Friday, August 17, 2012

USS Kidd - WWII Destroyer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

USS Kidd and Mississippi River at Baton Rouge, Louisiana
One of my favorite Southern scenes is the view of the historic World War II warship USS Kidd framed by downtown Baton Rouge from the I-10 bridge over the Mississippi River.

Now a museum and memorial, the destroyer was built and launched in New Jersey in 1943. Named for Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr., who was killed when his flagship - the battleship USS Arizona - was destroyed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

USS Kidd
The crew of the ship, however, always enjoyed their association with another "Captain Kidd," the famed pirate or privateer of the late 17th century. A swashbuckling caricature of the pirate graces the funnel of the ship and the USS Kidd was the only U.S. Navy warship ever authorized to fly the infamous "Jolly Roger" pirate flag.

The Kidd spent most of her World War II career in the Pacific. She was one of the destroyers that escorted the battleship USS Alabama to Pearl Harbor and took part in fighting throughout the island hopping campaign waged by the U.S. across the Pacific. At one point she closed to within 11 miles of the Japanese mainland.

Learn more about this historic warship and find out how she came to become part of the Baton Rouge cityscape:

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