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USS Cole (DDG-67)

Tragedy & Honor

The United States Navy Has Brought Home Its Own

Photos Presented By The Cargo Letter*

October 2000

*Special Integrity Note

INDEX To The Attack On USS Cole (DDG-67)


USS Cole Memorial

USS Cole Official Site

USS Cole Memorial - The Fallen Heros

Message from Commanding Officer - Cmdr. Kirk Lippold

Tell It To The U.S. Marines! - A Symbol of Our Day of Infamy - Sept. 11

Our Coverage & Photos of The Oct. 12 2000 Disaster

Return of The USS Cole To The United States

Return of USS Cole To The Sea - Sept. 14 2001

The Suspects

Refueling At Yemen Begins Again - April 8 2002

The USS Cole Returns To Her Official Duty At Sea - April 18 2002

Return of USS Cole To Her Home Port of Norfolk - April 26 2002

First Deployment For USS Cole In Three Years - Nov. 29 2003


Chief Petty Officer Richard Dean Costelow Memorial

Profiiles of Other Sailors

Profiles of Other Sailors



"From many. One."

The USS Cole Is "Home"

On December 12, USS Cole (DDG-67), once a powerful symbol of U.S. military might, limped home aboard the Norwegian transport ship M/V Blue Marlin for repairs to a gaping hole left by a bomb attack in Yemen that killed 17 U.S. sailors. The destroyer, unable to sail under its own steam, was carried into a cold & choppy Pascagoula Bay by the heavy-lift vessel Blue Marlin after a 6 week voyage from Yemen.

Quite sadly, more sea gulls than people turned out to greet the Cole in a welcome that was purposely low-key, officials said. Several dozen onlookers, some waving U.S. flags, watched from a nearby point while local and Navy officials gathered at the dock. They saw a gray ship, cradled above the water by the Blue Marlin, with gray tarp covering the 40-by-40-foot hole ripped in its side. Several Navy vessels sailed nearby while helicopters and sea gulls whirled overhead.

The warship returned to the Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding facility in Pascagoula, where it was built in 1995. Litton Ingalls is a unit of Litton Industries Inc., a defense contractor based in Woodland Hills, California.

The U.S. Navy said the Cole would be given a temporary 40-ton patch, unloaded from the Blue Marlin and taken to a nearby Naval station for cleanup and weapons removal. In Jan. 2001, Cole will go to a Litton drydock site for repairs that are expected take a year and cost up to US$200M. God's Speed!

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Those Responsible Caught?

Six Yemeni suspects in the bombing of the USS Cole have been identified by sources close to the investigation, who say they share a background as fighters in the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Jamal al-Badawi, the most senior of the 6 suspects jailed in Yemen told investigators he received telephone instructions for the Oct. 12 bombing from a man in the United Arab Emirates, the Yemeni sources said.. Al-Badawi said he had met the man in Afghanistan during the war but had not seen him since, the sources said.

Two suicide bombers detonated their explosives-packed boat next to the U.S. warship as it refueled in Aden harbor at Yemen's southern tip, killing 17 U.S. sailors and wounding 39. Al-Badawi identified his contact as Mohammed Omar al-Harazi, who used the aliases ''Abu al-Mohsin'' and ''Abu al-Hasan,'' the sources said. Al-Harazi remains at-large. Al-Harazi is a Saudi citizen born to a Yemeni family in the rugged Haraz mountain region west of San'a, the capital.

The Afghan connection is one of the tenuous links Yemeni investigators have found between the group involved in the Cole attack and America's No. 1 terror suspect, Osama bin Laden, who also fought in Afghanistan.

U.S. law enforcement officials have said previously that several threads link the suspects now held by the Yemenis to the bin Laden organization.

Al-Badawi told investigators that al-Harazi never directly told him he was receiving orders and financing for the attack from bin Laden, but al-Harazi's tone and manner had led him to believe that was the case, the sources said.

