ExploreSouthernHistory.com - USS Kidd & Museum, Louisiana
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - USS Kidd & Museum, Louisiana
USS Kidd & the Mississippi River
A decorated warship of World War II, the destroyer
USS Kidd is part of a museum and memorial complex
in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
USS Kidd at Baton Rouge
The sun sets over the World
War II destroyer and the
Mississippi River at Baton
Rouge, Louisiana.
Anti-Aircraft Guns
The guns of the USS Kidd
have been restored to
operational order as part of
the renovation of the ship.
USS Kidd & Museum - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
WWII Destroyer in Baton Rouge
Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Update: August 16, 2012
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Historic Ships & Boats in the South
Stack of the USS Kidd
An image of Captain Kidd
decorates the stack of the
USS Kidd. The destroyer was
actually named after a U.S.
Navy officer.
USS Constitution Exhibit
Visitors to the museum at the
USS Kidd complex can walk a
replica of the deck of "Old
The USS Kidd is a Fletcher class World War
II destroyer that can be seen on the riverfront
Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Built in New Jersey, the warship was one of
four destroyers launched on February 28,
1943. One of the first women ever to serve
aboard a U.S .naval vessel, Ensign Anne
Randle, was one of the crew members for
the Kidd's first voyage. A member of the
WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary
Emergency Services), Randle was on board
the Kidd when the ship was delivered to the
Brooklyn Naval Shipyards.

After initial service in the Atlantic, the USS
KIDD passed through the Panama Canal
into the Pacific Ocean as one of the escorts
for the battleships
USS Alabama and USS
South Dakota. The destroyer reached Pearl
Harbor without incident.

The arrival of the USS KIDD at Pearl Harbor
was a noteworthy moment in the history of
the United States Navy. Although the ship
bears a large caricature of the famed pirate,
Captain Kidd, on his stack, it actually was
named for Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell
Kidd, Sr., who was killed when Japanese
aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor on the morning
of December 7, 1941. He was aboard the
USS Arizona, his flagship, when the ship was
attacked and destroyed.

The Kidd's adoption of Captain Kidd as its
mascot gave it a unique distinction. In
addition to the large painting of the pirate on
its stack, the "Pirate of the Pacific" as the
vessel was dubbed also flew the infamous
Jolly Roger. It was the only ship in the history
of the U.S. Navy ever authorized to fly the well
known pirate banner.

The first war damage to the USS Kidd
actually came during an exercise when she
was hit by star-shells from the battleship
USS North Carolina. A sailor, already
strapped to a stretcher to play the role of a
casualty during the exercise, received minor

The destroyer was among the United States
warships that took part in the island hopping
campaign across the Pacific. She took part in
the actions at Wake Island, Raboul, Tarawa
and the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands,
Guam and Leyte. In 1945, the Kidd steamed
to within 11 miles of the Japanese mainland.

On April 11, 1945, the Kidd was hit by a
Japanese kamikaze or suicide attack. Total
casualties aboard the destroyer were 38
killed and 55 wounded.

The ship was repaired and on its way for
Japan to participated in an expected attack
and invasion when the U.S. dropped atomic
bombs on Hiroshima and Nagisaki, forcing
the surrender of the Empire and bringing
World War II to a close.

The Kidd was decommissioned in 1946, but
returned to service five years later when the
United States found itself embroiled in the
Korean War. The Kidd served in various
actions and deployments during the war,
then went on to serve in the Atlantic before
being decommissioned again in 1964.

The ship was given new life a decade later,
however, thanks to the people of the great
state of Louisiana.
One of three destroyers designated by the
Navy to be preserved for memorial purposes,
the Kidd was towed from Philadelphia to
Baton Rouge where she arrived on May 23,
1982. A crowd of thousands lined the levee
as the historic warship arrived.

The USS Kidd opened tot he public in 1983
and over the years since has been carefully
restored to her World War II appearance. The
torpedo tubes have been reloaded and the
guns of the ship are once again in operating
order. Her pirate flag flutters in the breeze
that blows across the historic Mississippi.

The destroyer sites in a unique cradle that
allows her to float when the river is high while
still remaining at an accessible level when
the Mississippi is low.

Part of the Louisiana Naval War Memorial,
the ship sits adjacent to an excellent
museum, monuments and other points of
interest. The ship and museum are open
daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The cost to see both the museum and the
Kidd is $8 for adults (13+), $7 for seniors
(60+), $6 for Active Duty Military and $5 for
kids ages 5-12. Children 4 and under are
admitted free.

To reach the ship from I-110 in Baton Rouge,
take the Government Street exit and then
follow Government through downtown until it
ends at the Mississippi River. You can't miss
the large ship right in front of you. Parking is
available curbside or in nearby parking

From the bow of the USS Kidd, you can look
up the Mississippi River and view the scene
where the Confederate ironclad CSS
Arkansas lost power and ran aground during
Battle of Baton Rouge. Her own crew set
charges that blew her to bits.

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