Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Sullivans and Bixbys

From February 4, 2012, Madison County (NY) Courier "Correcting the Record: The Sullivans and the Bixbys" by Hobie Morris.

A Civil War letter to Mrs. Bixby about her five killed sons is featured in the movie "Saving Private Ryan."

Bill Ball of Fredericksburg was a friend of the five Sullivan boys of Waterloo, Iowa, and was killed at Pearl Harbor.  All five:  Joseph, Francis, Albert, Madison and George, sons of Tom and Alleta, enlisted in the Navy together, insisting that they serve together.

This was not a policy of the Navy, but men were desperately needed, so they granted it.

On November 14, 1942, the Sullivan boys were on the light cruiser USS Juneau when it was torpedoed, broke in half and sank quickly.  Out of 700 men aboard, only ten survived.  Four of the Sullivans died quickly.  George, the oldest, died at sea four or five days later.

--GreGen

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