Thursday, April 17, 2008

Information Needed on Bridgewater Sailors

On February 14, 1942 the crew of the light cruiser USS Juneau stood tall and proud as their ship was commissioned in a ceremony held at the New York Navy Yard. Members of the commissioning crew included the five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo, Iowa: Albert, Francis, George, Joseph and Madison.

The brothers, whose motto was “We Stick Together,” stipulated as a condition of their enlistment that they be allowed to serve aboard the same ship. Despite accepted Navy policy, which discouraged but did not forbid family members from serving together, their request was approved.

After Juneau’s Atlantic christening, the cruiser was assigned to the South Pacific. On 13 November 1942, the Juneau participated in an intense naval battle near Guadalcanal. One torpedo launched from Japanese submarine I-26 scored a direct hit on Juneau’s magazine. The resulting explosion cut the cruiser in half. Juneau sank within minutes, taking many of the trapped crew to watery deaths.

Survivor accounts indicated four of the Sullivan brother died in the initial explosion, while the fifth, George, survived the attack but died in the water five days later.

Two Bridgewater sailors, brothers John Manley Pierpont, age 23, and Robert Atwill Pierpont, age 24, were killed aboard a warship, name unknown, in the Pacific Theater of Operations, on 12 July 1945. They resided at 1163 Summer Street and were the sons of Myron Atwill and Helen Pierpont.

I have no other information. I would appreciate any information that you might have so that their sacrifice can be properly noted and preserved for future generations.

RODERICK K. WALSH

Director, Veterans’ Services

(508) 697-0908

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