”Honor the Past; Deserve the Present“

Hugh Sullivan

Sergeant First Class, 322nd Field Signal Battalion, Co. C, Signal Corps (Unattached)
(April 7, 1887-January 25, 1935)

Contributor:  Faith Cramer

Background

  • Hugh Sullivan was born in Glendorado Township, Benton County, Minnesota; his birth name was Lewis Michael Lynch
    • He was the oldest of six children born to Peter Lynch, from Portland, Maine and Pauline Guerke, from Berlin, Germany
    • Hugh's mother died in at age 30 in 1897, at which time Hugh was ten years of age [Dennis Hansen and Brian White, "Hugh Bertrand Sullivan," TS, 2011, p. 1]
    • By 1913 Hugh became estranged from his father and left home
      • His father may have wanted Lewis to take over the family farm and take care of the elders and his spinster sister
  • In 1913 Hugh moved to San Francisco, California, by which time he was going by the name Hugh Sullivan
    • He may have adopted that name Hugh Sullivan from a classmate who lived near where he grew up [Dennis Hansen and Brian White, "Hugh Bertrand Sullivan," c1996, TS, p. 1]
    • In San Francisco he worked as a grocery store checker and lived in a boarding house

War

  • Sullivan registered for the draft on June 5, 1917
  • He enlisted in the Army on October 8, 1917
  • Assigned to 322nd Field Signal Battalion
    • His serial number was 2282616
    • The 322nd Field Signal Battalion was, according to The History of Chemical Warfare, involved in the Marne Sector defensive and offensive, about 45 miles northeast of Paris, July 15-August 13, 1918
  • Sullivan saw action in—
    The Marne sector defensive and offensive,
    the Champagne-Marne Defensive (July 15-July 18, 1918),
    the Aisne-Marne Offensive (July 18-August 6, 1918),
    Vesle Sector (August 6-August 13, 1918),
    Toul Sector (August 18-September 11, 1918),
    St. Mihiel Offensive (September 11-September 16, 1918),
    Meuse-Argonne Offensive (September 26-November 11, 1918)
    • Sullivan was mustard-gassed, though it is not known in which battle he was gassed or if he was hospitalized as a result. [Dennis Hansen and Brian White, "Hugh Bertrand Sullivan," c1996, TS, p. 1; Dennis Hansen, e-mail to Frank Mazzi, 3 May 2011]
  • Army of Occupation (November 12, 1918-July 20, 1919)
  • Sergeant First Class Hugh Sullivan was honorably discharged on September 3, 1919

Marriage

  • In San Francisco Sullivan met and married Loretta Byrne (1892-1984)
    • They were married at St. Raphael's Church in San Rafael, California, on April 8, 1920
    • Hugh and Loretta would have three children, twins Loreta Helen and Charles Hugh in 1922, and Jeanne Lucille in 1924
  • Hugh was employed as a motorman, streetcar operator, for United Railway, in San Francisco, California
    • Company address was 24th and Utah streets in San Francisco

Death

  • Due to exposure to gas during the war Sullivan suffered lung and breathing problems all his life following the war [Dennis Hansen and Brain White, "Hugh Bertrand Sullivan," c1996 TS, p.2]
    • He died of pneumonia at age 47 on January 25, 1935, and was buried at the Presidio of San Francisco Military Cemetery on January 28, 1935
    • Loretta then raised the three children on her own [Dennis Hansen, Notes for Faith Cramer, TS, 28 April 2011]
  • Hugh Sullivan's son Charles Sullivan, a WWII Marine Corps veteran who was wounded on Iwo Jima (he received a Purple Heart), died at age 51 in 1972 when, crossing a street in San Francisco, he was hit by a car [Dennis Hansen and Brian White, "Hugh Bertrand Sullivan," c1996, TS, p. 2; Dennis Hansen, interview by Frank Mazzi, 28 April 2011]
    • He is buried next to his father at the Presidio of San Francisco Military Cemetery
  • Hugh Sullivan's wife Loretta's ashes were interred with them when she died at age 92 in 1988
(rev.5.27.11)