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Sullivan Memorial Park


Fourth and Adams Street

Sullivan Memorial Park honors five brothers whose story was among the most tragic of World War II.

The Sullivan brothers, George, Francis, Eugene, Madison and Albert, were the sons of Thomas and Aleta Sullivan of Waterloo. The brothers ranged in age from 20 to 29 when they enlisted in the U.S. Navy after learning of the death of a good friend at Pearl Harbor. At their request, the five were assigned to the same ship, the cruiser Juneau. This was against Navy policy, but the Sullivan’s' request was granted.

The Japanese sank the Juneau in November 1942 during the battle for the Solomon Islands. Four of the brothers went down with their ship: The fifth, George, was badly wounded. He made it to a life raft but died before the Juneau's survivors were rescued.

This was the greatest sacrifice by any one American family during World War II. The Navy later named a destroyer for the Sullivan’s, and a movie was made about them and the Five Sullivan Brother's Convention Center has been dedicated to them. Sullivan Memorial Park is located in the neighborhood where the brothers grew up.

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Last updated Wednesday, June 23, 2004

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