Black Hawk County

The Sullivans




New Destroyer The Sullivans
Puts to Sea in Pacific Area

Aboard Carrier Flagship, Central Pacific, March 17 – (Delayed) – (AP) – All the Irish in San Francisco wept at her christening, and all the Irish in the land sent their blessings with her as the Destroyer The Sullivans put to sea. And now the admiral has added his.

Named for the 5 Sullivan brothers of Waterloo, Iowa, who went down with the cruiser Juneau, The Sullivans received this blinker message from Rear Adm. A. E. Montgomery, aboard this carrier flagship:

“On her first St. Patrick’s day in the fleet, the task group commander sends greetings.”

Responded the skipper, Cmdr. Kenneth M. Gentry:

“We hope that we may have some results worthy of our Irish names to celebrate by this time next year.”

He wasn’t fooling about the Irish names either. There are approximately 30 Sullivans aboard.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Wednesday, April 05, 1944, Page 4


Destroyer Named for Iowa Boys Aids in Rescue
By Philip Reed

Aboard Carrier Flagship off Saipan – (Delayed) – (INS) – The Sullivans, hard-punching destroyer named to avenge the five brothers who went down on the cruiser Juneau, ironically got its first real taste of war – by saving the lives of 30 Japanese.

The Sullivans was part of a task group that rescued survivors from a Jap cargo vessel.

Among those picked up were a number of passengers being returned to Japan. They had been reshipped from Saipan after their own vessels were torpedoed and sunk in recent weeks.

Leaves Trail

The single stack cargo carrier sent to the bottom by planes from this carrier force left a cluttered trail behind. Thousands of empty oil drums had been stored on deck. For more than an hour the ships plowed through an immense area dotted so thickly with bobbing drums that they bumped and crunched alongside despite efforts to maneuver around them.

Carried away faster in the current than the ship’s human cargo, the field of debris proved to be an advance guard for the throng of survivors, who had slowed down their own progress by vainly trying to paddle back to land.

Destroyers Sent

Two destroyers were immediately detached to save the motley Sullivans drew alongside this carrier with 30 bedraggled figures squatting on deck and plainly relishing the warmth of the morning sun.

Sporting green shamrocks on its forward funnel and on the bows of its lifeboats, the distinguished destroyer sent a number of its charges aboard here by breeches buoy to relieve the burden of its own limited food supply. Among those sent over were several in stretchers, so seriously hurt that they required more extensive medical care than the smaller warship could provide.

Given First Aid

A number of those remaining on The Sullivans wore bandages or patches of mercurochrome showing that their minor hurts had already been attended to. They smoked American cigarets (sic) or munched apples or candy bars, gifts from the crew.

I thought of the care and attention they were receiving; of the unstinting efforts being made even then in the sick bay to alleviate the suffering of the seriously injured. I wonder how many survivors of the Juneau the Japs had bothered to pick up and what kind of treatment they got if they were saved.

Source: The Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, Sunday, August 06, 1944