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USS Cole (DDG 67)

USS COLE is the 17th ARLEIGH BURKE class guided missile destroyer and first ship in the Navy named after Marine Corps Sergeant Darrell Samuel Cole.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: February 28, 1994
Launched: February 10, 1995
Christened: April 8, 1995
Commissioned: June 8, 1996
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss
Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines
Propellers: two
Blades on each Propeller: five
Length: 505,25 feet (154 meters)
Beam: 67 feet (20.4 meters)
Draft: 30,5 feet (9.3 meters)
Displacement: approx. 8.300 tons full load
Speed: 30+ knots
Aircraft: None. But LAMPS 3 electronics installed on landing deck for coordinated DDG/helicopter ASW operations.
Armament: two Mk 41 VLS for Standard missiles, Tomahawk; Harpoon missile launchers, one Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight gun, two Phalanx CIWS, Mk 46 torpedoes (from two triple tube mounts)
Homeport: Norfolk, Va.
Crew: 23 Officers, 24 Chief Petty Officers and 291 Enlisted

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS COLE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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USS COLE Cruise Books:

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USS COLE's Commanding Officers:

June 8, 1996 - September 1997Commander Stewart O'Bryan, USN
September 1997 - July 1999Commander Richard James Nolan, Jr., USN
July 1999 - March 2001Commander Kirk S. Lippold, USN
March 2001 - January 2003Commander Kevin M. Sweeney, USN
January 2003 - July 2004Commander Christopher W. Grady, USN
July 2004 - December 2005Commander Brian A. Solo, USN
December 2005 - June 2007Commander Bradley W. Roberson, USN
June 2007 - December 2008Commander Cary J. H. Krause, USN
December 2008 - July 2010Commander Edward W. Devinney II, USN
July 2010 - January 2012Commander Andrew C. Ehlers, USN
January 2012 - July 2013Commander Peter K. Nilsen, USN
July 2013 - January 2014Commander Dennis L. Farrell, USN
January 2014 - April 2016Commander James A. Quaresimo, USN
April 2016 - presentCommander David P. Wroe, USN

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About the Ship’s Name, about Sergeant Darrell Samuel Cole:

On August 25 ,1941, Cole enlisted in the Marine Corps for the duration of the National Emergency, and following a boot training at Parris Island, South Carolina, he was appointed to the Field Music School for training as a Marine Corps Field Music, the equivalent of a bugler. Completing instruction, he was transferred to the First Marine Regiment, First Marine Division, and on August 7, 1942, reached the shores of Guadalcanal for the first American offensive of World War II.

Not too happy in his role of field music when he had joined a fighting outfit to fight and after acquitting himself meritoriously as a machine gunner in the absence of the regular gunner, he applied for a change in rating, but was refused due to the shortage of buglers. Cole completed his first overseas tour of duty and returned to the United States in February 1943, where he joined First Battalion, Twenty-Third Marines, then forming as a part of the Fourth Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. When the unit moved to California he again asked for relief as a Field Music and for permission to perform line duties, but was again refused due to the shortage of buglers in the Marine Corps.

During the first engagement of the Fourth Division at Roi-Namur in the Kwajalein Atoll, Cole, again forsaking his bugle, went into action as a machine-gunner. Four months later, when the Division stormed ashore at Saipan, he had been assigned to a machine-gun unit. Because of his proven ability in combat, he was designated a machine gun section leader. During the battle when his squad leader was killed, Cole, although wounded, assumed command of the entire squad and acquitted himself in such a manner to be awarded the Bronze Star Medal for "...his resolute leadership, indomitable fighting spirit and tenacious determination in the face of terrific opposition..." , He was also awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in action.

A few days after the battle of Saipan, Cole, again led his squad ashore in the invasion of the neighboring islands of Tinian, where he continued to live up to his growing reputation as "The Fighting Field Music."

After the Marianas campaigns he again requested a change of rating and this time his request was approved and he was redesignated Corporal "line" and was subsequently promoted to Sergeant in November 1944. On February 19, 1945, Sergeant Cole led his machine gun section ashore in the D-Day assault of Iwo Jima. Moving forward with the initial assault wave, their advance was halted by a hail of fire from two Japanese emplacements which Sergeant Cole personally destroyed with hand grenades. His unit continued to advance until pinned down for a second time by enemy fire from three Japanese gun emplacements. One of these emplacements was silenced by Cole's machine guns, but then jammed. Armed only with a pistol and one hand grenade, Sergeant Cole made a one-man attack against the two remaining positions. Twice he returned to his own lines for additional grenades and continued the attack under fierce enemy fire until he had succeeded in destroying the Japanese strong point. Returning to his own squad, he was instantly killed by an enemy grenade. By his one-man attack and heroic self-sacrifice, Sergeant Cole enabled his company to move forward against fortifications and attain their ultimate objective.

