|Edgar Vedder was a chief electrician's mate on the USS Serpens when it exploded on January 9, 1945.|
Eddie Vedder could have been 100 years old today.
No, not the Pearl Jam musician. He was born in 1964.
Edgar Lloyd Vedder was born on April 4, 1917 in Texas. His parents were also both born in Texas. His father was a farmer and died when Edgar was a little boy. Edgar had one older brother. By 1940 he had completed a sixth grade level of education and worked as an auto mechanic. He was living with his widowed mother and his wife Jewel.
Edgar held the rank of Chief Electrician's Mate (CEM) in the US Coast Guard. On January 9, 1945 he was stationed on the USS Serpens, a Crater-class cargo ship with a complement of 19 officers and 188 enlisted men. On that evening the Serpens was anchored off Lunga Beach on Guadalcanal. The crew and 57 Army stevedores were loading depth charges in the hold. Something went wrong and the ship erupted in a tremendous explosion that disintegrated all but the bow of the 441 foot long ship, killing 254 men. Only two sailors survived. It is the largest single disaster ever suffered by the US Coast Guard.
His remains were returned to be buried in a common grave at Arlington National Cemetery.
|USS Serpen's memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.|
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