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CG Manned AK's

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eridanus_ak92_resize.jpg
Courtesy of Chuck Ulrich

ERIDANUS AK-92
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etamin_ak93_sf43_resize.jpg
Courtesy of Chuck Ulrich

ETAMIN AK-93
1943

San Francisco Bay
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mencar_ak123_resize.jpg
Courtesy of Chuck Ulrich

MENCAR AK-123
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mintaka_ak94_resize.jpg
Courtesy of Chuck Ulrich

MINTAKA AK-94
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sterope_ak96_resize.jpg
Courtesy of Chuck Ulrich

STEROPE AK-96
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R. Levesque painting

USS SERPENS AK-97 1945

The USS Serpens AK-97 was A U.S. Coast Guard manned cargo ship in World War II. She was a Liberty type built at Wilmington California as the S.S. Benjamin N. Cardozo and was quickly converted while still under construction. Commissioned in May of 1943 she served in the South Pacific and was again modified for transportation of ammunition. Late in the evening on January 29, 1945 while anchored off Lunga Beach, Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands her crew was loading depth charges. Her Commanding Officer and several enlisted crewmen were ashore when a violent explosion rocked the harbor and the Serpens suddenly disappeared taking with her 193 Coast Guardsmen, 56 Army stevedores and a Public Health Service Doctor. The blast was so strong that it also killed a soldier ashore. Only two aboard survived. The absolute cause has never been determined. This incident is the largest single loss ever suffered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
This is my depiction of this tragedy at the moment of the first explosion. One of the survivors said that all munitions were exploding and shrapnel was landing everywhere.

With WWII almost at it's conclusion, I titled this "Not In Vain".

ussserpens.jpg
Courtesy of William C. Carber/Michael Zumbach

To read more about the Serpens, click here.
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