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Accidents aboard USS COLE:

October 12, 2000Port of Aden, Yemen
As part of the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON Battle Group, USS COLE was in transit from the Red Sea to a port visit in Bahrain when the ship stopped in Aden for routine refueling.

Yemen is the Defense Fuel Support Point that had been open just over a year. It had been used 12 times in the year before, usually when an oiler was not part a battle group. The fueling point is in the center of an industrial harbor and consists of concrete pilings built specifically for commercial refueling. The piping runs under the harbor and the fuel is taken directly form those pipes.

COLE completed mooring operations at 9:30 a.m. Refueling started at 10:30 a.m. Later, a small boat approached the COLE.
At 11:18 a.m. Bahrain time (3:18 a.m. EDT), when the small boat was situated on the port side of the destroyer an explosion occurred causing a 40-foot by 40-foot gash in the port side of the COLE. Damage control efforts to manage flooding in the ship's engineering spaces were reported successful that evening. Divers have conducted preliminary inspections of the hull and said the keel is not damaged.

USS DONALD COOK (DDG 75) and USS HAWES (FFG 53) were making best speed to arrive in the vicinity of Aden that afternoon providing repair and logistical support.
Additionally USNS CATAWBA (T-ATF 168), USS CAMDEN (AOE 2), USS ANCHORAGE (LSD 36), USS DULUTH (LPD 6), and the USS TARAWA (LHA 1) arrived in Aden some days later, providing watch relief crews, harbor security, damage control equipment, billeting, and food service for the crew of COLE.

The explosion killed 17 of COLE's 320 sailors and injured 39 others. The injured sailors were brought to the Army's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center near Ramstein, Germany, and were later flown to the US.

"If, as it now appears, this was an act of terrorism it was a despicable and cowardly act. We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable," President Clinton said.

Pentagon officials said that two men aboard the small boat were seen standing at attention just before the blast that destroyed the little boat and took their lives.

Officials said it appeared the small boat was carrying some form of explosive powerful enough to rip the hole in the ship. "This is not something you do with a few sticks of dynamite," said Michael Dunn, editor of The Middle East Journal in Washington. "This was done by someone who knew quite a bit about explosives."

The FBI also was investigating a report out of London that a Yemeni Islamic group, the Army of Mohammed and the Army of Aden-Abyan, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Explosive Ordnance Detachment personnel, and Navy investigators were also on the scene and were working to determine the cause of the incident, along with FBI and other federal officials.

Nearly all the Islamic terrorist groups have one thing in common: They want all U.S. forces out of the Middle East, which they consider to be Muslim land.

Cole in Aden on October 14Security rules in effect the day the USS COLE was attacked by terrorists in Yemen required the crew to take special precautions against approaches by small harbor craft - of the kind that sidled up to the COLE and detonated a bomb - according to Pentagon counterterrorism guidelines.
"Shipboard terrorist threatcon measures," described in a Pentagon document that came to light during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in late October, included the following precautionary measures for ships operating at the threat level that existed on Oct. 12, the day of the attack:

  • Harbor craft "require special concern because they can serve as an ideal platform for terrorists."
    Unauthorized craft should be kept away from the ship; authorized craft should be carefully controlled and monitored.

  • Crews for picket boats should be designated and placed on 15-minute alert. "If the situation warrants, make random picket boat patrols in the immediate vicinity of the ship." The picket boat crews should be armed with M16 rifles, one M60 with 200 rounds of ammunition and 10 concussion grenades.

  • Fire hoses should be prepared for use in repelling small boats or boarders.
A sailor who was on watch aboard the Cole, for example, told CBS News' "60 Minutes" on Sunday that he noticed the small boat approaching but assumed it was among the authorized harbor craft that normally approach a Navy ship in port to assist in disposing of its garbage and performing other routine services.

Initially, the Navy said the attacking boat masked its approach by joining a small flotilla of harbor craft that was helping the COLE moor at a refueling station in the harbor. Later, however, the Navy said it had misstated the sequence of events and that, in fact, the mooring operation was finished two hours before the attack.

Security conditions in Aden, as assessed by U.S. officials at the time, put the COLE in what the military calls "threatcon bravo," which is two notches above a routine security posture and two notches below the highest alert level, known as "threatcon delta."
Even at "threatcon alpha" - one notch below "bravo" - the COLE was required to pay special attention to harbor craft, according to the Pentagon guidelines.

