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RIP Captain James L. Sullivan, Jr., 1925-2014


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Shipmates, it is with profound sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Captain James L. Sullivan, Jr., 1925-2014.

This is a photo of my late father upon commissioning as a lieutenant, junior grade, in the United States Maritime Service, April 1947.

In early 1944, after graduating high school early, my father reported to the United States Merchant Marine Academy's Pass Christian, MS, campus for training as a deck officer. That spring and summer Midshipman Sullivan made several cruises aboard cargo vessels.

Later that year, the academy decided to eliminate sea time for cadets. Concerned he would miss the war, my father resigned from the academy and signed on aboard a Liberty Ship as an ordinary seaman. During combat he crewed one of the ship's 20 mm antiaircraft guns, serving in the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific.

After the war, he completed his training in New London, CT, earning his unrestricted master's license by the mid-1950s. Captain Sullivan's career at sea spanned some forty years, encompassing the Second World War, conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, the entire Cold War, and three shipwrecks. He passed away peacefully on August 6, 2014, at the age of eighty-eight, and was buried with full military honors.

My father was a mariner, a warrior, an adventurer, a witty raconteur, an accomplished musician, a keen dancer, and a devoted husband (my late mother was a Radio City Music Hall Rockette). More than anything, he was a kind, generous, loving father.

Bravo Zulu, Pop. Fair winds and following seas.

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Fair winds and following seas, Sir! :icon_salute3: Would that many more men had turned out like you. My condolences to you and the family, Joker. That smile will be waiting for you some day.

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