America Attacked: 9/11 - PRIOR ATTACKS - USS COLE

PRIOR ATTACKS - USS COLE (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Film Geography Disasters American History

Sgt. Don L. Maes, U.S. Marine Corps, took this photo of the crippled USS Cole (DDG 67) as she was being towed from the port of Aden, in Yemen, by USNS Catawba, an ocean-going tug.  The Cole was attacked by terrorists on October 12, 2000, during a scheduled refueling stop in Aden.


Eleven months before the events of September 11, the USS Cole, an American guided missile destroyer, was on its way to Bahrain. It planned to make a port visit where the headquarters of America's Fifth Fleet is located.

Needing fuel on 12 October 2000, the Arleigh-Burke class destroyer made a scheduled refueling stop at the Port of Aden in Yemen. As it "was mooring to a harbor refueling island," a "small boat exploded alongside" the ship, causing a 40-by-40-foot hole amidship on the port side.

The Cole's crew immediately responded with significant damage control. Among other things, they wrapped and plugged the hull at the point where a propeller shaft had penetrated the destroyer's hull. U.S. Marines were sent in to set up special checkpoints around the Port of Aden.

Seventeen sailors died and 39 were injured. Navy divers found some of the missing men in the destroyer's flooded compartments.

The U.S. Navy's pictures of the USS Cole - in its injured state and as it was transported back to America aboard the Norwegian heavy transport Blue Marlin - are on-line:

  • The two ships crossed the Atlantic (you need an MPG player for this video link) and, in December of 2000, returned to America. They arrived at Pier 4 of the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi where the Cole was slated for repairs.

Early on it was clear the explosion had been a terrorist attack. Within a year, the finger of responsibility pointed directly at Osama Bin Laden whose Yemeni family had migrated to Saudi Arabia many years before.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Feb 15, 2016

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"PRIOR ATTACKS - USS COLE" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 17, 2020.
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