Remembering the Sailors killed in the line of duty while serving in USS Cole when a terrorist bomb was detonated along the port side of the ship while it was refueling in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000.

HT3 Kenneth E. Clodfelter
Dec. 26, 1978 – Oct. 12, 2000

Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter was born on Dec. 26, 1978, at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, to John and Gloria Clodfelter.

He attended Lee-Davis High School in Mechanicsville, Virginia, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on June 25, 1997.

Clodfelter attended Basic Training and Hull Maintenance Technician “A” and “C” schools in Great Lakes, Illinois. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on March 27, 1998.

Petty Officer Clodfelter was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, and the rank of Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class. He held the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.


ETC Richard D. Costelow
April 29, 1965–Oct. 12 2000

Richard Dean Costelow was born on April 29, 1965, in Trenton, New Jersey, to George and Dorothy Costelow. He graduated from Morrisville High School in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, in 1983, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on May, 23 1988.

Costelow attended Basic Training in San Diego, California, and then went to Great Lakes, Illinois, for training as an electronics technician. After graduating from “C” school in 1989, he was stationed in Sigonella, Sicily, for two years. Beginning in January 1992, he was stationed for almost six years at the White House Communications Agency. Following training at the Center for Surface Combat Systems in Norfolk, Virginia, Costelow reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on Jan. 5, 1998 as an Electronics Technician First Class. He served aboard Cole for her maiden deployment, which began in February 1998. He was promoted to chief petty officer on Sept. 16, 2000.

Chief Electronics Technician Costelow was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation. He held the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award (two awards), Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon, and Presidential Service Badge.


MSSR Lakeina M. Francis
June 7, 1981– Oct. 12, 2000 

Lakeina Monique Francis was born on June 7, 1981 to Ronald and Sarah Francis. She graduated from Eastern Wayne High School in Goldsboro, North Carolina, in 1999, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy April 11, 2000.

After attending Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, Francis was a student at Mess Management Specialist School in Gulfport, Mississippi. She reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on Sept. 27, 2000.

Mess Management Specialist Seaman Francis was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation.


ITSN Timothy L. Gauna
Nov. 12, 1978–Oct. 12, 2000 

Timothy Lee Gauna was born on Nov. 12, 1978 in Dallas, Texas, to Sarah Gauna. He graduated from Ennis High School in Ennis, Texas, in 1997, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Feb. 19. 1999.

Gauna completed Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on April 29, 1999. He was then a student at Surface Warfare Enlisted Schools Command, also at Great Lakes. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on Aug. 12, 1999.

Information Systems Technician Seaman Gauna was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation. He held the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.


SR Cherone L. Gunn
Feb. 14, 1978–Oct. 12, 2000

Cherone Louis Gunn was born on 14 February 1978 in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Louge and Mona Gunn.

He graduated from Kempsville High School in 1997, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy Jan. 20, 2000.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on March 29, 2000, Gunn was a student at Surface Warfare School Command, also at Great Lakes, completing training on May 5, 2000. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on May 23, 2000.

Seaman Apprentice Gunn was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, and the rank of Signalman.


SN James R. McDaniels
April 27, 1981–Oct. 12, 2000

 

James Rodrick McDaniels was born on April 27, 1981 to Dianne McDaniels and James McLaughlin.

He graduated from Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1999, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Dec. 8, 1999.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Feb. 16, 2000, McDaniels was a student at Surface Warfare School Command, also at Great Lakes, completing training on May 31, 2000. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on June 15, 2000.

Information Systems Technician Seaman McDaniels was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation.


EN2 Marc I. Nieto
July 25, 1976–Oct. 12, 2000

Marc Ian Nieto was born on July 25, 1976, in Champaign, Illinois, to Jesse Nieto and Sharon Priepke.

He graduated from an alternative program run by Fond du Lac Goodrich High School one year ahead of his class and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Dec. 7, 1994.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Feb. 23, 1995, Nieto was a student at Surface Warfare Enlisted Schools Command, also at Great Lakes, completing training on July 5, 1995. He completed precommissioning training in San Diego, California, on Nov. 22, 1995, and reported to USS Cole’s (DDG 67) precommissioning unit four days later.

Engineman 2nd Class (Surface Warfare Specialist) Nieto was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation. He held numerous awards, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, letters of commendation, letters of appreciation, designation as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist, and Junior “Determined Warrior” of the Quarter from October to December 1998.


EW3 Ronald S. Owens
Oct. 31, 1975–Oct. 12, 2000

Ronald Scott Owens was born on Oct. 31, 1975. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Nov. 2, 1998.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Jan. 8, 1999, Owens was a student at the Center for Naval Intelligence in San Diego, California, completing training on Jan. 11, 2000. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on Jan. 23, 2000.

Petty Officer Owens was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, and the rank of Electronic Warfare Technician 2nd Class.


