Isaac C. Kidd

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Isaac Campbell Kidd
Isaac C. Kidd.NH50176.jpg
Captain (future Rear Admiral) Isaac C. Kidd, USN in a picture taken while he was Chief of Staff to the Commander, Base Force, U.S. Fleet
Born(1884-03-26)March 26, 1884
Cleveland, Ohio
DiedDecember 7, 1941(1941-12-07) (aged 57)
Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
Resting place
Hull of USS Arizona
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1906–1941
RankUS-O8 insignia.svg Rear Admiral
Commands heldUSS Vega (AK-17)
Port of Cristóbal, Panama Canal Zone
Officer Detail Section, Bureau of Navigation
Destroyer Squadron 1
USS Arizona (BB-39)
Battleship Division 1
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsMedal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor
Purple Heart ribbon.svg Purple Heart

Isaac Campbell Kidd (March 26, 1884 – December 7, 1941) was an American Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. He was the father of Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Jr. Kidd was killed on the bridge of USS Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The highest ranking casualty at Pearl Harbor, he became the first U.S. Navy flag officer killed in action in World War II as well as the first killed in action against any foreign enemy.

He was a posthumous recipient of his nation's highest military honor—the Medal of Honor. A Fletcher-class destroyer, Kidd (DD-661), was commissioned in his honor on April 23, 1943. The second ship named after him, Kidd (DDG-993), lead ship of four Kidd-class destroyers, was commissioned on March 27, 1981. An Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, Kidd (DDG-100), was the third ship named after him and was commissioned on June 9, 2007.[1]

Early years and military service[edit]

Kidd was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1884. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1902, graduating with the Class of 1906 in February of that year. He was commissioned an ensign in 1908. Kidd participated in the 1907–1909 Great White Fleet cruise around the world while serving on the battleship New Jersey. Following service on the battleship North Dakota and armored cruiser Pennsylvania, Kidd became the Aide and Flag Secretary to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, the first of his many flagstaff assignments. He was an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1916–1917.

During and after World War I, Kidd was stationed on New Mexico, and then he had further staff and Naval Academy service. He was the executive officer of the battleship Utah in 1925–1926, then commanded the Navy transport Vega until becoming the Captain of the Port at Cristóbal, Panama Canal Zone from 1927 to 1930. Promoted to the rank of captain, he was the Chief of Staff to the Commander, Base Force, United States Fleet in 1930–1932. After three years at the Bureau of Navigation in Washington, D.C., he was the Commander of Destroyer Squadron One, Scouting Force, in 1935–1936, stationed in Long Beach, California. The Kidd family resided in a downtown Long Beach apartment building.[2]

During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Rear Admiral Kidd was the Commander of Battleship Division One and the Chief of Staff and Aide to the Commander, Battleship Battle Force. At his first knowledge of the attack, he rushed to the bridge of USS Arizona, his flagship, and "courageously discharged his duties as Senior Officer Present Afloat until Arizona blew up from a magazine explosion and a direct bomb hit on the bridge which resulted in the loss of his life."[3]

Kidd's body was never recovered and to this day he is considered missing in action. U.S. Navy salvage divers located his Naval Academy ring fused to a bulkhead on Arizona's bridge.[4] A trunk containing his personal memorabilia was found in the wreck and sent to his widow.[5] Rediscovered in the attic by his children, both the trunk and its contents are now displayed in the museum at the USS Arizona Memorial.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Admiral Kidd posthumously received the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart. His other awards include the Army of Cuban Pacification Medal, Mexican Service Medal, World War I Victory Medal with Atlantic Fleet Clasp, American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one bronze battle star for Pearl Harbor (posthumous), and the World War II Victory Medal (posthumous).

A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Cuban Pacification Medal Mexican Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal
with Atlantic Fleet Clasp
American Defense Service Medal
with Fleet Clasp
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
with star
World War II Victory Medal Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage, and complete disregard of his own life, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese Forces on December 7, 1941. He immediately went to the bridge and as Commander Battleship Division ONE, courageously discharged his duties as Senior Officer Present Afloat until the USS Arizona, his Flagship, blew up from magazine explosions and a direct bomb hit on the bridge, which resulted in the loss of his life.

Namesake and relations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "U.S. Navy: Welcome Aboard". Archived from the original on 4 January 1997. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  2. ^ Archbold, Rich (29 April 2016). "Long Beach remembers Pearl Harbor and its heroes: Rich Archbold". Press Telegram.
  3. ^ "USS Kidd DDG 100 - Named for Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd". United States Navy. Archived from the original on 5 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  4. ^ Keller, John. "A Naval Academy class ring gives mute testimony to disaster at Pearl Harbor 70 years ago today". Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr.(1884–1941)". Archived from the original on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  6. ^ "Admiral Kidd Park".
Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Naval History and Heritage Command.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.