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USS Cole provides assistance to Iranian vessel

A United States naval ship, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), named in honor of Park Hills native Sgt. Darrell S. Cole, conducted an approach and assist action in response to a distress call from an Iranian-flagged dhow on Jan. 27.

During the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, Cole died while saving the lives of his fellow Marines in a successful one-man attack against two gun emplacements impeding the advance of his company. Cole posthumously received the United States’ highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his “conspicuous gallantry” at the Battle of Iwo Jima. In 1996 the U. S. Navy named the destroyer USS Cole in his honor.

In late January, the American naval vessel provided assistance to the stranded 75-foot dhow by supplying 17 gallons of diesel fuel.

A “dhow” is the generic name for a number of traditional ships that are built with one or more masts with a triangular sail set (lateen sails) used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region. Dhows are typically characterized as having long thin hulls. These non-military trading vessels are primarily used to carry heavy items such as fruit, fresh water or various merchandise and can be found sailing along the coasts of Eastern Arabia, East Africa, Yemen and coastal South Asia.

The master of the Iranian ship thanked the Americans for their assistance.

“We have an important role and responsibility to aid our fellow mariners in distress,” said Commander David Wroe, commanding officer of the USS Cole. “It was a pleasure to use our training to support the sailors with something even as little as a few cans of fuel.”

The U.S. Navy and coalition forces have a longstanding tradition of helping mariners in distress by providing medical and engineering assistance, as well as conducting search-and-rescue missions when called upon for help.

The USS Cole is currently deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations and theater security operation efforts.

The USS Cole recently provided assistance to an Iranian vessel.

The USS Cole recently provided assistance to an Iranian vessel.

Amy Patterson is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or

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