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.