A deep-sea discovery is providing answers to a more than 75 year old mystery about the final resting place of Iowa’s Five Sullivan Brothers.
The wreckage of the USS Juneau, the U.S. Navy warship on which all Five Sullivan Brothers served and died, has been found in the South Pacific Ocean.
KWWL reports the Five Sullivan Brothers, of Waterloo, enlisted together to serve their country following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The brothers requesting to serve on the same ship following their motto, "We Stick Together."
Less than a year later, the brothers and nearly 700 fellow sailors went down with the USS Juneau on November 13, 1942.
The ship lost until Saturday when it was discovered near the Solomon Islands.
"It is a remarkable discovery. It is a ship people have been looking for for a long time," said Sam LaGrone, the editor of the U.S. Naval Institute News.
LaGrone says the discovery made by a team privately funded by Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen came as the third surprise from the team within a year.
"The fact that you were able to find this ship and the fact that you found the USS Lexington and the USS Indianapolis; all of these historic ships, found by just one crew in a short amount of time is revelatory," said LaGrone. "It is a banner day for oceanography and for people just getting up and doing it themselves because these ships have been missing for almost 80 years."
Resting nearly three miles down in the dark cold waters of the Pacific, the USS Juneau is likely virtually untouched by the elements.
"From some of the stuff we have seen from the Lexington and the Indianapolis these ships tend to be really well preserved. You can see original paint from almost 80 years ago that is still on the hull. You can see panes of glass from the aircraft. Aside from their very violent entrance into the bottom of the ocean, these ships are collectively pretty well preserved."
The USS Juneau will likely remain untouched as a place of rest for so many sailors, including the Sullivan Brothers.
The discovery team will notify the U.S. Navy with the exact location, but the coordinates for shipwrecks like this are rarely released to the public.
The only granddaughter of the brothers, Kelly Sullivan, released this statement on Monday.
"The Sullivan family is thinking and praying for all of the families of all who lost loved ones on USS JUNEAU. It's poignant that they discovered it on the 75th anniversary year of the loss of the ship and also on St. Patrick's Day. The luck of the Irish was with their crew on discovery day!" -Kelly Sullivan
Last November, the 75th anniversary was recognized by the U.S. Navy with a ceremony on the USS The Sullivans, which is named in honor of the five brothers.