Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lost And Found Sound: The Sullivan Brothers

video
One of the greatest tragedies of WW2.
audio is from lost and found sound
www.npr.org/programs/lnfsound/stories/991224.stories.html
from wikipedia "On 8 November the USS Juneau departed Nouméa, New Caledonia, as a unit of Task Force 67 under the command of Rear Admiral R. K. Turner to escort reinforcements to Guadalcanal. The force arrived there early morning 12 November, and Juneau took up her station in the protective screen around the transports and cargo vessels. Unloading proceeded unmolested until 1405 when 30 Japanese planes attacked the alerted United States group. The AA fire was effective, and Juneau alone accounted for six enemy torpedo planes shot down. The few remaining attackers were then attacked by American fighters; only one bomber escaped.
Later in the day an American attack group of cruisers and destroyers cleared Guadalcanal on reports that a large enemy surface force was headed for the island. At 0148 on 13 November Rear Admiral D. J. Callaghan's relatively small Landing Support Group engaged the enemy. The Japanese force consisted of two battleships, one light cruiser, and nine destroyers.
Due to bad weather and confused communications, the battle occurred in close to pitch darkness and at almost point-blank range as the ships of the two sides intermingled with each other. During the melee, Juneau was struck on the port side by a torpedo causing a severe list, stopping her dead in the water, and necessitating withdrawal. Before noon 13 November, Juneau, along with two other cruisers damaged in the battle- Helena, and San Francisco, left the Guadalcanal area to return to Espiritu Santo for repairs. Juneau was steaming on one screw, keeping station 800 yards on the starboard quarter of the likewise severely damaged San Francisco (CA-38). She was down 12 feet by the bow, but able to maintain 13 knots. A few minutes after 1100 three torpedoes were launched from the B1 type submarine I-26. Juneau successfully avoided two, but the third struck her at the same point which had been damaged during the surface action. There was a great explosion; Juneau broke in two and disappeared in 20 seconds. Fearing more attacks from the I-26, the Helena and San Francisco continued-on without attempting to rescue survivors. Although the ship went down with heavy loss of life, more than 100 survivors had survived the sinking. They were left to fend on their own in the open ocean for eight days before rescue aircraft belatedly arrived. While awaiting rescue, all but 10 died from the elements and savage shark attacks, including Captain Swenson and the two remaining Sullivan brothers. (The other three died as a direct result of the 2nd torpedo.)

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