Twelve years later, USS Cole commander recalls deadly attack
“Front Burner: Al Qaeda’s Attack on the USS Cole” is scheduled to be released April 10.Read more:
“At the moment of the explosion, the entire ship is lifted up into the air, and within seconds I knew we’d been attacked,” Lippold recounted in a phone interview with The Daily Caller. “I was sitting in my cabin working at my desk. I went back and opened the safe where I kept the keys to the missiles and the torpedoes and the guns, and I pulled out a 9mm pistol, took a deep breath and went outside on the ship.”
“I didn’t know if we were going to be boarded. … All I knew was I had chambered a round, I had two clips of ammunition. … The only thing I could think of [was] I might be facing my destiny, but I’m not leaving a single round in the chamber. The only two things that mattered to me in the moment were protecting my crew and protecting my ship.”
Lippold’s book tells a story that he and his crew members have always felt needed to be told.
“Over time, several authors approached the crew and me about writing, but none ever followed through,” he said. Finally, Lippold decided to do it himself.
Twelve years after the attack, Lippold said people often ask him why it took him so long to put pen to paper.