U.S. Marine Corps photo
The USS Cole, a Navy guided missile destroyer (DDG-67), was named for U.S. Marine Sergeant Darrell S. Cole, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry at Iwo Jima.
On October 12, 2000, the Cole was on a routine fuel stop in the Yemeni port in Aden. Refueling started at 10:30 a.m. local time; within an hour, the stop would be anything but routine.
At 11:18 a.m., a small craft neared the port side of the ship, and exploded.
The blast blew a 40' x 40' hole in the Cole's port side. It took until evening to manage flooding in the engineering areas.
Responsibility for the attack quickly became clear - the bombers were Ibrahim al-Thawr and Abdullah al-Misawa, and the attack was planned and organized by Al-Qaeda.
Numerous ships responded in the wake of the attack - the USS Hawes and USS Donald Cook assisted with repairs; the USS Catawba, USS Camden, USS Anchorage, USS Tarawa, and USS Duluth assisted with security, damage control, and food service, among other things. The Norwegian salvage vessel MV Blue Marlin transported the Cole back to the U.S. for repairs.
In the aftermath, there were significant changes to Navy procedures. A number of individuals were tried, or otherwise dealt with, for their roles in the attacks:
On November 3, 2002, in Yemen, a Predator UAV fired an AGM-114 Hellfire missile at a vehicle carrying Abu Ali al-Harithi, one of the suspected planners of the attack. Ahmed Hijazi, an American citizen, died with him.
On September 29, 2004, also in Yemen, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Jamal al-Badawi were sentenced to death for their roles in the bombing. Al-Nashiri was believed to be the operation's mastermind. And four others were sentenced to prison terms for involvement in the Cole bombing, including a Yemeni who had videotaped it.
Notably, a failed attempt at a bombing of the USS The Sullivans in the year 2000 has been seen to be a trial for the Cole attack. (The attack failed because the boat, overloaded with the explosives, started to sink).
Killed in the attack were:
Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter, 21, of Mechanicsville, Virginia
Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina Monique Francis, 19, of Woodleaf, North Carolina
Information Systems Technician Seaman Timothy Lee Gauna, 21, of Rice, Texas
Signalman Seaman Cherone Louis Gunn, 22, of Rex, Georgia
Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels, 19, of Norfolk, Virginia
Engineman 2nd Class Marc Ian Nieto, 24, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Electronics Warfare Technician 2nd Class Ronald Scott Owens, 24, of Vero Beach, Florida
Seaman Lakiba Nicole Palmer, 22, of San Diego, California
Engineman Fireman Joshua Langdon Parlett, 19, of Churchville, Maryland
Fireman Patrick Howard Roy, 19, of Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York
Electronics Warfare Technician 1st Class Kevin Shawn Rux, 30, of Portland, North Dakota
Mess Management Specialist 3rd Class Ronchester Manangan Santiago, 22, Kingsville, Texas
Operations Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Lamont Saunders, 32, of Ringgold, Virginia
Fireman Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr., 26, Rockport, Texas
Ensign Andrew Triplett, 31, of Macon, Mississippi
Seaman Craig Bryan Wibberley, 19, of Williamsport, Maryland
For More Information:
U.S.S. Cole (Navy.mil)
DoD Press Release
Embassy of Yemen Press Release
Haze Gray and Underway
USS Cole Recovery
Echo9er (with links to other sites)