Tuesday, December 5, 2023

In photos, video: Remembering the sailors of USS Cole

At 11:18 a.m. on Oct. 12, 2000, when the USS Cole was moored in Aden, Yemen, a small craft approached the ship and detonated an explosive device.

The blast caused a 40-by-60-foot hole in the ship’s port side. The attack killed 17 crewmembers and injured 37 additional sailors.

Navy officials said crewmembers fought the fires and stopped the flooding for hours following the attack. The Cole returned to sea in 2002.

There was a pierside ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk Monday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Cole.

Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Cole’s fifth commanding officer, reflected on those killed in the attack, but also recognized the heroic actions of the crew.

Here are the names of the sailors killed in the attack:

  • Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Kenneth E. Clodfelter, 21, of Mechanicsville, Va.
  • Chief Electronics Technician Richard Costelow, 35, of Morrisville, Pa.
  • Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina M. Francis, 19, of Woodleaf, N.C.
  • Information Systems Technician Seaman Timothy L. Gauna, 21, of Rice, Texas
  • Signalman Cherone L. Gunn, 22, of Rex, Ga.
  • Seaman James R. McDaniels, 19, of Norfolk, Va.
  • Engineman 2nd Class Marc I. Nieto, 24, of Fond du Lac, Wis.
  • Electronics Warfare Technician 2nd Class Ronald S.Owens, 24, of Vero Beach, Fla.
  • Seaman Lakiba N. Palmer, 22, of San Diego, Calif.
  • Engineman Fireman Joshua L. Parlett, 19, of Churchville, Md.
  • Fireman Patrick H. Roy, 19, of Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y.
  • Electronics Warfare Technician 1st Class Kevin S. Rux, 30, of Portland, N.D.
  • Mess Management Specialist 3rd Class Ronchester M. Santiago, 22, of Kingsville, Texas
  • Operations Specialist 2nd Class Timothy L. Saunders, 32, of Ringgold, Va.
  • Fireman Gary G. Swenchonis, Jr., 26, of Rockport, Texas
  • Lt. j.g. Andrew Triplett, 31, of Macon, Miss.
  • Seaman Craig B. Wibberley, 19, of Williamsport, Md.

Here’s video of the ceremony:


Information from the U.S. Navy.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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