Black Hawk County

Genevieve Marie Sullivan

 

 

 

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, March 28, 1943 (photograph only)

6th Sullivan Takes Oath of Brothers

San Francisco, (U.P.)—Slender, blue-eyed Genevieve Marie Sullivan, 26, whose five sailor brothers were lost with the cruiser Juneau, was in the WAVES Wednesday.  She took the same oath to which her five brothers had sworn.

“I welcome you into the service of your country,” Capt. C. L. Arnold told her after he administered the oath last night.

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sullivan of Waterloo were not present when their sixth and sole surviving child was sworn into the WAVES as an apprentice seaman.

“They said if that was what I wanted, it was all right with them,” Miss Sullivan said.

After the ceremony Tuesday night, the sister of the Sullivans donned a trim WAVE uniform.  The suit jacket, size 10, fits perfectly.  She arranged her thick, black hair to fit under a perky new WAVE hat, because regulations forbid a WAVE’s hair to hang down on the collar of her uniform.

There will be no Sullivan children at the Waterloo home, where “Dad” Sullivan is often absent because of his work as a railroader.

“Mother and Dad will miss me, since I was the only girl in the family, but I think they are proud that I am going into the service of my country,” Miss Sullivan said.

As a WAVE, the sister of the Sullivans will be assigned to noncombat naval duty, freeing a man for active service.  She said she expected to go on tour of war plants with her mother and father for a month before taking her post.

The Sullivans came here Thursday to officiate at the launching of the memorial destroyer named for the five boys—“The Sullivans,” which was launched Sunday.

Source:  Mason City Globe Gazette, April 7, 1943

Another Chapter in Drama of Sullivans
Ends as Genevieve Comes Home

 

Back home after serving 21 months in the service of the WAVES, Miss Genevieve Sullivan is shown above in civilian dress at the family
hearth of the residence of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. T. F. Sullivan, 98 Adams street. A photograph of Genevieve and her fiancé,
Carlton F. McCauley, navy storekeeper second class, son of Mr. and  Mrs. R. J. McCauley of Newport, R. I., stands on the mantelpiece at the right. Small figure images of Genevieve's five brothers, who gave their lives in the service of the navy, are shown beneath their photograph. The figures were presented by navy officials.

By Francis C. Veach
Courier Staff Writer

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Sullivan, 98 Adams street, who gave five sons in defense of their country, Saturday had their only surviving child, Miss Genevieve Sullivan, back home with them again, after Genevieve had carried on in the navy tradition of the family by serving 21 months in the WAVES.

The navy has granted Genevieve an honorable discharge from the service under the recent law that permits the last surviving child to be returned from the service to parents who have lost the rest of their children in the nation’s armed forces.

Genevieve, who has been engaged in recruiting work for the WAVES and has led war bond drives, said:

“It seems wonderful to be home, but I did hate to give up my uniform. The navy officials thought that I should take advantage of the new law and get my honorable discharge as I am needed at home now and my health has not been so good lately.”

After word had been received that her five brothers were missing in action aboard the Juneau in the battle of Guadalcanal, Genevieve determined to carry on in the navy for their sake and joined the WAVES Apr. 6, 1943.

It was in January of 1943 that the fateful work came to the Sullivan home that the five sons had been missing since Nov. 13, 1942. A telegram received from the late Secretary of Navy, Frank Knox, on Aug. 6, 1943, officially listed the boys as killed by enemy action.

Thus with the retirement of Genevieve ends another chapter in one of the great human dramas of the war.

The Sullivans will become a great American tradition. Genevieve is one of that family, and so the nation followed her life with interest.

She received her WAVE training at Hunter college in New York City, and was later stationed in Chicago as a specialist recruiter second class. She continued in recruiting work until WAVE recruiting was discontinued recently. For the last month of her service in the WAVES she served as a yeoman in secretarial work for the WAVES at Seattle, Wash.

The navy tradition of the Sullivans goes back to the great-uncle of Genevieve – Albert McGuire, brother of Genevieve’s maternal grand mother, Mrs. Grace Able.

At the Sullivan home, Genevieve with her parents and grandmother, showed a picture of the great-uncle Albert as he was when he enlisted in the navy in 1900. A veteran of World war I, he rejoined the service in the merchant marine at the outbreak of World war II.

Patrick Sullivan, an uncle of the Sullivan brothers and Genevieve, is also in the navy. He served in World war I and re-entered after Pearl Harbor.

During her WAVE service the little sister of the Sullivans had been active. While at Seattle, she led a bond drive which raised $150,000 [Page 17] from 1,000 members of the navy.

She was on the west coast when 1,500 veterans of the battle of the Philippines came ashore.

“There was one boy who had lot both eyes,” Genevieve recalled. “He said he could not see me but he could judge from my voice how I looked. Then he smiled and wished me a Marry Christmas. Another boy, who had lost one arm, extended his only good arm to shake hands. It made me feel that I had been a part of the war to see all of those wounded, still it made me realize what a small part we who are not in combat are doing.”

Genevieve said that they had a cake for her at a farewell party at the WAVE center at Seattle. On the cake was embossed, “Goodby to Sully.”

“I didn’t realize how much I’d miss them until I came to say goodbye. There were come tears. My service in the WAVES has been a wonderful experience, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but it is good to be home,” she said.

Miss Sullivan is engaged to be married to Carleton F. McCauley, navy storekeeper second class, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. J. McCauley of Newport, R. I.

“We can’t announce the date because it is not certain when he can be home from duty aboard an aircraft carrier now in the Atlantic area,” she said.

Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan have been receiving numerous gifts from well wishers throughout the world, but their best gift was to have their daughter, only surviving one of six children, back home again.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, Sunday, December 31, 1944 (photograph included)