On November 13, 1942, a violent explosion engulfed USS Juneau (CL-52) and the ship seemed to vanish from sight. Catastrophically hit by torpedoes from Japanese submarine I-26, the ship sank in less than a minute with most of its 693 crewmen onboard. About 115 Sailors survived the sinking, but only 10 were rescued after days at sea. The story of service and sacrifice of USS Juneau, particularly the loss of the five Sullivan brothers, had a powerful impact on the U.S. Navy and the nation as a whole, then and today. The discovery of the wreck on March 17, 2018 off the coast of the Solomon Islands has provided the Navy with an opportunity to corroborate the historical records and try to answer some of history’s lingering questions.
On Veterans Day – Friday, November 11, the Buffalo Naval & Military Park is honored to welcome Blair Atcheson to Buffalo to discuss the legacy and loss of USS Juneau. She is the Program Manager for the Naval History and Heritage Command’s (NHHC) Underwater Archaeology Branch, located in Washington, DC. NHHC is responsible for the management, research, preservation, and interpretation of the U.S. Navy’s sunken and terrestrial military craft. A collection that includes over 3,000 shipwrecks and 14,000 aircraft wrecks dispersed world-wide and which date from the American Revolution to the nuclear age. The study of USS Juneau fulfills the Underwater Archaeology Branch’s mission to interpret, manage, and protect the Navy’s shipwrecks, but also serves as a way to honor the service of the ship and crew.
The speaker series program will begin at 4:00 PM in the Buffalo Naval Park’s Hangar Building. It is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be available for purchase. Please register to reserve your seat.