The largest group burial at Arlington National Cemetery took place on June 15, 1949,
when 250 men from the USS Serpens were interred in 52 caskets.
These men were killed on the night of Jan. 29, 1945, when the U.S. Coast Guard ammunition ship exploded and sank at Lunga Beach, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.
This catastrophe was the single greatest disaster suffered by the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, and cost the lives of 193 Coast Guardsmen, 56 soldiers and one U.S. Public Health Service surgeon.
There were 30 grave sites set aside for the burials, arranged in five rows of six graves each. The 52 caskets were buried in 28 graves. Two grave sites in the center of the block of 30 were reserved for the octagonal memorial on which all names were inscribed.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard