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Gr1zzly

Ever wanted to walk the deck of a WWII destroyer?

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Beta Tester
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484 battles

Well, if you want to, you can take a trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and do just that. She rests in a unique docking system designed for the near forty foot rise and fall of the Mississippi river each season. Half of the year, she rides the currents of the Mississippi; the other half, she sits dry-docked in a cradle where visitors can see her full dimensions. Restored to her August, 1945 configuration, KIDD is one of the most authentic and accurate restorations in the Historic Fleet. Of the three preserved Fletcher-class destroyers, she is the only destroyer remaining in her World War II appearance and is on exhibit in her wartime camouflage paint, "Measure 22."

 

For those who have never heard of her, she has a unique history. I'll give you the highlights, if you want to read more, I'll link the resources.

 

The USS Kidd (DD-661) is a Fletcher-class destroyer, the six hundred sixty-first destroyer built by the United States Navy. In the traditional system of naming destroyers after Naval heroes, she was named after Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr. who was killed aboard his flagship, USS ARIZONA (BB-39) during the surprise attack by the Japanese on the American fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. She 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. 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.

 

The Kidd's first voyage was one of some notoriety. Under the command of Cdr. Allan B. Roby, the destroyer moved across New York Harbor for delivery to the Brooklyn Naval Shipyards . . . flying the skull and crossbones of the Jolly Roger high from the foremast. The edition of TIME magazine that week carried a photo of The Kidd, announcing that it had been one hundred years since the Jolly Roger had flown in New York Harbor. The crew quickly adopted the pirate Captain Kidd—who ironically hailed from New York—as their mascot and hired a local cartoonist to paint the famed buccaneer's image high of the forward smokestack.  Not wishing to dishonor RADM Kidd, however, the crew obtained permission from Mrs. Kidd first.  The Admiral's nickname at the Naval Academy had been "Cap" (as in "Captain Kidd") and he had gone by this nickname his entire life.  So on the crew's behalf, Mrs. Kidd obtained official permission from the powers-that-be in the Navy for them to paint the pirate on the stack and fly the Jolly Roger.  The KIDD would become the only vessel in the history of the United States Navy to ever have such leave granted to fly the flag of piracy.


It was early on in her career when she picked up the nickname that would become her trademark. Taking their mascot pirate to heart, crew members began to "ransom" rescued pilots for ice cream mix and other delicacies from their comrades aboard aircraft carriers so that her reputation grew as the "Pirate of the Pacific." Other destroyers conducted this practice, but KIDD did so with a certain flair. The Pirates were one of the first "tin cans"destroyersto have their very own ice cream machine, something usually reserved for the larger vessels of the fleet.

 

The Kidd served with distinction, earning 8 battle stars during World War II and 4 battle stars during the Korean War.

 

USS Kidd - Mare Island - 1945

 

USS_Kidd_Mare.jpg

 

USS Kidd - Unsure of Location and Date

 

USS_Kidd_Then.jpg

 

USS Kidd - Baton Rouge, LA (Photo by Bernard Holmes)

 

USS_Kidd_Now.jpg

 

Resources:

USS Kidd Veterans Memorial:

http://www.usskidd.com/hist661.html

Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Kidd_%28DD-661%29

 

USS_Kidd_Then.jpg

USS_Kidd_Mare.jpg

USS_Kidd_Now.jpg

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Alpha Tester
523 posts
217 battles

Taking a day trip to Louisiana may be a bit of  a stretch for most on this server, but the writeup is interesting.

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Super Tester
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Taking a day trip to Louisiana may be a bit of  a stretch for most on this server, but the writeup is interesting.

 

That's why you go to stuff that's close by.

For me that was the HMS Victory and the Gorch Fock (new and old).

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Beta Tester
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Granted, it might be, but surely there would be closer places that you might be able to find? It was a post to drum up interests in seeing a real historical feature, whether you happen to be in the US on a holiday, or even somewhere else, like the little town of Holbrook, Austrlia, which happens to also have a Oberon submarine, HMS Otway.

 

I also felt there was an interesting story behind the USS Kidd, and the fact it was the only USN vessel to ever actually have permission to fly the Jolly Rodger. :)

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[SIF]
Senior Moderator
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Also have HMAS Vendetta at Darling Harbour that people can go on.

 

Oh, and as to if I wanted to walk on the deck of a WWII Ship - already done, spent 3 days on board the Mighty Mo whilst doing naval exercises off Hawaii.

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Beta Tester
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I've been on the Kidd. Born and raised in the US, moved to Oz 16 years ago but I've walked her. It was quite the experience.

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Moderator
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Shame there aren't any near where I live. Managed to visit the Missouri (and Arizona, technically), and also H.M.S. Belfast while on holidays.

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[1NATN]
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Also have HMAS Vendetta at Darling Harbour that people can go on.

 

Oh, and as to if I wanted to walk on the deck of a WWII Ship - already done, spent 3 days on board the Mighty Mo whilst doing naval exercises off Hawaii.

 

In 1986 the mighty Mo came to Sydney Australia and I was lucky enough to spend a few hours on board, that thing is freaking massive. I want one.

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Beta Tester
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I've been on the USS Boxer when it visited Nth Qld during the Shellwater Bay exercise  many moons ago. Even though it was a small ship in comparison to the other USS stuff it was non the less impressive. The Amphibious launching area at the back in which it seems a third of the ship gets flood was really cool, not to mention the harriers and helicopters on board.

 

 

@Retia - visiting the Victory would be awesome being the oldest ship still in commission, plus its a giant floating time capsule a remnant of a brutal form of warfare.

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