Arlington-Dave Granger


In early February my grandfather gave me a large sum of money to help me pay for my History on the Move trip that coming July. Two weeks later on February 15th 2013 my grandfather was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. While lying in his bed hooked up to an oxygen mask he told me that he would like for me to visit his brothers grave at Arlington National Cemetery on my trip. His brother, my great uncle, was named Warren Granger and died when his ship, the USS Serpens, exploded during WWII. Three weeks later on March 6th 2013 my grandfather, Alfred Granger Jr., passed away and I was determined to visit his brothers grave on my trip in a few months to honor his last request.
Rolling hills full of gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery

On July 20th 2013 I arrived at Arlington National Cemetery on a blistering Saturday afternoon. I grabbed a map and made my way to the USS Serpens monument. On my way through the cemetery I gazed upon what felt like endless graves of soldiers who lost their lives. I arrived at the USS Serpens monument in section 34 of the cemetery.
USS Serpens Monument
I search down the monument and spotted the named I was looking for, Warren J. Granger SC3 USCGR.
Close up of my great uncles name on the monument
I then began to wonder what exactly happened to the ship my Uncle Warren was on. The USS Serpens was an ammunition ship that exploded on January 29th 1945 off Lunga Beach, Guadalcanal in the British Solomon Islands. The coast guard believed it to be an enemy attack until June 10th 1949 when it was determined to have been an accident.  On that hot Saturday afternoon I was finally able to fulfill my grandfathers last request to me.
David M. Granger 

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