Work Continues on the USS Cole

(Jackson-AP) -- Petty Officer Second Class David Copeland says the return of the U-S-S Cole to the Navy fleet in April will be the final chapter of a painful saga.

Coleman was asleep when the Cole was attacked October 12th in Yemen. The attack killed 17 of Coleman's fellow crewmen. Coleman will be one 300 crew members who will be aboard the Cole when it leaves Ingalls April 17th and resumes service.

For now more than 500 people are working around-the-clock to repair the damage the ship received when the destroyer was attacked during a refueling stop in Yemen's Aden harbor October 12th. Damage was so extensive to the Cole's port side that it had to be returned to the United States aboard the Norwegian-owned heavy-lift ship Blue Marlin.

It arrived December 13th at Ingalls, where it was christened in 1995. Mike Chapman an Ingalls employee and the general ship superintendent for the Cole said he'd seen photos of the damage and thought he was prepared for the ship's arrival. But when the ship arrived  he cried. Chapman was in charge of construction of the Cole when it was built at Ingalls.