Cole’s bell ‘picked’ and recovered

Here we see the original brass bell from the USS Cole (DD-155), a Wickes-class “four-piper” destroyer laid down in the last year of the Great War, named for Maj. Edward Ball Cole, a Marine killed at Belleau Wood, and commissioned in 1919.

The hard-charging vessel helped evacuate refugees from the Greco-Turkish War, looked for survivors of the wreck of the airship Akron, and served on FDR’s risky Neutrality Patrol in the early pre-Pearl Harbor days of the U.S. involvement in WWII.

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Langley (CV-1) and the destroyer USS Cole (DD-155) underway in the South Pacific, probably in the mid-1930s.

Once the balloon went up took part in the Torch Landings– where Cole raced in with two other four-pipers and landed 175 raiders drawn from the Army’s 47th INF Rgt under Vichy French fire at Safi, Morocco.

Notably, this landing took place exactly 76 years ago today, on 8 November 1942.

USS Cole, photographed during the North African Invasion Campaign, in November 1942. Her mast was removed to facilitate her role in the landings at Safi, Morocco (NARA 80-G-31435)

Batterie Railieuse, on PointeDe La Tour, Safi Morocco, on 8 November 1942, after being bombarded by U.S. Navy ships. Guns have been spiked by occupying U.S.Troops (Army SC# 165757)

She also escorted 7 convoys across the North Atlantic and took part in the invasion of Sicily. For her wartime service, she picked up a Presidential Unit Citation (for the Safi action) and three battle stars.

Decommissioned 1 November 1945, Cole was sold for scrap in 1947 and her bell, seen above, placed in storage by the Navy.

Well, it was apparently loaned out and then fell off the map for 70 years.

Last year, the guys from American Pickers came across it at a location in New Hampshire and, after doing the research, have it back to the Navy.

The episode where they brought it to the National Museum of the United States Navy aired this week.

I met the guys from the show a couple years ago in Louisiana when I literally bumped into them while combing through an antique store for militaria. Great guys and good on em.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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