May 27, 1940-The keel of the Juneau is laid down in the Federal Shipbuilding yards in Kearny, New Jersey.
October 25, 1941-The Juneau is launched.
February 14, 1942-The Juneau is commissioned, and embarks on a brief shakedown cruise along the Atlantic coast throughout the spring of that year.
May 1942-The Juneau takes part in blockaed partrol off of Martinique and Guadaloupe Islands to prevent French Vichy forces from escaping. The ship then returned to New York to complete some minor changes to the ship.
June 1 through August 12, 1942-The Juneau takes part in patrol and escort duties in the Caribbean the area of the North Atlantic.
August 22, 1942-The Juneau is ordered to report for duty in the Pacific theater.
September 10, 1942-The Juneau joins up with Task Force 18 after several short stops in New Caledonia and the Tonga Islands. Task Force 18 and Task Force 17, which included the Hornet, combined to form Task Force 61, where the force was assigned to transport fighters to Guadalcanal.
September 15, 1942-The Wasp was attacked by I-19, and the Juneau, along with the escorting destroyers, picked up survivors while the destroyer Lansdowne torpedoed the crippled carrier to keep it from enemy hands.
September 16, 1942-The Juneau returns the survivors to Espiritu Santo, then returned to join Task Force 17.
October 24, 1942-Juneau along with the USS Hornet, joined up with the task force under the command of Rear Admiral Thomas Kinkaid, and the USS Hornet, along with Admiral Kinkaid's Enterprise force, moved to the north of Santa Cruz Island to ambush any Japanese ships spotted, especially those headed for the island of Guadalcanal.
October 26, 1942-The Juneau takes part in the Battle of Santa Cruz. Juneau and the rest of the Hornet's defense screen put up heavy anti-aircraft fire, shooting down most of the enemy planes. However, 7 of the 20 aircraft got through and managed to heavily damage the USS Hornet. While destroyers attempted to scuttle the damaged ship, the Juneau headed off to defend the Enterprise task force.
November 8, 1942-The Juneau leaves New Caledonia with Task Force 67 for Guadalcanal. Japanese air attacks began around 2:00 pm, when 30 torpedo bombers attacked the group. The group of ships managed to put up an impressive anti-aircraft barrage, shooting down all except for one of the aircraft. Later that day, the Juneau learns of an approaching Japanese task force that is headed for Guadalcanal.
November 13, 1942-At almost 2:00 am, the Juneau engaged the Japanese force in the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. The Juneau and Atlanta joined up to sink a Japanese destroyer early on in the fight, and fired at several other ships before the Juneau was heavily damaged by a torpedo hit on the port side. The Juneau limped away from the battle. At 11:00 am, the Juneau was struck again in the same spot as before by one of three torpedoes launched from the Japanese submarine I-26. The stricken cruiser sank almost immediately, and by the time the survivors were pulled from the shark infested waters, all but 10 had perished with this gallant ship, including the five Sullivan brothers.