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Coffee & Collections: Searching For Silver

November 2016

USS JUNEAU CL-52 silver cup, L2015.02.002.

In 1938 President Roosevelt selected the Territorial Capital of Alaska to be the 2nd ship of a new class of cruisers. When contacted by the US Navy requesting sponsorship, Mrs. Ina Lucas, wife of Juneau Mayor Harry Lucas, accepted. A gift of silver from the namesake city is part of long standing naval tradition. On February 14, 1942, Mr. & Mrs. Lucas traveled to New York and met the Captain & crew of the USS JUNEAU CL-52 and presented a silver set consisting of a serving tray, punch bowl, ladle, cups, and candlesticks to the ship. Shortly after commissioning, with WWII raging, the ship was “stripped down” and readied for battle service. Her silver and all other non-essential items were placed in storage. The USS JUNEAU was sunk at the Battle of Guadalcanal on November 13th, 1942. All but 10 of her crew perished. On impact, 547 men died within 20 seconds including 3 of the 5 Sullivan brothers, leaving 150 in the water awaiting rescue. Donna Hurley, current President and 15 year member of the Mendenhall Flying Lions will discuss the history of the USS JUNEAU CL-52 Presentation Silver now on loan to the City Museum and her 31 year journey to bring it home. This event is free to the public and coffee will be provided courtesy of Heritage Coffee Company.

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