COL Otis R. Cole (Ret.)

Back to Soldier Gallery

Regimental Commander, 7/7/1934-5/20/1936 (Deceased 1948)

Article:

COLONEL OTIS ROBERT COLE

Born:  18 August 1876 in Dorr, Michigan

Died:  8 September 1948 in California  Buried:  Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California

Married:  8 September 1910 in Fort McIntosh Laredo, Texas

Wife:  Louise Gilmer Glenn

Children:  Glenn Cole
                   Otis Robert Cole, Jr.

Parents:  Doctor Theodore Cole & Mary Eleanora Helmer

Siblings:  Frank Emmit Cole m. Lillian M. Johnson
                   Cole m. Matie Grames or Grams
                   Elizabeth Cole m. Harry Evan Saier

Otis Robert Cole attended Michigan State University on an athletic scholarship for about 1 to 1 ½ years before dropping out to join the Michigan Volunteers (National Guard) in 1898.  He was described as 5’11” tall , fair complexion, light brown hair and blue eyes.  He served in Cuba and The Philippines during the Spanish American War rising to the rank of Sergeant before accepting a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry.  Combat action in the Philippines consisted of “Resisting night attack on Calamba, P.I. 29 October 1901”.  This was with Company C 27th Infantry.   During WWI he served in the Muesse-Argonne Campaign determined by the WWI victory ribbon with Muesse-Argonne Campaign clasp he was awarded and he commanded the 308th Ammunition Trains.  During WWII he was recalled to active duty after having retired and served at Camp Custer in Battle Creek, Michigan.  Other places he served were Jefferson Barracks, Missouri around 1912,  Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3 81st Reserve Division in 1922 (from the Infantry Journal volume 21), Commandant of Cadets at Clemson University 1924 – 1928, Regimental Commander 65th Infantry regiment, Puerto Rico from 7 July 1934  to  20 May 1936 (his son, then 2LT Glenn Cole was in his command and 2LT Cole’s father-in-law, Colonel Lloyd Kefauver was the Regimental Surgeon).  Also served in Detroit at Fort Wayne for a short time around 1930 – 31 and then moved to Northern Michigan to Fort Brady in Sault St Marie followed by a tour in California where he retired . 

He served in the ROTC Military Science and Tactics Department at Rutgers University from 1933 – 1934 and then went to Puerto Rico where he commanded the 65th Inf Reg from 7 Jul 1934 to 20 May 1936.  Found reference on internet where Col. Cole was in California December 1939 with a congressional delegation both on board an unidentified ship leaving Fort McDowell California and at The Presidio in San Francisco.  In the congressional delegation on board the ship was Senator Harry S. Truman. 

Col. Cole retired on 31 August 1940 with the rank of Colonel but went on Active Duty from 1 March 1943 to 21 September 1943.  He passed away on 9 September 1948 in Coronado, California.

The following information comes from documents inherited by me from my grandmother, Louise Gilmer Cole.

Submitted by Robert Cole, grandson