Other suspects in the Cole attack were identified as 2 police officials from Lahej, just north of Aden: Walid al-Sourouri & Fatha Abdul Rahman. A source said the policemen provided fake identification & other documents for the suicide bombers. Yasser al-Azzani, also jailed in connection with the bombing, knew the suicide bombers well enough to play host to them at his Aden home for lunch the day before the attack, but it was unclear how much he knew about their plans, the sources said. Another suspect, Jamal Ba Khorsh, may have been recruited to videotape the attack for unknown purposes but the tape was never made, the sources said. No details were given by the sources on the role of the 6th suspect who was identified as Ahmad al-Shinni.

Three to 6 suspects will stand trial in January 2001. [See below -- the process has taken until 2004]

UPDATE>> Yemen's security forces have detained a top Al-Qaeda man, a suspected mastermind of the deadly suicide bombings of the USS Cole & a French oil tanker off the country's coast. Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal had evaded arrest despite heading the Arab state's wanted list for nearly 2 years. The official Yemeni news agency, Saba, said the man, also known as Abu Asem al-Macci, surrendered to police after they surrounded a house in the capital, Sanaa, where the Islamic militant had been hiding. (Thurs. Nov. 27 2003)

UPDATE>> TRIAL BEGINS: Yemeni security court charged 6 men alleged to be al-Qaida members July 7 with plotting the attack on the USS Cole, opening the 1st trial in suicide bombing that killed 17 American sailors. Among defendants is reputed mastermind Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Police & soldiers cordoned off security court in San`a, and marksmen watched from rooftops, as 5 of the defendants brought in to hear the judge read their indictment. Al-Nashiri, the 6th defendant, is in U.S. custody. (Wed. July 7 2004)

Refueling To Begin Again At Yemin

The United States and Yemen have reached a deal to allow U.S. warships to resume refueling in the Yemeni port officials from both countries said April 8. Under the agreement, U.S. Marines will participate in security at the Aden port where 17 American sailors were killed and 37 wounded when a small boat, laden with explosives, was detonated beside the Cole in October 2000. (Mon. April 8 2002)

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The USS Cole Is At Home Port - Norfolk

April 26 2002 -- USS Cole returned to its home port a stronger, better ship than when a terrorists' bomb ripped it open and killed 17 of its sailors a year and a half ago in Yemen. The destroyer underwent US$250M of repairs over 14 months at Northrop Grumman's Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., then began the trip home to Norfolk Naval Station last week. A steady rain fell as several hundred people waited under tents in a parking lot at the base. As the ship came into view, people began waving American flags and snapping pictures. May God Bless the USS Cole. All her Navy souls are at rest as she prepares to wage a mighty war on terrorism. Gods Speed!
Nov. 29 2003 NORFOLK, Va. -- USS Cole and its crew of 340 pulled out of port for the destroyer's first overseas deployment since it was bombed by terrorists three years ago in Yemen's port of Aden. The Cole and two other destroyers in the Norfolk-based Surface Strike Group, the USS Thorn and USS Gonzalez, are now scheduled to head to the Mediterranean Sea for about 6 months. They officially are part of the Enterprise carrier strike group, which left in October.

USS Cole sets sail April 19, after 14 months of repairs with many new features, including 17 stars laid in the hallway floor &emdash; one for each of the 17 sailors killed by a terrorist explosion in Yemen - Posted April 18, 2002

From The Cargo Letter's Daily Vessel Casualty & Pirate Attack Database - Posted Oct. 12 2000 --

USS Cole (DDG-67) in Port Aden on the Arabian Peninsula was attacked Oct. 12 from a small inflatable boat in a terrorist act by suicide bombers that killed 17 Americans & injured more than 36, 5 seriously.

UPDATE of 17 Oct. : In all, 17 sailors were killed in what U.S. officials believe was a terrorist suicide attack on the Cole. Five bodies were recovered last week & were flown back to the United States. Two other bodies had been spotted aboard the ship last week but could not be removed due to the extreme damage caused by the bomb. In addition, there were 10 whom the Navy presumed had been killed but could not be found. The recovery of 7 bodies Tuesday left 5 others to be accounted for.

Women sailors were among the casualties. The registry of the boat was not immediately known, but it was apparently providing assistance to the Cole which was along side a refueling buoy. The 505 ft. Arleigh Burke Class "Aegis" (air defense) destroyer, one of the world's most advanced warships, with a crew of about 350 sailors, was in port at Aden, Yemen, for brief refueling when the small craft came alongside the ship. According to witnesses, the 2 civilians abroad suddenly stood to attention -- an explosion followed. Details of the incident remain sketchy, but officials at the Pentagon said it appeared that the small boat was carrying some form of high-explosive powerful enough to rip a large hole -- 40 feet by 60 feet flooding the main engine spaces. The Cole is a US$1B guided missile destroyer home-ported at Norfolk, Va. It had sailed through the Red Sea & was en route to the Persian Gulf where it was to perform maritime intercept operations in support of the U.N. embargo against Iraq as part the battle group of the carrier USS George Washington << link.

The ship is named after Marine Sgt. Darrell S. Cole, a machine gunner killed in action on Iwo Jima on Feb. 19, 1945. That was the day 30,000 Marines landed on the southeast coast of the Japanese-held island.

The ship's motto is "Determined Warrior." VISIT >> USS Cole (DDG-67) Homepage (Thurs. Oct. 12 2000)

Latest Official U.S. Navy News Updates For USS Cole (DDG-67)

From an Officer off the Guided Missile Frigate USS Hawes (FFG-53) -- 19 Oct. 2000
"It wasn't until a few days ago though, that we started doing something that I feel may be the first thing I've seen in my short Naval career that has truly made a difference. Right now we're supporting the USS COLE and her crew in Aden. When the attack occurred we were a day away. Just by luck we happened to be on our way out of the Gulf and headed towards the Suez and could get here in a relatively short amount of time. I know what you all have seen on CNN, because we have seen it too. I just want you all to know that what you see doesn't even scratch the surface. I'm not going to get into it for obvious reasons. But I will tell you that right now there are 250+ sailors just a few miles away living in hell on Earth. I'm sitting in a nice air conditioned state room, they're sleeping out on the decks at night. You can't even imagine the conditions they're living in, and yet they are still fighting 24 hours a day to save their ship and free the bodies of those still trapped and send them home. As bad as it is, they're doing an incredible job. The very fact that these people are still functioning is beyond my comprehension. Whatever you imagine as the worst, multiply it by ten and you might get there. Today I was tasked to photo rig the ship and surrounding area. It looked so much worse than I had imagined, unbelievable really, with debris and disarray everywhere, the ship listing, the hole in her side.

I wish I had the power to relay to you all what I have seen, but words just won't do it. I do want to tell you the first thing that jumped out at me - the Stars and Stripes flying. I can't tell you how that made me feel...even in this God forsaken hell hole our flag was more beautiful than words can describe. Then I started to notice the mass of activity going on below, scores of people working non-stop in 90 plus degree weather to save this ship. They're doing it with almost no electrical power and they're sleeping (when they can sleep) outside on the decks because they can't stand the smell or the heat or the darkness inside. They only want to eat what we bring them because they're all scared of eating something brought by the local vendors.

Even with all that, the USS COLE and her crew is sending a message guys, and it's that even acts of cowardice and hate can do nothing to the spirit and pride of the United States. I have never been so proud of what I do, or of the men and women that I serve with as I was today. There are sixteen confirmed dead sailors who put it on the line for all of us, and some of them are still trapped here. Please take a minute to pray for their families and say a word of thanks for their sacrifice - one made so that we can live the lives that we do. All of you that serve with me, thank you. All of you that have loved ones that serve, thank you."

Visit The Home Page of The USS Hawes (FFG-53)


Charateristics of USS Cole (DDG-67)

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USS Cole (DDG-67) Command History

VISIT >> USS Cole (DDG-67) Homepage

Show Your Support

For Her Trip Home USS Cole Is Loaded Aboard The Norwegian Heavy Lift M/V Blue Marlin

Angled Stow Is Designed To Protect The Sonar Dome On Cole's Bow -- Note Draft.

