The Upper South Carolina Council of the Navy League is pleased to announce that Lieutenant Commander Bob Overturf, USN (ret.), will be the guest speaker at its September 12, 2019, dinner program at the Poinsett Club in Greenville, SC.
On October 12, 2000, eleven months before the 9/11 attacks, the United States guided missile destroyer USS Cole docked in the Yemen port of Aden to refuel. On that sunny morning, the 8,400-ton destroyer was shattered by an enormous explosion. The ship had been attacked by al-Qaeda suicide bombers in a small boat loaded with explosives. LCDR Overturf was part of the crew of nearly 300 and survived the blast that claimed the lives of 17 sailors.
Battered and injured, the crew members spent the next day and a half working to save the ship. There were no waiting ambulances or firefighters to assist, only the shaken but resolute crew of the Cole. It took another 36 to 48 hours for another Navy ship to arrive. The crew had to fight for the next 18 days to keep the ship afloat and to survive.
The public is cordially invited to join us for this unique opportunity to hear first-hand from an officer serving aboard the Cole about the events leading up to the attack, the heroic efforts by the crew to save the ship, and the aftermath that affected both the crew and the future of US Navy rules of engagement. LCDR Overturf played a critical role in saving the Cole and for his efforts he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal by the Secretary of the Navy.
The Navy League is a civilian non-profit organization whose mission is to support the sea services: Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and US-Flagged Merchant Marine. It does this through informational programs, support of sea service personnel and their families, youth programs, and other local area programs.