Senator Charles Schumer beside the listing and sinking USS The Sullivans

Hibernians, Schumer, Rush to Save Ship

In response to news that the USS The Sullivans is taking water and sinking at the the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, where it has been on display as a museum, the New York Ancient Order of Hibernians have launched a fund raising drive to help save the ship.  

And New York Senator Charles Schumer is pledging to do all he can to save the iconic World War two destroyer that has long been a symbol of Irish American duty and service to the United States.

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The Sullivans is a decommissioned World War II Fletcher Class destroyer dedicated to the five Irish American Sullivan Brothers from Iowa who lost their lives while serving in the Pacific. It was the greatest loss suffered by any one family in the war.

The AOH statement reads: "The New York State Ancient Order of Hibernians is shocked by the images published of the decommissioned USS The Sullivans sinking at Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.  

"The pictures of the decks of this proud vessel, which earned nine battle stars in World War II and two more during the Korean War, being awash with the American flag just barely above water is heartbreaking. To think that this vessel that survived the major battles of the Pacific in WW II should now sink in New York due to neglect is inconceivable."

Continued the statement: "While the Sullivans should hold a position of respect for all Americans, it has a special place in the hearts of Irish Americans. The Sullivans was the first ship in the United States Navy to be commissioned in honor of more than one person.  

"It commemorates the service and sacrifice of the five Irish American Sullivan brothers who refused to be separated on volunteering to serve in WW II, stating, 'We stick together.'  They served together on the USS Juneau until she was sunk during the battle of Guadalcanal, resulting in the death of all five brothers. The Sullivan family sustained the most extensive loss in combat by any one American family during the war. The Sullivan brothers are symbolic of the best traditions of service to family and nation that have been the hallmark of Irish Americans.

"It is reported that it has been known since 2018 that The Sullivans needed repair to its hull due to its age and the effects of winter conditions at its mooring place in Buffalo, NY.  We are grateful for the hard-working volunteers, including our own brothers of AOH Division 1 in Buffalo, who have raised private funds to restore the Sullivans, and to Congressman Brian Higgins, who announced just ten days ago that he had secured a federal grant of $490,000 in federal funding to support the needed repairs.

"Yet, at the same time as Americans and Hibernians, we have to ask how this sinking of the USS Sullivans was permitted to happen?  

"The ship has been designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. As a national landmark dedicated not only to the five Sullivan brothers but to the countless sailors who served heroically on The Sullivans for over twenty-three years, how can we so fail in our duty of remembrance and have reached this point of crisis for a problem that has been known for four years?    

"The loss of The Sullivans is not an issue confined to Buffalo or New York; it is a debt of gratitude owed by all Americans. The apparent broader reluctance to pay this debt should raise questions about our society’s priorities.   

"The emblem of The Sullivans featured the shamrock and the motto of the Sullivan brothers, 'We stick together.'  It is time for us as Hibernians and Irish Americans to 'stick together' and ensure that this important piece of American history is not lost.    

"We are reminded that recently neglect and lack of funding claimed the USS Barry, named for Wexford immigrant John Barry, the first officer of the United States Navy, which was deemed irreparable and recently scrapped.  

"We cannot let such apathy claim The Sullivans. The New York State Ancient Order of Hibernians is launching a fundraising campaign to ensure that the memory of the sacrifice of the Sullivan brothers is not claimed by tide and apathy."

The link for donations is