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USS Juneau found

Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by harolds, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Just saw a blurb in the USNI newsletter that said a research team, funded by billionaire Paul Allen, found the remains of the Juneau in the Solomon Island chain. It was sunk by IJN torpedoes in 1942. According to the article, only 10 survivors were found. This is when the five Sullivan brothers, all serving on the Juneau, were killed. Two American destroyers have been named for them. In a slight twist of fate, the wreck was found on St. Patrick's Day. The Sullivan Bros. and their sacrifice, became rallying point for Americans in early WW2.
     
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  2. WWII Pacific Grandpas

    WWII Pacific Grandpas New Member

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    I read a really good book on the the Juneau sinking: Left to Die: The Tragedy of the USS Juneau. The USS The Sullivans destroyer is moored in downtown Buffalo as part of the Buffalo Naval Park. It's a great tour alongside the USS Little Rock (Missile Cruiser) and USS Croaker (Submarine). P8240530-001.JPG P8240394.JPG
     
  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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  4. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    The Sullivans features a postwar armament modification with three twin 3"/50 caliber mounts replacing her 40mm guns and #3 5". A twin 3" is seen over the two aft 5" mounts, with the associated Mark 56 director above that. The other two 3" were sided amidships and would each have had a Mark 63 director. In the 1940s, the 3" was the smallest gun that could fire proximity-fused shells; this plus its greater range made it more effective than the 40mm against aircraft or missiles.

    3"/50 caliber guns were widely used in WWII, but the automatic version seen here was developed urgently in response to the kamikaze threat. It did not see war service but was widely used in the postwar period.

    The 40mm had only joined the fleet in 1942, and was highly effective against conventional air attack, but just a few years later it needed to be replaced.

    p.s. I've never liked The Sullivans as a name, just plain Sullivans would read better and still clearly refer to the Sullivan brothers in plural. But The Sullivans has been repeated in an Arleigh Burke class ship and will likely be with us longer than I will.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    In the movie "In Harm's Way" you get to see 3"/50's of the St. Paul that stands in for the "old swayback". Couldn't find that clip but here's on of the USS Salem's 3"/50's and her 8 inchers.

     
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  6. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    What they found, I imagine, was mostly the after part of the ship, the rest having been blown to fragments. Witnesses said the loss of the Juneau was one of the most shocking and sudden sinkings they ever saw. The blast was so powerful that few imagined there could be any survivors. That was an unfortunate assumption; for various reasons finding and saving those who did survive the explosion (more than was thought) was not a high priority. I believe the final tally of survivors was seventeen men. This is from Neptune's Inferno by James Hornfischer, a mainly good book periodically marred by bad writing.
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    bow and stern were found close together...The amidship section is what exploded. The debris field is estimated to be about a mile in diameter.

    Edit: Also, only 10 men survived the several days spent in the water, out of about 100 that survived the sinking.
     
  8. harolds

    harolds Member

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    According to some of those survivors, at least some of the Sullivan brothers got off the ship alive but perished later.
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    At least one did...Possibly a second who was mortally wounded.
     

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