On March 17, the expedition crew of Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen’s research vessel Petrel found the wreckage of the USS Juneau, a World War II cruiser sunk by a Japanese torpedo during the Battle of Guadalcanal in November 1942, less than a year after the ship had been commissioned, according to a story on Allen’s website.
Among the 687 men killed were all five brothers of the Sullivan family of Waterloo, Iowa. They had refused to serve unless assigned to the same ship, so the naval policy preventing siblings from serving in the same unit was overlooked.
“We certainly didn’t plan to find the Juneau on St. Patrick’s Day; the variables of these searches are just too great,” Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Paul Allen, stated. “But finding the USS Juneau on St. Patrick’s Day is an unexpected coincidence to the Sullivan brothers and all the service members who were lost 76 years ago.”
The Juneau was found about 2.6 miles (4,200m) down, resting on the floor of the South Pacific off the coast of the Solomon Islands, according to the website. Allen’s 250-foot R/V Petrel is fitted with state-of-the-art subsea equipment capable of diving to 3.5 miles (6,000m).