Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum
Backstory and Context
For more than 150 years, Iowans have stepped forward to take an oath to preserve the union, safeguard democracy and defend against terrorism in times of peace and war. Iowans gave this service in numbers proportionally larger than most states and without the expectation of fame and fortune, a tradition that continues to this day. The $11 million museum opened in November 2008. It is funded, in part, by people just like the citizen soldiers it recognizes.
The five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo, Iowa were serving together aboard the light cruiser USS Juneau. On Friday, November 13, 1942, the Juneau along with a number of other U.S. warships, became involved in a series of fierce day and night actions with Japanese warships in the battle for Guadalcanal. In one of those battles, the USS Junea was crippled by a torpedo blast. While heading to a naval base for repairs, a Japanese submarine fired a torpedo into the Juneau, causing her to sink in a matter of seconds. Four of the Sullivan brothers went down with the ship; one brother, George, survived but was then lost at sea. The Sullivan brothers are part of Waterloo's and the nation's history.