Wreckage from the storied USS Juneau, which was sunk by a Japanese torpedo during World War II, was finally discovered on March 17th.

The vessel sunk on November 13th, 1942, a year after being commissioned, killing 687 men on board including the five Sullivan brothers.

The ship was attacked by a Japanese torpedo, which cut the vessel in half and caused it to sink in 30 seconds. 

The tragic incident caused the loss of all five Irish American Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Iowa. Despite the naval policy that prevented siblings from serving together, George, Frank, Joseph, Matt, and Albert refused to serve unless assigned to the same ship, so the policy was not enforced.

Hollywood later remembered them with “The Fighting Sullivans” and they were one of the inspirations for “Saving Private Ryan.”

Read more: Five brave Sullivan brothers died on this day in 1942

On March 17th, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen's expedition crew  eventually found the famous ship 4,200 meters below the surface. 

The crew of Research Vessel (R/D) Petrel located the Atlanta-class light cruiser resting on the floor of the South Pacific.

Announcing the news, director of subsea operations Robert Kraft stated, "We certainly didn't plan to find the Juneau on St. Patrick's Day, the variables of these searches are just too great. But finding the USS Juneau on Saint Patrick's Day is an unexpected coincidence that allows us to pay final respects to the Sullivan brothers and all the service members who were lost 76 years ago."

Vice Adm. Rich Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces, is the commanding officer of USS The Sullivans, pictured below, a ship named after the five brothers. 

USS The Sullivans

USS The Sullivans

"I had the opportunity to visit The Sullivans earlier this month and I can tell you the fighting spirit of the Sullivan brothers – George, Frank, Joe, Matt and Al – lives on through the fantastic crew that mans the ship today. The crew embodies the ship's motto, 'We Stick Together' each day," Brown said.

"My time on The Sullivans and the relationship I formed with the ship's sponsor, Kelly, the granddaughter of Albert, are some of my most cherished memories," he added.

Joseph, Francis, Albert, Madison, and George SullivanPublic Domaine