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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
F 2c Kenneth Harmon USCG
Sea 2c Samuel Maddox USCG
Cox Floyd Stuckey USCG
Lt(jg) George Auble USCG
Ens Max Davis USCG
F 1c John Garzon USCG
MOMM 2c Leslie Helsem USCG
MM 3c Russell Leverentz USCG
Cox William Seleman USCG
Lt(jg) Robert Johnson USCG
QM 3c James Broshear USCG
Sea 2c Homer Dix USCG
Sea 1c Melvin Haskell USCG
Cox Albert Manke USCG
GM 2c William Vaughan USCG


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