M/V Blue Marlin is under contract to the U.S. Navy in the Gulf of Aden as of Oct. 30 for transport to the US. Blue Marlin, which normally is used to lift & transport commercial cargo such as oil rigs, arrived in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Yemen, from the Dubai, where it was outfitted for the job. The Navy signed the US$4.5M contract with the Blue Marlin's owner, Offshore Heavy Transport of Oslo, Norway. Most of the crew of about 300 has remained aboard the 8,300-ton ship since the attack. A small number will stay aboard for the voyage back to the U.S.; the rest will be flown home.
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 Not Your Father's Navy

Every Time We Have One of These "Events", The U.S. Navy Has To Charter One of

These Three Norwegian Ships To Haul Our Ships Home. We Don't Have Any Battle

Damage Repair Capability Anymore...... Decommissioned.

All Tenders & Floating Drydocks Abroad, Must Now Rely On Foreign Shipyards.

Heavy Damage Below The Waterline

USS Cole (DDG-67) Begins Her Lonely Voyage To Norfolk, After A US$150M Repair At Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

From The Cargo Letter's Daily Vessel Casualty & Pirate Attack Database - Posted Oct. 12 2000 -- NEAR Return To Duty - Sept. 14 2001

The U.S. Navy warship USS Cole crippled by bombing in Yemen that killed 17 sailors, relaunched into the water at a Northrop Grumman Corp. plant in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Aegis destroyer had been given a US$105.5M repair job completed on Sept. 4 by Northrop subsidiary Ingalls Shipbuilding. (Fri. Sept. 14 2001)
God's Speed.

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USS COLE Relief Fund Information

Those wishing to make donations can send their contribution to:

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

801 North Randolph Street

Suite 1228

Arlington, VA 22203-1978

Please be sure to designate "For USS Cole" on the check.

Latest Official U.S. Navy News Updates For USS Cole (DDG-67)

While the pictures you see above have filtered to us from various sources which did become public, The Cargo Letter wants you to know that by keeping the identity of our contributors 100% confidential, you are able to view our continuing series of "Cargo Disasters."

For example, the photos in several of the other photo features listed at the top left of this page have not been released to any other news organization in the world. Our friends send us materials which benefit the industry. The materials are often provided to our news publication with complete and enforceable confidentiality for the sender. In turn, we provide these materials to you.

*SPECIAL NOTE: On the first day that this page previewed, our text mistakenly stated that the first five pictures in this set were "EXCLUSIVE" to The Cargo Letter. This error on our part was instantly recognized & corrected. The photos in question came to us from a Commander in the U.S. Navy at the Pentagon we have known for many years. It was understood (perhaps misunderstood) at the time that the photos had not been previously released to the media. One day after posting this page to the Internet we learned that while the photos were not widely seen, they indeed had been released. We regret the error.

Those who have spent any short amount of time reading The Cargo Letter over the years will quickly understand that our error was quite honest. Indeed, we are most used to receiving photo materials from within steamship companies -- where photos are almost NEVER released to anyone, and almost always come to us from confidential sources. On the other hand, regular readers of The Cargo Letter will know at once that we are not so stupid to claim "Exclusive" for such photos as these for USS Cole, if we did not honestly believe they were not. This is a matter of professional integrity.

This question of photo attribution may not seem to be a major issue, but where editorial integrity is concerned -- it is. Also important is any "accuracy issue" where U.S. men & women in uniform are concerned. We will continue to believe that the content of our page is of the greater importance than any question of the picture captions.

We all race through hundreds of postings each day to bring you both The Cargo Letter and the Cargo Law website as virtual volunteers. Even though this major effort for the industry is without charge -- we try to get the information right! Anything less than an attempt at true accuracy on our part -- is both against our interests and quite easy for you to detect.

The editor of this publication is a former U.S. commissioned officer from a Navy family with a brother currently in a senior position in the Navy. No, we may make human mistakes, but we do not strive for less than accurate information where the armed services are concerned. McD

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