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Sarah Smith | The Feather Online

WWII veteran Bob Cole speaks during Veterans Day chapel, Nov. 14.

Each year Fresno Christian students gather for a unique chapel honoring veterans after their national holiday, Nov. 11.

This year’s annual chapel brought the FCS community together to listen to the personal story of WWII veteran, Bob Cole, (age 97) Nov. 14.

Cole served in the US Navy on the infamous USS Hornet and survived the battle of the Santa Cruz Islands (1942) where he almost lost his eye. Paul Loeffler interviewed Cole on his show, “Hometown Heroes,” back in 2013.

Cole worked on the USS Hornet, an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. The Hornet experienced the battle of Midway and was sunk during the battle for the Santa Cruz Islands. The carrier also launched the bombing raid on Tokyo concocted by James Doolittle.

After returning home from war, Cole spent his years as a teacher, coach and basketball referee. One of his previous students, former Fresno Mayor Alan Autry surprised Cole while on stage. Autry expressed his gratitude for what he called a life-changing moment as Cole’s student.

The following video features Veteran’s chapel with Paul Loeffler, right, interviewing Bob Cole, Nov. 14.

For more veterans information, check out 100th Annual Central Valley Veterans Day Parade.

Braden Bell can be reached via email: Braden BellInstagram and Twitter.

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