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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Monday, January 29, 1945
Explosion at Laguna Beach
Anchored off Lunga Beach in the Solomons and loading depth charges in her holds, Serpens suddenly exploded in the process. 198 members of the ship’s crew perished in the accident along with 57 Army stevedores who were assisting in the loading process. There were 2 survivors from the explosion along with a shore party of 8 who were ashore at the time of the accident. ... No cause for the explosion which destroyed Serpens has ever been determined

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 195

Name Service Branchsort descending
Sea 2c Henry Deermer USCG
Sea 1c Frank Gretz USCG
SC 3c David Lewis USCG
Sea 1c James Selaya USCG
Cox Edwin Antkowiak USCG
Sea 1c Ranard Crowe USCG
CM 2c Warren Fox USCG
MM 3c William Hartzler USCG
Sea 1c Woodrow Lanham USCG
F 1c John Schmook USCG
MOMM 2c Vernard Jacobs USCG
F 2c Gerald Breen USCG
Sea 1c Marvin Derouen USCG
BM 2c John Hampton USCG
Cox Joseph Mackey USCG
Ens Jacob Shogren USCG
WT 1c Harry Aro USCG
Sea 1c John Daly USCG
Sea 2c Roger Fregia USCG
Sea 2c Perry Headrick USCG


Prepared by CAPT R. O. Strange USN (Ret.)