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USS Cole bombing

USS Cole (DDG 67) suffered severe damage October 12, 2000 in a bombing attack when the ship was in the port of Aden, Yemen, for a routine fuel stop. Cole completed mooring operations at 9:30 a.m. Refueling started at 10:30 a.m. At 11:18 p.m. Bahrain time (3:18 a.m. EDT), a small boat approached the port side of the destroyer, and 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 inspected the hull and said the keel is not damaged.

USS Donald Cook (DDG 75)[?] and USS Hawes (FFG 53) made best speed to arrive in the vicinity of Aden that afternoon providing repair and logistical support. Additionally USNS Catawba (T-AFT 168)[?], USS Camden (AOE 2)[?], USS Anchorage (LSD 36)[?], USS Duluth (LPD 6), and 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.

Seventeen sailors were killed and 39 others were injured in the blast which blew a hole in the port side of the destroyer. The injured sailors were brought to the US Army's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center near Ramstein, Germany[?], and were later flown to the US.

Then-President Bill Clinton declared "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.". Of course, strictly speaking, it was not an "act of terrorism," since it was an attack on a military target. In any case, no action was taken.

Cole was transported from Aden by the Norwegian heavy transport ship M/V Blue Marlin. She arrived in Pascagoula December 24, 2000.

On January 19, 2001, The Navy completed and released its Judge Advocate General Manual (JAGMAN) investigation of the incident, concluding that Cole's commanding officer "acted reasonably in adjusting his force protection posture based on his assessment of the situation that presented itself" when Cole arrived in Aden to refuel. The JAGMAN also concluded that "the commanding officer of Cole did not have the specific intelligence, focused training, appropriate equipment or on-scene security support to effectively prevent or deter such a determined, preplanned assault on his ship" and recommended significant changes in Navy procedures.

The Casualties

  • Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter, 21, of Mechanicsville, Va.
  • Electronics Technician Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow, 35, of Morrisville, Pa.
  • Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina Monique Francis, 19, of Woodleaf, N.C.
  • Information Systems Technician Seaman Timothy Lee Gauna, 21, of Rice, Texas
  • Signalman Seaman Cherone Louis Gunn, 22, of Rex, Ga.
  • Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels, 19, of Norfolk, Va.
  • Engineman 2nd Class Marc Ian Nieto, 24, of Fond du Lac, Wis.
  • Electronics Warfare Technician 2nd Class Ronald Scott Owens, 24, of Vero Beach, Fla.
  • Seaman Lakiba Nicole Palmer, 22, of San Diego, Calif.
  • Engineman Fireman Joshua Langdon Parlett, 19, of Churchville, Md.
  • Fireman Patrick Howard Roy, 19, of Cornwall on Hudson, N.Y.
  • Electronics Warfare Technician 1st Class Kevin Shawn Rux, 30, of Portland, N.D.
  • Mess Management Specialist 3rd Class Ronchester Manangan Santiago, 22, Kingsville, Texas
  • Operations Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Lamont Saunders, 32, of Ringgold, Va.
  • Fireman Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr., 26, Rockport, Texas
  • Ensign Andrew Triplett, 31, of Macon, Miss.
  • Seaman Craig Bryan Wibberley, 19, of Williamsport, Md.



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