The USS Juneau (CL-52) was a United States Navy Atlanta-class light cruiser that was sunk by enemy action at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942. A total of 687 men, including the five Sullivan brothers, were killed. Because of the explosion, how fast the ship sank, and the delay in rescuing the survivors, only 10 men ultimately survived.

The Juneau was launched on October 25, 1941, and commissioned on February 14, 1942, with Captain Lyman K. Swenson in command, two months after the U.S. entered WWII following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

After a quick shakedown cruise, the Juneau served in the Atlantic. She was part of the naval patrols blocking the escape of Vichy French units off the Martinique and Guadeloupe Islands. 

USS Juneau during WWII

After returning to New York to complete alterations and conducting a further operation in the North Atlantic and the Caribbean until mid-August, the Juneau was ordered to the Pacific Theater. It departed on August 22. 

Juneau was escorting the aircraft carrier Wasp that was ferrying fighter aircraft to the ongoing battle at Guadalcanal. The Wasp was sunk on September 15 after taking three torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-19. After helping rescue nearly 2,000 survivors from the Wasp, Juneau was assigned to Task Force 17 (TF-17) with the aircraft carrier Hornet. There, the Juneau took part in three separate actions that blocked the Japanese from reinforcing their troops at Guadalcanal

During the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands on October 26, Juneau and other escort ships of the Hornet shot down 20 Japanese aircraft that were approaching the carrier. Despite this, the Hornet was badly damaged in the battle and sunk the next day. 

On the 27th, the Japanese launched another large raid on the carrier USS Enterprise. The Juneau and other escorts shot down another 18 Japanese planes. During that action, American carrier planes badly damaged two Japanese carriers, CVL Zuihō and CV Shōkaku. Though very costly in terms of ship and personnel losses, the battles stopped the Japanese from reinforcing the Solomons and would eventually lead to the American victory at Guadalcanal. 

During an operation to resupply Guadalcanal, Juneau was escorting transports when the convoy was attacked by 30 Japanese aircraft. All but one of the attackers were shot down by the American ships and aircraft that arrived from Guadalcanal.