Unknown Sailor

ENS David Lester Cole

David Lester Cole was born May 28, 1919 in Sacramento, California.

His father, David V. Cole, was a shipping clerk at a produce house, and his mother, Lillian Curl Cole, a homemaker.

The son graduated from Sacramento High School and attended Sacramento Junior College in 1940. That June, President Franklin Roosevelt announced the creation of the Naval Reserve V-7 program, aimed at quickly training officers as the country prepared for the possibility of war. Mr. Cole enlisted within weeks and took his 90 days of training at the reserve midshipmen’s school Prairie State aboard the U.S.S. Illinois in New York City.

He was commissioned an ensign and assigned to the U.S.S. Arizona on the starboard anti-aircraft guns. He died in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

A Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Sacramento was named in his honor in August 1944.

Sources: the Center for Sacramento History; “World War II Sacramento” by the Special Collections division of the Sacramento Public Library; the Petaluma Argus-Courier; California birth index; Navy muster rolls. Navy photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.
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