WW II Five Sullivan Brothers Navy Recruiting Poster
The five Sullivan brothers -- George, Francis, Joseph, Madison and Albert of Waterloo, IA -- enlisted together in the U.S. Navy to avenge the death of a friend killed on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. After training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, they won approval to serve on the same ship (against normal procedure) and were assigned to USS Juneau. Less than a year later, 13 November 1942, they were lost at sea when Juneau was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine during the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
Their deaths shook the nation and attracted international support for the parents. A 1944 movie, The Fighting Sullivans
, told their story.and led to changes in military regulations to keep such a thing from ever happening again. Almost 60 years later they inspired another story: Saving Private Ryan
In April 1943, the boys' courage and dedication was honored by the Navy with the launching of the destroyer USS The Sullivans (DD 537) -- christened by the boys' mother -- which served during the rest of World War II and in Korea before she was decomissioned. She continues to serve as a Naval museum moored at Naval Park in Buffalo, NY.
The story goes on: a new USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) was commissioned in 1997, the eighteenth Arleigh Burke class Aegis destroyer stuffed full of the latest electronics and weapons systems.
This February 1943 poster was distributed by the Office of War Information (OWI) to auditoriums, ballrooms, bars and taverns, bowling alleys, bus terminals, colleges, chambers of commerce, government buildings. The original came in two sizes: 22 inches x 28 inches and 28 inches x 40 inches, printed in red, white, and blue.
For more information, see The Five Sullivan Brothers in the Olive-Drab.com WW II War Stories