USS Cole (DDG-67)

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The Cole at sea, a month before the attack
The Cole at sea, a month before the attack
Order January 16, 1991
Keel laying February 28, 1994
Launch February 10, 1995
1. Period of service flag
Commissioning June 8, 1996
Technical specifications

8315  tn. l. (8448 t)


154 m


20 metres


9.5 meters


32 officers, 350 men


2 propellers, driven by 4 gas turbines; effective power 100,000 hp (74.6 MW)


31 knots (57.4 km / h)


90 VLS cells,
2 triple torpedo launchers,
1 127 mm gun

The USS Cole (DDG-67) is a destroyer in the United States Navy and belongs to the Arleigh Burke class . It entered service in 1996 and attracted worldwide attention when the Islamist terrorist network al-Qaeda carried out an explosives attack on it in the port of Aden , Yemen in 2000 , killing 17 US soldiers and two terrorists. The ship was repaired in the United States and returned to service in 2002.


For more information on the technique, see the main Arleigh Burke Class article .

The Cole belongs to the first lot , called Flight I , of its class. It is around 154 meters long and 20 meters wide. When fully loaded, the displacement is around 8,300  displacement tons (around 8,450 tons). The hull and the superstructure are mainly made of steel because it is more heat-resistant than the aluminum that was previously used. The Cole has a landing deck for helicopters on the quarterdeck . A hangar for the permanent stationing of up to two helicopters is only available on ships of this class from Flight IIA .

The armament of the Cole consists, in addition to a Mark 45 lightweight gun on the front deck, of two vertical launching systems with a total of 90 cells from which both cruise missiles and anti- aircraft missiles can be launched. The main task of the ship is air defense , for this reason, like the cruisers of the Ticonderoga class, it is equipped with the Aegis combat system. The Arleigh Burke class was designed and built using stealth principles to minimize radar cross-section .

The four gas turbines of type LM-2500 from General Electric are connected to two shafts that allow the destroyer speeds of over 30 knots (55.6 km / h). The range is approximately 4400 nautical miles (8149 km) at a cruising speed of 20 knots (37 km / h).

Name, insignia and motto


The destroyer was named after Sergeant Darrell S. Cole, United States Marine Corps . Cole was killed on February 19, 1945 during the Battle of Iwojima when he alone took out several Japanese positions with hand grenades and firearms, thus enabling his troops to advance. On the way back to his own ranks, Cole was killed by a grenade. For these deeds, Cole was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor . DDG-67 was the second ship in the US Navy to be named USS Cole , but the first was named after Edward B. Cole.

The insignia of the Cole is bordered by an oval blue band with the name and identification number of the destroyer in gold letters; Gold and blue are the colors of the US Navy. The actual shield is also kept blue, below is a trident , the symbolization of sea power. Above it are three hand grenades on a red background, reminiscent of Sgt. Cole's attack on the Japanese positions. The breakthrough achieved by Cole's attack is also symbolized by the angle in the ribbon. The helmet of the coat of arms shows a star, the representation of the Medal of Honor , behind it crossed Mamluk swords, as they are carried by USMC officers. At the very back there is a horn that symbolizes Cole's training as a field musician.

The ship's motto is Gloria Merces Virtutis , i.e. fame is the reward for bravery , and also refers to Cole's actions on Iwojima and the subsequent award of the Medal of Honor . Also as a motto is, for the same reasons, A deterministic mined Warrior , so A determined warrior , out.


Construction and First Years

The Cole in the Persian Gulf, 1998

The United States Congress approved the construction of DDG-67 in early 1991, and the contract was awarded to Litton Industries . On February 28, 1994, the keel of the destroyer was laid at the Litton shipyard in Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula , Mississippi . The launch took place after less than a year, on February 10, 1995. The ship was christened on April 5, 1995, godmother was Mrs. Lee Perry, the wife of the then US Secretary of Defense William Perry . This was followed by the final equipment and the shipyard test drives. On March 11, 1996, the Cole was handed over to the Navy, which carried out further test and practice drives. On June 8, 1996, the Navy finally officially put the destroyer into service. The ceremonial location was in Port Everglades , Florida . The ship was stationed at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk , Virginia .

In February 1998 the Cole began its first mission. Through the Mediterranean, she moved as part of the aircraft carrier combat group around the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in the Persian Gulf , where Operation Southern Watch took place. The group returned to the United States in September. In 1999, the ship remained on the US coast, in September she had to leave Norfolk with the other units to avoid Hurricane Floyd .