SR Lakiba N. Palmer
March 12, 1978–Oct. 12, 2000 

Lakiba Nicole Palmer was born on March 12, 1978. She graduated from San Diego High School in San Diego, California, in 1996, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Nov. 3, 1997.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Dec. 29, 1997, Palmer was a student at Surface Warfare School Command, also at Great Lakes, completing training on Feb.11, 1998. She reported to USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on Feb. 23, 1998, and then to Transient Personnel Unit in Norfolk, Virginia, on Feb. 5, 1999. She was stationed at Naval Station Norfolk from April 23, 1999 to July 8, 1999, and then with Naval Support Activity (NSA) Hampton Roads, Virginia, until May 12, 2000. She reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on June 2, 2000.

Seaman Apprentice Palmer was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, and the rank of seaman.


FN Joshua L. Parlett
July 8, 1981–Oct. 12, 2000

Joshua Langdon Parlett was born on July 8, 1981 in Rosedale, Maryland, to Leroy and Etta Parlett.

He graduated from Harford Christian School in 1999, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Aug. 31, 1999.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Nov. 10, 1999, Parlett was a student at Surface Warfare Enlisted Schools Command until March 10, 2000. He completed training at the Center for Surface Combat Systems Detachment East, Norfolk, Virginia, on June 8, 2000. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on June 10, 2000.

Fireman Apprentice Parlett was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, and the rank of engineman fireman.


FA Patrick H. Roy
March 6, 1981–Oct. 12, 2000

Patrick Howard Roy was born on March 6, 1981 in Washington, D.C., to Michael Roy and Kathy Brown.

He graduated from Storm King High School, Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, in 1999, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 28, 1999.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Oct 5, 1999, Roy was a student at Surface Warfare Engineering School, also at Great Lakes, completing training on Oct. 28, 1999. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on Nov. 16, 1999. He advanced to fireman apprentice on May 16, 2000.

Fireman Apprentice Roy was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, and the rank of fireman.


EW2 Kevin S. Rux
Oct. 31, 1969–Oct. 12, 2000

Kevin Shawn Rux was born on Oct. 31, 1969 to Sandra Flanagan.

He graduated from May Port High School in Mayville, North Dakota, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Oct. 25, 1988.

Following Basic Training in Orlando, Florida, and training at Naval Technical Training Command in Pensacola, Florida, he reported to USS Taylor (FFG 50) on July 5, 1989. He returned to Naval Technical Training Command in January 1991, and then was assigned to USS Deyo (DD 989) on Oct. 22, 1991. Beginning on Nov. 2, 1994, he was a student at Naval Technical Training Center Det. Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. On Jan. 10, 1995, he reported to Submarine Base New London, Connecticut, where he was stationed until Jan. 9, 1998. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on Dec. 15, 1999.

Petty Officer Rux was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, and the rank of electronic warfare technician 1st class. He held numerous awards and decorations, including the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy “E” Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (two awards), National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon.


MS3 Ronchester M. Santiago
Feb. 10, 1978–Oct. 12, 2000

Ronchester Mananga Santiago was born on Feb. 10, 1978 to Rogelio and Simeona Santiago.

He completed requirements at Kingsville Alternative High School in December 1996, and was a 1997 graduate of H. M. King High School in Kingsville, Texas. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Dec. 11, 1996.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on March 19, 1997, Santiago was a student at Surface Warfare Engineering School, also at Great Lakes, completing training on April 10, 1997. He served aboard USS Constitution from April 25, 1997 until Jan. 7, 2000. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on Feb. 7, 2000.

Mess Management Specialist 3rd Class Santiago was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation. He held the Meritorious Unit Commendation.


OS2 Timothy L. Saunders
Aug. 20, 1968–Oct. 12, 2000

Timothy Lamont Saunders was born on Aug. 20, 1968 to Betty Saunders.

He graduated from Dan River High School in Danville, Virginia, in 1986. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 10, 1989.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Oct. 12, 1989, he reported to USS Wisconsin (BB 64), where he was stationed until March 31, 1992. He joined the crew of USS Enterprise (CVN 65) on April 15,1992, and served until June 2, 1993, leaving to report to Operations Specialist “A” School. On Dec. 8, 1993, he reported to USS George Washington (CVN 73) and, beginning on 19 February 1996, he was a student at Fleet Combat Training Center Atlantic Fleet in Dam Neck, Virginia. On July 9, 1999, he reported for duty on USS Cole (DDG 67).

Operations Specialist 2nd Class Saunders was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation. He held the Navy “E” Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.


FN Gary G. Swenchonis Jr.
Sept. 1, 1974–Oct. 12, 2000

Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr. was born on Sept. 1, 1974 at Fort Hood, Texas, to Gary Sr. and Deborah Swenchonis.

