They were known as the Fighting Sullivans, and were by far America's most famous sailors. The destruction of their ship in 1942, however, turned this story of national heroism to one of deep tragedy. On November 13, 1942, all five Sullivan brothers were serving aboard the USS Juneau when a Japanese torpedo struck the ship. Four hundred men died instantly, and another 150 floated helplessly in shark-infested waters. When rescue arrived, only 10 men survived none named Sullivan. HISTORY'S MYSTERIES traces the story of the Sullivan brothers, revealing how they ended up serving together despite the Navy's policy of separating family members and investigating the essential question: Could their deaths have been avoided? From the forging of their deep fraternal bond to their ultimately tragic end, THE TRUE STORY OF THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS chronicles the story of five brothers who sacrificed everything to remain united.
This episode of the History channel's HISTORY'S MYSTERIES series revisits the story of the Fighting Sullivans, five brothers who were simultaneously killed when their navy ship was torpedoed by the Japanese during World War II. The tragic incident prompted the U.S. military to create the Sole Survivor Policy (which limited the number of siblings in active combat duty) and partly inspired the film SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.
The death of five brothers who symbolized America's commitment to winning the war was one of the most painful, personal tragedies of WWII