Emerson Cole was the third child born to Timothy and Ruth Cole, arriving April 4th, 1947. He was known to be both “fun-loving” and a “hellion” by friends and family.
Emerson graduated from Findlay High School in 1966. Not sure of what direction to go in life he took a job a Pepsi as a delivery driver. He loved riding his Ducati motorcycle. The Vietnam War caught up with him in 1967 when he was drafted into the Army.
After basic and AIT training Emerson was sent to Vietnam where he served with the Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. He was an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) driver and Direct Fire Crewman.
He was well liked in his unit. One post on the “Vietnam Wall of Faces” from fellow soldier Dave Reese, “I served in the same squad as Cole-quite a character and friend-the tattoo on my leg is in his honor-Cole, Me and Larry Heinneman, one crazy crew-RIP”
Emerson was a good soldier, earning the rank of Private First Class during his year in Vietnam. On March 28th, 1968, with only ten days left in country his unit was tasked to go to headquarters to trade in the old APC’s and pick up new ones. When the new equipment was not ready the unit was loaded onto trucks and sent back to their base. The truck Emerson was riding “shotgun” in was in an accident and rolled. He was killed six days before his 21st birthday. He was promoted posthumously to the rank of Sergeant.
Another soldier in his unit, Don Bass, gave tribute to him: “Larry went home first. Then I left. You were going to meet me in Omaha and pick up motorcycles and ride to Chicago to see Heinneman. It didn’t happen, but I have never forgotten.”
Seargeant Cole was laid to rest in the Maple Grove cemetery in Findlay, Ohio.