Swenchonis graduated from Rockport-Fulton High School in Rockport, Texas, in 1994, and enlisted in the U.S. Army for four years. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Jan. 14, 1999.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on June 4, 1999, Swenchonis was a student at Surface Warfare Engineering School, also at Great Lakes, completing training on Aug. 20, 1999. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on Oct. 30, 1999.

Fireman Apprentice Swenchonis was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, and the rank of fireman. He earned many medals and decorations while serving in the Army, including the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Army Service Ribbon.


ENS Andrew Triplett
June 20, 1969–Oct. 12, 2000

Andrew Triplett was born on June 20, 1969 in Macon, Mississippi, to Ree and Savannah Triplett.

He graduated from Noxubee County High School in Macon, Mississippi, in 1987, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on June 2, 1987.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Aug. 1, 1987, Triplett attended Basic Training and Engineman “A” School, also in Great Lakes. Upon completion of training, he reported to USS Sphinx (ARL 24), homeported in Rodman, Panama, on Dec. 28, 1987. While on board Sphinx, he was advanced to Engineman 2nd Class.

On July 6, 1991, Triplett reported to Ship’s Intermediate Maintenance Activity, Naval Station New York, New York, for duty as the leading petty officer of the air conditioning and refrigeration shop. While there, he was advanced to Engineman 1st Class. He was a student at the Center for Surface Combat Systems in San Diego, California, before reporting to USS Ticonderoga (CG 47), homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, on July 29, 1994. On Jan. 20, 1998, he reported to USS Halyburton (FFG 40).

Chief Petty Officer Triplett was commissioned as an ensign on April 1, 1999 under the Limited Duty Officer Program, and he reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on May 17, 1999 as the main propulsion assistant.

Ensign Triplett was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, and the rank of lieutenant junior grade. His held the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), a previous award of the Navy Unit Commendation, Navy “E” Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (two awards), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and NATO Medal.


SA Craig B. Wibberley
Aug. 7, 1981–Oct. 12, 2000


Craig Bryan Wibberley was born on Aug. 7, 1981 in Hagerstown, Maryland, to Thomas and Patricia Wibberley.

He graduated from Washington County Technical High School and Williamsport High School in 1999, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 20, 1999.

After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Sept. 24, 1999, he was a student at Surface Warfare School Command, also in Great Lakes. He reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on Nov. 10, 1999.

Seaman Apprentice Wibberley was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, and the rank of seaman.


The USS Cole is named after Sergeant Darrell Samuel Cole (July 20, 1920 – February 19, 1945), a United States Marine who posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his “conspicuous gallantry” at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.

Sergeant Darrell Samuel Cole, USMC

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

SERGEANT

DARRELL SAMUEL COLE

MARINE CORPS RESERVE

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Sergeant Darrell Samuel Cole (MCSN: 321480), United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as leader of a Machinegun Section of Company B, First Battalion, Twenty-Third Marines, FOURTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the assault on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 19 February 1945. Assailed by a tremendous volume of small-arms, mortar and artillery fire as he advanced with one squad of his section in the initial assault wave, Sergeant Cole boldly led his men up the sloping beach toward Airfield No. 1 despite the blanketing curtain of flying shrapnel and, personally destroying with hand grenades two hostile emplacements which menaced the progress of his unit, continued to move forward until a merciless barrage of fire emanating from three Japanese pillboxes halted the advance. Instantly placing his one remaining machinegun in action, he delivered a shattering fusillade and succeeded in silencing the nearest and most threatening emplacement before his weapon jammed and the enemy, reopening fire with knee mortars and grenades, pinned down his unit for the second time. Shrewdly gauging the tactical situation and evolving a daring plan of counterattack, Sergeant Cole, armed solely with a pistol and one grenade, coolly advanced alone to the hostile pillboxes. Hurling his one grenade at the enemy in sudden, swift attack, he quickly withdrew, returned to his own lines for additional grenades and again advanced, attacked, and withdrew. With enemy guns still active, he ran the gauntlet of slashing fire a third time to complete the total destruction of the Japanese strong point and the annihilation of the defending garrison in this final assault. Although instantly killed by an enemy grenade as he returned to his squad, Sergeant Cole had eliminated a formidable Japanese position, thereby enabling his company to storm the remaining fortifications, continue the advance, and seize the objective. By his dauntless initiative, unfaltering courage, and indomitable determination during a critical period of action, Sergeant Cole served as an inspiration to his comrades, and his stouthearted leadership in the face of almost certain death sustained and enhanced the highest tradition of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Sources:
USS Cole (DDG 67) Med Cruise 2000 (Aug. 8–Nov. 3, 2000) Cruise Book in the collection of the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Navy Department Library. Awards and citations are sourced from the service member’s official military personnel file and listed in the Navy Department Awards Web Service site and may not be complete.
http://www.surflant.usff.navy.mil
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