A heavy lift ship, the BLUE MARLIN, was contracted to bring USS COLE back to the U.S. The process of placing COLE onto the Blue Marlin took place on October 30, after the USNS CATAWBA had towed the COLE out of Aden harbor to deeper water. The operation of returning the destroyer to the U.S. took six weeks and costed about $4,5 million. Once COLE was secured aboard the BLUE MARLIN, some of the crew were flown home although some essential personnel remained with their ship for the transit.
On November 9, 2000, the Navy announced that Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., would repair USS COLE. BLUE MARLIN and USS COLE arrived there on December 13, 2000. COLE's industrial availability began in January 2001 and was expected to take about one year to complete. The Navy estimated that the repairs would cost an estimated $240 million.
In fact, repairs were completed much earlier and COLE was relaunched at Ingalls on September 14, 2001.

Killed in the incident were:

Electronics Technician First Class Richard Costelow, Morrisville, Pa.
Signalman Seaman Recruit Cheron Ouis Gunn, Rex, Ga.
Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels, Norfolk, Va.
Seaman Recruit Lakiba Nicole Palmer, San Diego, Calif.
Operations Specialist Second Class Timothy Lamont Saunders, Ringold, Va.
Ensign Andrew Triplett, Macon, Miss.
Seaman Apprentice Craig Bryan Wibberley, Williamsport, Md.
Hull Maintenance Technician Third Class Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter, Mechanicsville, Va.
Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina Monique Francis, Woodleaf, N.C.
Information Systems Technician Seaman Timothy Lee Gauna, Rice, Texas
Engineman Second Class Mark Ian Nieto, Fond Du Lac, Wis.
Electronics Warfare Technician Third Class Ronald Scott Owens, Vero Beach, Fla.
Engineman Fireman Joshua Langdon Parlett, Churchville, Md.
Fireman Apprentice Patrick Howard Roy, Cornwall on Hudson, N.Y.
Electronics Warfare Technician Second Class Kevin Shawn Rux, Portland, N.D.
Mess Management Specialist Third Class Ronchester Mananga Santiago, Kingsville, Texas
Fireman Gary Graham Swenchonis, Jr., Rockport, Texas

The Navy held a special memorial service for the fallen at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., the COLE's home port, on October 18.

Click here to read newspaper articles about the USS COLE attack.

Click here to listen to an announcement of Lt. Terrence Dudley, PAO 5th Fleet, relating the attack on COLE.

Click here for more photos.

July 30, 2015Norfolk, Va.USS COLE suffers a fire while undergoing a Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) at Marine Hydraulics International Inc., Norfolk, Va. The fire started around 08:40 p.m. and was under control by 09:34 p.m. Navy personnel was assisted by firefighters from the city of Norfolk in putting out the fire. No injuries were reported.

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The photo below was taken by Karl-Heinz Ahles and shows USS COLE at Naval Base Norfolk, Va, in September 1998.

The photos below were taken by Brian Barton and show USS COLE at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on July 23, 2002.

The photos below were taken by me and show the COLE at Kiel, Germany on June 20-22, 2008, after her participation in BALTOPS 2008.

The photos below were taken by me and show the USS COLE at Naval Base Norfolk, Va, on November 9, 2008.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the USS COLE at Naval Base Norfolk, Va, on May 8, 2014.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the USS COLE at the Marine Hydraulics Shipyard at Norfolk, Va., undergoing a Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) on October 6, 2015.

The photos below were taken by Steven Collingwood and show the USS COLE passing Fort Monroe after departure from Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on January 11, 2016.


The photos below were taken by Steven Collingwood and show the USS COLE arriving at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on February 24, 2016.


The photo below was taken by Cindy M. and shows the USS COLE shortly before getting underway from Khalifa Bin Salman Port, Bahrain, on March 15, 2017. At the time the photo was taken, the COLE had already completed exactly 3 months of an independent deployment to the Middle East.

The photo below was taken by Michael Jenning and shows the USS COLE at BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair at Norfolk, Va., on September 21, 2018.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the USS COLE at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on December 7, 2019. The ship has just completed an Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (E-DSRA) and is now back at the Naval Base. A number of sensors and weapons systems are still missing.

The photo below was taken by Michael Jenning and shows the USS COLE along with sistership USS BAINBRIDGE (DDG 96) at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Va., on September 6, 2022. Both ships are at the end of a seven-month deployment to the US 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Operations. They conducted an ammo offload at Yorktown from September 4-9 before returning home to Naval Base Norfolk on September 9.

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