Struggling to stay afloat financially, the USS Kidd has embarked on a fundraising effort selling what officials describe as “unique war bonds” to the public, Olivia Mcclure, The Advocate's journalist, reports.
U.S.S. Kidd on the Mississippi River is pictured Friday, Apr. 10, 2015 [Via theadvocate.com]
USS Kidd (DD-661), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who died on the bridge of his flagship USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Admiral Kidd was the first US flag officer to die during World War II, and the first American admiral ever to be killed in action. Kidd received eight battle stars for World War II service
The commemorative “war bonds” — a nod to those sold in the 1940s to finance World War II — are on sale in the museum’s gift shop in denominations of $25, $50, $100 and $200.
Alex Juan, Louisiana Naval War Memorial's Executive Director, has said they need money to address some overdue maintenance issues and to fund recently added programs that have increased foot traffic and as a consequence of the bad management of the previous Director.
USS Kidd 2015 [ Via en.wikipedia.org]
“It’s a perfect time for all of this to come together,” Juan said. September will be the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
“People can own a little bit of history and hopefully keep history alive,” Juan said.
The museum is a state agency, overseen by the Louisiana Naval War Memorial Commission, but functions as a nonprofit entity dependent on donations and proceeds from admissions and the gift shop.
About USS Kidd History
Kidd (DD-661) was launched 28 February 1943 by Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Kearny, New Jersey; sponsored by Mrs. Isaac C. Kidd, widow of Rear Admiral Kidd, and commissioned 23 April 1943, Commander Allan Roby in command. During her initial cruise to the Brooklyn Naval Shipyards, she sailed across New York Harbor with the Jolly Roger flying from the foremast. Subsequently, during outfitting, her crew adopted the pirate captain William Kidd as their mascot, and commissioned a local artist to paint a pirate figure on the forward smokestack.
After shakedown out of Casco Bay, Maine in June, Kidd cruised in the Atlantic and Caribbean escorting large combatant vessels until she departed for the Pacific in August 1943 in company with Alabama and South Dakota. Arriving at Pearl Harbor 17 September 1943, she got underway 29 September escorting aircraft carriers toward Wake Island for the heavy air attacks conducted 6 October on Japanese installations located there, returning to Pearl Harbor 11 October 1943.
Undated World War II image [Via www.navsource.org]
Mid-October Kidd was underway with a task force to strike Rabaul and support the Bougainville landings. Upon reaching a strike position south of Rabaul on the morning of 11 November, the task force launched attacks upon Japanese positions on the island. Kidd was ordered to rescue the crew of an aircraft from Essex which had ditched astern of the formation. During this rescue, a group of Japanese aircraft attacked the destroyer; Kidd shot down three attacking aircraft and completed the rescue while manoeuvring to dodge torpedoes and bombs. Cmdr. Roby, her commanding officer, received the Silver Star for gallantry during this action. The destroyer returned to Espiritu Santo 13 November.
Kidd next screened carriers making air attacks on Tarawa during the Gilbert Islands invasion from 19 to 23 November. On the 24th, she spotted 15 low flying enemy bombers heading toward the heavy ships, gave warning, and shot down two Aichi D3A "Val" dive bombers. After Tarawa was secure, Kidd remained in the Gilbert Islands to support cleanup operations before returning to Pearl Harbor 9 December.
On 11 January 1944 Kidd sailed for the forward area at Espiritu Santo, then sailed the next day for Funafuti, arriving 19 January. During the invasion of the Marshall Islands 29 January to 8 February, Kidd screened heavy ships and bombarded Roi and Wotje, then anchored at Kwajalein 26 February.
From 20 March to 14 April, Kidd guarded an airstrip under construction on Emirau and supported the occupation of Aitape and Hollandia in New Guinea 16 April to 7 May. She fought in the Marianas campaign 10 June to 8 July, and performed shore bombardment at Guam between 8 July and 10 August.
In need of repairs, Kidd sailed for Pearl Harbor, arriving 26 August 1944. On 15 September, she departed Pearl, reached Eniwetok 26 September, and arrived at Manus on 3 October. There she became part of the giant Philippines invasion fleet and entered Leyte Gulf 20 October. Here, she screened the initial landings and provided fire support for soldiers who fought to reconquer the island until she sailed 14 November forHumboldt Bay, New Guinea, arriving 19 November. On 9 December Kidd headed toward Mare Island Navy Yard for overhaul and moored at Mare Island on Christmas Day.
Kidd sailed 19 February 1945, to join Task Force 58 (TF 58) for the invasion of Okinawa. Trained and battle wise, Kidd played a key role during the first days of the Okinawa campaign, screening battleships, bombarding shore targets, rescuing downed pilots, sinking floating mines, providing early warning of raids, guarding heavily damaged Franklin (CV-13), and helping to shoot down kamikazes.
While on picket station 11 April 1945, Kidd and her division mates, USS Black, USS Bullard, and USS Chauncey, with the help of Combat Air Patrol, repelled three air raids. That afternoon, a single enemy plane crashed into Kidd, killing 38 men and wounding 55. As the destroyer headed south to rejoin the task group, her fire drove off further enemy planes that were trying to finish her off. Stopping at Ulithi for temporary repairs, she got underway 2 May for the West Coast, arriving Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard 25 May.
The Kidd saw heavy action in World War II, participating in nearly every important naval campaign in the Pacific after her 1943 commissioning, as she fought gallantly during the invasions of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, the Philippines at Leyte Gulf, and Okinawa.
Stern view of USS Kidd (DD 661) off Mare Island on 8 Feb 1945 [Via www.navsource.org]
On 1 August 1945, Kidd sailed to Pearl Harbor and returned to San Diego, California 24 September 1945 for inactivation. She decommissioned 10 December 1946 and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet.