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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 ascending
CMM Paul Rudy USCG
Std 1c Eugene Ward USCG
WT 3c Samuel Villemont USCG
Sea 1c Charles Craft USCG
CBM Robert Glaze USCG
F 1c Arnold Kettunen USCG
CMM George Orton USCG
Sea 1c William Doherty USCG
Sea 2c Pete Catgenova USCG
MOMM 3c Robert Easterday USCG
PhoM 3c Arthur Hagendorn USCG
Sea 1c Richard Kirchner USCG
F 1c Charles Payne USCG
Cox Delos Wardle USCG
EM 2c Edwin Ables USCG
MM 2c Arden Cummings USCG
CPC John Goral USCG
Lt William Kotkas USCG
MOMM 1c Hugo Riccardi USCG
Sea 1c Sylvan Elsasser USCG


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