Wreckage from WWII-era USS Juneau found

Wreckage from WWII-era USS Juneau found
U.S. Naval Historical Center via Wikimedia Commons
The five Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Iowa who died on the USS Juneau on Nov. 13, 1942.

Wreckage from the USS Juneau was found March 17 by an expedition backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

The Juneau, which was sunk by a Japanese torpedo during the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942, was found 4,200 meters below the surface off the coast of the Solomon Islands.

Allen’s team is on a mission to find and explore historic warships. Team members on the Research Vessel Petrel have located wreckage from several warships, including the USS Lexington (March 2018), USS Indianapolis (August 2017), USS Ward (November 2017), USS Astoria (February 2015), Japanese battleship Musashi (March 2015) and the Italian WWII destroyer Artigliere (March 2017). The team also retrieved the ship’s bell from the HMS Hood, according to a release from Allen.

The Juneau, an Atlanta-class light cruiser, was participating in delivery of reinforcements to Guadalcanal in November 1942, according to Stars and Stripes. When reports arrived of an oncoming Japanese naval force that included two battleships, an American attack group of cruisers and destroyers left Guadalcanal to engage them. The Juneau and the USS Atlanta sank an enemy destroyer, but the Juneau was forced to withdraw after being hit by a torpedo. Another Japanese submarine launched torpedoes at both the Juneau and the damaged USS San Francisco, hitting the Juneau.

The Juneau sank in 30 seconds. Although approximately 115 of Juneau’s crew reportedly survived the explosion, naval forces did not start rescue efforts for several days because of Japanese activity in the area, Stars and Stripes reported. All but 10 of the 687 men aboard died.

The sinking is perhaps most famous because five brothers — George, Frank, Joe, Matt and Al Sullivan of Waterloo, Iowa – were aboard and died. Although military policy was to avoid stationing family members in the same theater of war, the Sullivan brothers requested to serve together and an exception was made.