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SPECIAL EVENT on Saturday, November 11, 2017: Honoring Veterans for Veterans Day. Operating 1500Z-2200Z around 7.240, 14.240 and 18.124.

For QSL card: Send card and #10 SASE

For Certificate & QSL: Send QSL, address label, and 3 Forever stamps

For eQSL & Certificate:Send eQSL, then email w0fsb (at) outlook (dot) com, requesting a certificate (if desired). We will email you a .jpeg file of the certificate that you can print yourself.


Our club president, Tom McNulty, KØEFV, passed away on November 29, 2012. We will all miss him.


Waterloo had a population of less than 50,000 in 1942. Among that number were eight members of the Sullivan family who lived at 98 Adams St. Thomas F. Sullivan, the head of the family, worked for the Illinois Central Railroad. He was named after his grandfather who was born in Ireland. Tom Sullivan married Alleta Abel in 1914 at St. Joseph’s Catholic church. As was typical of Irish-Catholic families of that generation, they lost no time in starting a large family. December 14, 1914 George Thomas---February 18, 1916 Francis Henry--- February 19, 1917 Genevieve Marie ---August 28, 1918 Joseph Eugene--- November 8, 1919 Madison Abel---July 8, 1922 Albert Leo April1, 1931----Kathleen Mae (Kathleen died of pneumonia five months later) The Sullivan family led lives much like other middle class families of the1920'and1930's. It was Depression time and Tom Sullivan was fortunate that he had a job. Not all of his children were able to finish high school. A few of the boys found it necessary to help out meeting the household expenses. The vacant lot next to their home provided space for various activities. Most of the family found work at the Rath meat packing plant. When the two oldest, George and Frank, returned home from a hitch in the Navy, all five Sullivan brothers were working together again, and enjoying their outdoor activities including hunting and fishing. The youngest, Albert was the first to get married. He and his wife Mary became parents when their son James Thomas, was born May11, 1940. The other brothers would probably have done the same, but World War II got in the way. When reports were received about the death of their friend, Bill Ball, who was on the battleship Arizona when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, they decided to enlist in the Navy. They did insist, however, that the Navy allow them to stay together throughout their service. Existing Navy regulations did not permit this, but after writing to Washington D.C., the Navy gave the necessary permission. On January3, 1942, less than a month after Pearl Harbor, they were sworn in at Des Moines, and left for Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Then on for advanced training at San Diego. They were then assigned to the newly commissioned cruiser The USS JUNEAU. A large U.S. Navy task force left New Caledonia on November 8, 1942 to bring reinforcements and supplies to the beleaguered Marines on Guadalcanal. At the same time the Japanese sent a contingent of their navy to resupply their army on the other side of the island. On November 12th the American ships and Marine aircraft destroyed an attacking Japanese group of aircraft. One of the U.S. ships involved in that action was the cruiser USS JUNEAU. On the evening of November 12th, air reconnaissance discovered the approach of the Japanese task force. It was considerably larger than the American force. The transports fled and the warships prepared for the coming battle. Despite having radar, the American ships almost collided with those of the enemy. The engagement began about 1:45 A.M. There was no moon that night and there was instant chaos as searchlights suddenly illuminated the two adversaries at close range to one another. All ships unleashed their barrage of heavy armaments at point blank range. Within thirty minutes the engagement was essentially over. The Japanese lost a battleship and two destroyers. Eight of the U.S. ships had been destroyed. Many men were lost including the task force commander, Rear Admiral Callaghan. The Juneau had just barely survived, having received a torpedo hit on it’s port side which left a gaping hole, and almost severed it’s keel. At daybreak the surviving American ships regrouped and headed back to their base in the New Hebrides. The Japanese submarine I-26 was lying in wait about halfway there, to intercept damaged American ships. The I-26 fired a spread of torpedoes. One of the torpedoes struck the Juneau on the port side near the storage area of it’s ammunition supply. The ship exploded immediately and virtually disintegrated. The explosion was so intense that some observers reported it was certain that all on board had perished. They were wrong, about a hundred crew members managed to survive the explosion and made it to life rafts or clung to debris. One of those was George Sullivan. A Flying Fortress was attracted to the area by the explosion and was asked to relay a distress signal to Adm, Halsey’s Headquarters. The message was sent but failed to get to the proper authorities. The remainder of the column, fearing the loss of additional ships, and uncertain of how many, or in fact if there were any survivors, continued on. Only ten of the crew members who survived the blast were rescued after some ten days of intense suffering. Many were badly burned and died a painful death. Others, including George Sullivan, succumbed to the intense heat, their wounds, hunger, thirst, or the ever present sharks in the area. Today some 60 years after the tragic loss of the USS Juneau, many conflicting articles, books, films, and other accounts of the rescue attempts are prevalent. In the case of the Juneau, there certainly was enough blame to go around, none of which will ever erase the anguish and pain endured by the survivors, and their families. On January 11, 1943, the Sullivans received the official report which declared all five of their sons to be missing in action. The family still had hope that somehow they had survived. However that possibility was lost on January 14,when they received a letter from one of the ten survivors of the Juneau, Lester Zook . He was a close friend of George, Sullivan and said that indeed all five brothers were lost. The family did not receive official Navy notification of the boys death until seven months later. A portion of the letter written by Lester Zook to the parents of the five Sullivan Brothers January 14, 1943: “First let me introduce myself, I was a sailor on the Juneau with your boys. George was a special friend of mine. All hope is gone of your boys being found alive. George got off the ship, as his battle station was on the depth charger, but he died on the life raft I was on. The other four boys went down with the ship so they did not suffer. It was a sad and pathetic sight to see George looking for his brothers but to no avail. George and I made several liberties together and we were always kidding about going back on the railroad after the war was over. I don’t know if this letter helps or hurts you, but it is the truth. I saw it I trust you to carry on in fine spirit. I truly hope your boys lives didn’t go to no avail. I will try to avenge them for you.”










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