The hole in the ship's side
The Cole on the bunker platform
The Cole on the Blue Marlin , December 2000

On August 8, 2000, the second transfer of the Cole began , this time as an escort for the USS George Washington (CVN 73) . The destination was again the Middle East. The Cole reached the Arabian Sea through the Mediterranean and the Red Sea . From there the journey was to continue into the Persian Gulf, a port visit was planned in Bahrain . On October 12, the destroyer moored in the Yemeni port city of Aden to bunker there. At 10:30 a.m. local time, the Cole began taking up fuel. This was done on a platform within the protected port area around 600 meters from the landing stages. At around 11:18 a.m., a small boat with two people headed for the destroyer, which at that time was in medium alert (Bravo Level) . Armed guards had to patrol the deck. The boat loaded with explosives was not prevented from approaching and detonated amidships at the level of the engine rooms and the mess. This tore a nine by twelve meter hole in the hull. 17 members of the US Navy were killed in the attack and 39 others were injured.

After initial treatment, the injured were partly flown to Germany to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center , partly by French forces to Djibouti , where they received further care . The bodies were transferred to the USA via Ramstein Air Base . The destroyer itself took water after the explosion and was therefore listed around four degrees, but could be kept afloat by the leak protection squads. Due to the damage to the turbines and generators, the Cole was also no longer able to produce electrical energy after the explosion. Most of the crew stayed on board after the incident to treat the injured, secure the leaks, restore the energy supply and secure the ship from further attacks.

The Cole was in the days after the explosion, among other things by FBI investigated -Ermittlern who confirmed that the explosion had taken place outside the fuselage rather than emanating from the gas turbine of the ship, as Yemeni official had recently suggested after the attack. Navy divers examined the keel and confirmed that it had not been affected. As the first Allied warship, the HMS Marlborough (F233) , a frigate of the Royal Navy , reached the port of Aden early on October 13th. After the British, two US Navy ships also arrived on the scene, the frigate USS Hawes (FFG-53) and Cole's sister ship USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) . Later, several amphibious transport ships came into the port to help with the supply of the soldiers on the Cole .

The Cole is being towed out of the harbor

On October 29, the destroyer was towed out of port by the tug USNS Catawba (T-ATF-168) and loaded onto the semi-submersible Blue Marlin . This transported the Cole across the Atlantic back into US waters. On December 13, 2000, the Blue Marlin reached Pascagoula with her cargo, where the destroyer was docked at Ingalls on Christmas Eve.

In the following fourteen months, around 55 tons of steel as well as two gas turbines and three generators were replaced. This cost around $ 250 million, which is about a quarter of the original construction cost.

The commanding officer of the Cole , Commander Kirk Lippold, was certified along with the crew that they could not have prevented the attack. However, in 2002 the United States Senate refused to confirm Lippold's upcoming promotion to captain, and in 2006 Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter struck Lippold off the promotion list. In 2007, the then 47-year-old seaman retired.

In 2004 a Yemeni court sentenced two men to death for planning the attack . Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is in American custody in the prison camp of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base . Jamal al-Badawi had already escaped from prison in Yemen in 2003 but was caught again in 2004. In 2006 he fled again. In October 2007 he surrendered to the Yemeni authorities. They released him on October 26 by a secret agreement in exchange for divulging his knowledge of al-Qaeda operations. Jamal Ahmad Mohammad Al Badawi is said to have been killed in his vehicle in a US air strike in Ma'rib Governorate on January 1, 2019. US President Donald Trump announced the targeted killing on Twitter on January 6 , which was confirmed by the United States Central Command . A third suspected mastermind, Abu Ali al-Harithi, was killed by the CIA in Yemen in 2002 using an AGM-114 Hellfire fired by an MQ-1 Predator drone .


The Cole in the Atlantic, 2003

On September 14, 2001, the Cole was launched again and completed her first successful voyages in the Gulf of Mexico . On April 19, 2002, it was returned to service in the US Navy, and a week later the destroyer called at its home port in Norfolk.

In the next few months, test and training drives were carried out, these took place off Puerto Rico . In May 2003 the Cole, like numerous other units, also took part in Fleet Week USA , an advertising campaign for the armed forces of the United States , while visitors were guided over the ship. The Cole spent Fleet Week in the Port of Fort Lauderdale , Florida.

