-Coast Guard Master Chief Petty Officer of the Reserves Mark Allen listens as a few members of Recruit Companies Sierra 185 and Tango 185 read the history of the USS Serpens Memorial during the annual Flags Across America event on Arlington National Cemetery Saturday, November 5, 2011. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Annie R. B. Elis)

What Really Happened on the Deadliest Single Day in Coast Guard History?

The sinking of the ammunition ship USS Serpens in January 1945 was the single deadliest day in the history of the Coast Guard. The gigantic explosion, which killed 250 sailors and almost vaporized the ship, was blamed on an accident involving the ship’s explosive cargo. Now, new allegations push the theory that the ship was actually attacked by a Japanese submarine—and that U.S. Navy officials were covering this up as late as 2003.

On the night of January 29th, 1945 the island of Guadalcanal was wracked by a truly massive explosion. The USS Serpens, whose crew had been handling a cargo of anti-submarine depth charges, exploded with the explosive force of 600 tons of explosives.

Serpens, a Liberty wartime transport ship 424 feet long and displacing 14,250 tons, practically disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Read more at Jalopnik

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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