to serve for two (2) years at the Naval Recruiting Station, Des Moines, Iowa.
 1- 3-1942 Transferred to the Naval Training Station. Great Lakes, Illinois.
 2- 3-1942 Transferred to the receiving ship, New York, for duty in the USS Juneau detail and on board when commissioned.
 5- 3-1942 Rating changed to Seaman second class.
 11-14-1942 Reported missing in action

Place of birth: Waterloo, Iowa
Date of birth: November 8, 1919


15 August 2000