In September 2003, the Cole's first exercises with the USS Thorn (DD-988) and the USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) followed . These three ships left in October as escort of the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) for the first Cole relocation after the attack. The carrier combat group became part of the Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean in the fight against terrorism for six months . After a stopover in Rota , Spain at the beginning of December , a visit to Souda Bay, Crete and later to La Maddalena , Sardinia followed . In May 2004 the Cole returned to Norfolk. After a year of local operations, the next voyage into European waters followed in May 2005, together with USS Anzio (CG-68) and USS Tortuga (LSD-46) the Cole took part in BALTOPS , a multinational exercise in the Baltic Sea; This was followed by participation in Kiel Week 2005. At the end of June, the destroyer returned and moored in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , to receive visitors on board around the celebrations for Independence Day .

In June 2006, the Cole joined the combat group around the USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) , with which she was relocated for six months. For the first time the Cole sailed the Gulf of Aden again during this mission. After the outbreak of the Lebanon War , the group was off the coast to cover the flight of American civilians.

After the destroyer was not moved in 2007, the Cole took part in the multinational exercise Exercise Orion '08 in early 2008 . She was the only American unit to escort the British HMS Illustrious (R06) . In addition, French and Spanish ships were involved in the exercise. In late February, the Cole was sent off the coast of the country along with the USS Nassau (LHA-4) because of the ongoing tensions in Lebanon. In the summer, the destroyer took part in the multinational exercise BALTOPS in the Baltic Sea and was also a guest at the Kiel Week at the end of June . In October, the Cole was part of Exercise Joint Warrior 09-2 under the command of the Royal Navy . In early February 2010, the destroyer was relocated to the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf for seven months.


  • Betty Burnett: Terrorist Attacks: The Attack on the USS Cole in Yemen on October 12, 2000 . Rosen Publishing Group, March 2003, ISBN 978-0-8239-3860-5 .

Web links

Commons : USS Cole (DDG-67)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Coat of Arms on the official Cole website . (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on July 5, 2007 ; accessed on March 1, 2013 (English).
  2. Insignia on Retrieved March 1, 2013 .
  3. a b Death toll rises in blast that tore into US destroyer. (No longer available online.) CNN , October 13, 2000, archived from the original on December 15, 2006 ; accessed on March 1, 2013 (English).
  4. ^ Bodies of USS Cole victims brought to Germany. (No longer available online.) CNN , Oct. 13, 2000, archived from the original on Sep. 24, 2007 ; accessed on March 1, 2013 (English).
  5. transcript of a DoD press conference (English).
  6. USS Cole Rejoins the Fleet (Engl.)
  7. Cole Skipper Off Promotion List (Engl.)
  8. ^ Former Cole commander to retire today. The Virginian-Pilot, May 24, 2007, accessed February 10, 2020 (English, not available from Europe).
  9. 2 sentenced to death for Cole bomb. (No longer available online.) CNN , Sep 10, 2004, archived from the original on March 11, 2008 ; accessed on March 1, 2013 (English).
  10. USS Cole bomber died in Yemen air strike - Trump. In: BBC News . January 6, 2019, accessed January 9, 2019.
  11. Felicia Sonmez: Key USS Cole bombing suspect Jamal al-Badawi killed in US airstrike, Trump says. In: January 6, 2019, accessed January 9, 2019 .
  12. Justice Department 'dismayed' over release of USS Cole bombing leader ( Memento of December 31, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (English, via
  13. USS Cole bomber Jamal al-Badawi targeted in Yemen air strike. In: . January 6, 2019, accessed January 6, 2019 .
  14. ^ ARD: Assassin Al Badawi presumably killed. In: Tagesschau. ARD, February 6, 2019, accessed on February 6, 2019 .
  15. USCENTCOM confirms the death of Jamal al-Badawi. In: . January 7, 2019, accessed January 9, 2019.
  16. US Military Confirms Death of Al-Qaida Operative Involved in USS Cole Attack. In: . January 6, 2019, accessed January 9, 2019.
  17. USCENTCOM confirms the death of Jamal al-Badawi. In: . January 7, 2019, accessed January 9, 2019.
  18. US missiles kill al Qaeda suspects. In: November 6, 2002, accessed January 9, 2019.
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on November 4, 2007 .