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News Release


Release No: 176-95
April 06, 1995



The guided missile destroyer, Cole (DDG 67) will be christened at 11 a.m. (CDT), Saturday, April 8, 1995, at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi. Lee Perry, wife of Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, will break a bottle of champagne across the bow in the age-old Navy tradition and formally name the ship.

Secretary Perry will be the ceremony's principal speaker. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton, and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jeremy M. Boorda, will also speak.

This ship is named for Marine Sergeant Darrell S. Cole, a Missouri native, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in combat on February 19, 1945, during the battle with Japanese Forces at Iwo Jima. Under heavy fire, Sgt. Cole led his men up a sloping beach toward Airfield Number One, personally destroying two enemy emplacements with hand grenades. With his unit pinned down by enemy fire, the 24-year-old Sgt. Cole, armed only with a pistol and hand grenades, advanced alone three times to attack enemy positions. When finally killed by an enemy grenade, Sgt. Cole had eliminated a formidable Japanese position, enabling his company to storm the remaining fortifications and continue the advance by U.S. forces. Sgt. Cole was awarded the Bronze Star for his leadership and tenacious determination in the face of terrific opposition during the Battle of Saipan.

Cole is the 17th of 32 Arleigh Burke Class ships authorized by Congress to be built. These multi-mission ships are equipped with the Navy's modern Aegis combat weapons system, which combines space-age communication, radar and weapons technologies in a single platform for unlimited flexibility. These new destroyers will replace older, less capable ships that are being taken out of service as the Navy reduces spending while maintaining quality as part of its overall plan to modernize the fleet. These versatile ships are designed to operate independently or in support of aircraft carrier and amphibious operations.

The ship is equipped to carry Standard surface-to-air missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from forward and aft vertical launching systems, two fully automated radar controlled Phalanx close-in weapon systems, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, one five-inch gun,

and electronic warfare systems. Cole is 505 feet in length, has a beam of 66 feet and displaces approximately 8,500 tons fully loaded. The ship will have a crew of 25 officers and 315 Sailors. Commander Stewart O'Bryan of Louisville, Kentucky, will be the ship's commanding officer.

A media availability will be conducted at 12:05 p.m. (CDT). Media wishing to attend the ceremony and Secretary Perry's media availability should contact Mr. Jim McIngvale, Director of Communications for Ingalls Shipbuilding, at (601) 935-3971.

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