USS Juneau


Melissa E. Kalson

Hello everyone.. I just bought and am now reading a book on the tragic sinking of the U.S.S. Juneau in November of 1942. It was struck by a Japanese torpedoe and sank instantly. Has anyone else heard of this? What is so intriguing and I saw something sometime back on the History Channel about this (which is why I bought the book to delve further into this mystery) about the five brothers who were all lost on this ship. The Sullivan brothers and as I read this book I find that there was another whole family of brothers (the Rogers brothers). Can you imagine a multifamily tragedy such as this? I understand just from what I've read that the Navy had a policy against posting siblings together on one ship but the Sullivan family wrote to President Roosevelt and they were approved to join the same ship (the one and only U.S.S. Juneau). The brothers insisted on fighting together and if necessary, dying together which ultimately they did. This is truly a tragedy how the Navy could cover this up and abandon the survivors and leave them in the waters for close to a week. Out of 700 men only 140 survived the initial sinking and out of that only 10 men survived a week of hell in the ocean. Has anyone else heard or read anything about this and do you know if there are any websites about this?

fred pelka

Yes, I've heard of the Juneau. Back in the 1960s American Heritage Magazine (I think it was) published an encyclopedia of American history. The volume on World War II had a section in the back about the Juneau, written by one of the survivors.

There are a lot of myths about the Sullivan brothers and the supposed navy policy that came out of their loss. I think part of this may be due to this Hollywood movie about them, released I think during the war, called "The Fighting Sullivans" or something like that. Very long on patriotism, very very short on actual history.

One web site you might want to check out is This is the history website of the U.S. Navy Department. This site has a specific page about the Juneau and also another page about the Sullivans. I tried providing the link to those particular pages but for some reason it doesn't work. But if you go to the general page, and then type in either USS Juneau or Sullivans into the search, it should get you to where you want to go.

Hope this is helpful.


Similar threads

Similar threads