John Sullivan – United States Navy

John Sullivan of Clifton, Virignia, formerly of Charles City, Iowa, died at his home in Clifton on Thursday, May 22, 2003 after a long illness. He was 77.


Miles “Bud” Sullivan was born in Charles City on November 7, 1925, the son of Frank and Kathryn Sullivan. He and the former Mavis Jung of Charles City were married at St. John Lutheran Church in Charles City on March 14, 1948.

On June 1, 1943, less than a month following his graduation from Charles City High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Upon completion of his training, he was assigned as a bombardier aboard a Navy Liberator. Late in 1945 the bomber was shot down near the Philippine Islands by Japanese fighters. Sullivan and six crewmates were rescued by Filipino fishermen and treated for their injuries. After recuperating for several days, he and a crewmate traveled by sailboat, horse-cart, landing craft and Jeep to reach Allied lines and help arrange for rescuing the balance of the crew. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions.

Upon his discharge from the Navy in Minneapolis on November 18, 1945, he enrolled at the University of Iowa where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering and a commission as First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After graduation, he worked first at the Oliver Corporation in Charles City and later with Trane Corporation in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. In 58, Sullivan accepted a post with the United States Agency for International Development in New Delhi, India. The Sullivan family lived in India until 1962 at which time Sullivan was transferred to Karachi, Pakistan, where he remained until 1965. In 1966, he accepted a temporary assignment with USAID in Dacca, East Pakistan, then transferred from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce where he remained until his retirement in 1981 as Chief of Loan Adminisstration for the Economic Development Administration.

Survining, in addition to Mavis, his wife of 55 years, are sons, Michael (Dora) of Cape Charles, Virginia, Daniel Jennifer) of Mojave Valley, Arizona, Steven (Cynthia) of King George, Virignia; daughter Kathryn of Fredericksburg, Virginia; 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Also surviving are a brother, Ken Sullivan of Swisher, Iowa and his mother-in-law, Mabel Hansen of Charles City.

Burial at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Memorial contributions in Miles’ name may be made to the Burke, Virginia, Fire and Rescue Service in acknowledgement of assistance provided during his illness. The donations may be sent directly to the Firefighters Fund of Fairfax, P.O. Box 401, Fairfax, Virginia 22030-0401.

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment