USS Serpens, a "Liberty"-type cargo ship built at Wilmington, California, as the S.S. Benjamin N. Cardozo, was converted for Navy service while under construction. Commissioned in May 1943 with a Coast Guard crew, she served in the South Pacific and was modified in late 1944 for the transportation of ammunition. On 29 January 1945, while loading a cargo of depth charges in Lunga Roads, off Guadalcanal, Serpens was destroyed by a massive explosion. All but two of the 255 crewmembers and Army stevedores on board her at the time were killed in the accident.
This page features our only view of USS Serpens (AK-97).
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Photo #: NH 89186
USS Serpens (AK-97)
Halftone reproduction of a photograph of the ship in harbor during World War II.
Courtesy of William H. Davis, 1979.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 107B; 740 x 600 pixels
Page made 2 October 1999
New text information added 18 October 2004