The Rockland Civil War Round Table Will meet at:
7:30 PM at the Pirate Cove at Pearl River High School on Wednesday January 15, 2020.
Brothers in Arms: From the Bixbys to the Sullivans
The story of the USS Juneau (CL-52) “The Sullivan Brothers Ship”
by John Fiorella
Brothers in Arms: From the Bixbys to the Sullivans
The story of the USS Juneau (CL-52)
“The Sullivan Brothers Ship”
The USS Juneau (CL-52) was a United States Navy Atlanta-class light cruiser sunk at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal 13 November 1942. In total, 687 men, including the five Sullivan brothers, were killed in action as a result of its sinking.
The Sullivans enlisted in the US Navy on January 3, 1942, with the stipulation that they serve together. The Navy had a policy of separating siblings, but this was not strictly enforced. George and Frank had served in the Navy before, but their brothers had not. All five were assigned to the light cruiser USS Juneau.
Juneau participated in a number of naval engagements during the months-long Guadalcanal Campaign beginning in August 1942. Early in the morning of November 13, 1942, during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Juneau was struck by a Japanese torpedo and forced to withdraw. Later that day, as it was leaving the Solomon Islands' area for an Allied rear-area base with other surviving US warships from battle, the Juneau was struck again by a torpedo at or near the ammunition magazines and the ship exploded and quickly sank.
Security required that the Navy not reveal the loss of Juneau or the other ships so as not to provide information to the enemy. When letters from the Sullivan sons stopped arriving at the home, the parents grew worried, prompting Alleta Sullivan to write to the Bureau of Naval Personnel in January 1943. Their letter was answered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 13, 1943, who acknowledged that the Sullivans were missing in action. That morning, the boys' father, Tom, was preparing for work when three officers approached his door. "I have some news for you about your boys," the naval officer said. "Which one?" asked Tom. "I'm sorry," the officer replied. "All five." As a direct result of the Sullivans' the U.S. War Department adopted the Sole Survivor Policy.
The story is often compared to The Bixby letter: a brief, consoling message sent by President Abraham Lincoln in November 1864 to Lydia Parker Bixby, a widow living in Boston, Massachusetts, who was thought to have lost five sons in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
Learn the story of the Juneau and the Sullivan brothers and the military repercussions of their loss in this fascinating presentation by Jon Fiorella. With an ironic connection to the Civil War and a small departure from our usual Civil War topics, this ensures be an outstanding meeting, so bring your friends and family to the Pirate Cove at Pearl River HS on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 7:30 PM.
Jon Fiorella lives in Carmel, New York and taught science for 43 years at both the high school and college levels. Along the way he garnered five national awards related to his teaching. In retirement he likes to research topics in both science and history and then enjoys presenting them to interested audiences. Recently, Jon has presented in New York, New Jersey and Florida including at the New Jersey Maritime Museum and the West Point Museum.
The Rockland Civil War Round Table is a non-profit organization founded in 1995 by Ken Dudonis and John Speight, that serves Rockland and Westchester Counties in NY, and Northern New Jersey. We are dedicated to exploring, discussing, understanding and preserving the history of the American Civil War.
We usually meet on a Wednesday of each month at 7:30 PM, usually at Pearl River High School's Pirate Cove in Pearl River NY. Changes in the meeting location, time or date are announced in advance. We meet 11 times a year. Our July meeting is usually a local field trip.
We secured a $250,000 Grant from NY State to repair and restore every single NY State Monument at Gettysburg.
We have established a preservation fund and make regular donations to battlefield preservation groups and memorial associations.
We make at least one long field trip a year to a battlefield with a recognized expert as our guide. We visited Gettysburg National Military Park in 2013, Lee’s Retreat from Gettysburg, PA and MD in 2012, Richmond Battlefield, VA in 2011, the Booth Escape Route, DC and VA in 2010 and Manassas Battlefield, VA in 2009. We have adopted the 124th NY Monument at Gettysburg and make at least one trip a year to “clean up” that position. This trip usually occurs in early to mid October.
Past speakers have included: Edward G.J. Richter, Sheriff James Kralik, Steve Laird, Guy Demasi, Charles La Rocca, Steven Wright, Jay Jorgensen, Thomas Dyja, Mike McAffee, Peter Vermilyea, Joe Bilby and many others. They have covered such diverse topics as, The Wilderness, Arms and Weapons, Civil War Music and Photography, North Carolina Troops, Richmond, Civil War Medicine and the Lincoln Assasination.
Annual dues for an individual are $30.00. Family and Junior memberships are also available. You are cordially invited to attend a few meetings to see if our Round Table is right for you.
For more information call Paul Martin at 914-245-8903. Or CONTACT US:
or fill out the enclosed membership form and mail it to: Rockland CWRT PO Box 849 Pearl River, NY 10965.
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Current Officers: Paul R. Martin III, President Peter Reiner, 1st VP Terry Harper, Treasurer
If you have a presentation that you think would interest our members, please contact Paul Martin at 914-245-8903 or at our mailing address or email us.
The RCWRT is proud to offer a Program Meeting Schedule featuring top historians and authors!
ALL meetings will be held in the PRHS Pirate Cove at 7:30 PM.
Pearl River High School Pirate Cove. 275 East Central Ave, Pearl River, NY, 10965.
Monthly meetings are held at the Pirate Cove at Pearl River High School
275 East Central Ave. Pearl River, NY 10965
Rockland Civil War Round Table
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