USS Serpens (AK-97) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Serpens was a Crater-class cargo ship that served the United States Navy during World War II. The ship was constructed under a MARCOM contract as the Liberty Ship SS Benjamin N. Cardozo by the California Shipbuilding Corporation at Terminal Island. Operated by the United States Coast Guard, the ship carried out supply missions in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, specifically the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, New Hebrides, and Guadalcanal. In January 1945, while the ship was getting loaded with depth charges, an accident occurred and the ship exploded, completely disintegrating in the process and killing all but two of the 256 crew personnel that currently on board. The commanding officer and 7 other crewmen were ashore, one of them still being fatally struck by shrapnel. The incident was thought to be caused by enemy action, but the idea was later discarded and the tragic event attributed to an “accident intrinsic to the loading process”. It was the largest single disaster suffered by the US Coast Guard. The victims were initially buried at Guadalcanal, but they were later exhumed and moved to Arlington National Cemetery. 

High risk of asbestos exposure

  • Engine Rooms
  • Damage Control Room
  • Pump Room
  • Propulsion Room

Medium risk of asbestos exposure

  • Powder and Shot Magazine
  • Ward Room

Low risk of asbestos exposure

Shipmates on USS Serpens (AK-97)

Edwin A. Ables

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

John Gayle Aiken III

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Roy Gordon Anderson

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Edwin F. Antkowiak

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Harry Edward Aro

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Clifford Daniel Ashby

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

George Coleman Auble

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Woodward S. Babcock

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Edward A. Baker

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Jacob Barer

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Charles R. Barnhouse

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Joseph Bielinski

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Billy L. Boyd

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Lester L. Brandlen

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Gerald Clement Breen

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Chester Brooks

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

James Melvin Broshear

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Leo Henry Burke

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Dale Keith Burns

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Junior Walter Butler

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Raymond Francis Callahan

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Gilbert Joseph Camarlinghi

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Anthony Cambria

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Michael Louis Cammarata

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

Louis Stanley Carey

Died on 01/29/1945

Dead

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