Navy to Christen New Guided-Missile Destroyer Kidd

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
The Navy will christen the newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer Kidd, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2005, during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems – Ingalls Operations in Pascagoula, Miss.

The ship will honor Medal of Honor recipient Rear Adm. Isaac Campbell Kidd. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 26, 1884, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1906. On Dec. 7, 1941, Kidd was commander of Battleship Division One and the senior officer present afloat during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. From the bridge of his flagship, the USS Arizona, Kidd directed the counterattack against enemy aircraft until the magazine of Arizona was exploded by enemy ordnance, eventually sinking the ship, and a direct hit to the bridge took his life. Adm. Kidd was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day.

Vice Adm. Phillip Balisle, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, will deliver the principal address. Regina Kidd Wolbarsht and Mary Corrinne Kidd Plumer will serve as sponsors of the ship named for their grandfather. In the time-honored Navy tradition, they will break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen the ship “Kidd.” Two previous U.S. Navy destroyers have been named in honor of Kidd. The first ship was a Fletcher-class destroyer that was in service from 1943-1974. It is now a floating veterans memorial and museum in Baton Rouge, La. The second, a Kidd-class destroyer was also built at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. It served from 1981-1998 and was then sold to Taiwan. Kidd is the 50th ship in the Arleigh Burke class of guided-missile destroyers. This highly capable, multi-mission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the National Military Strategy. Kidd will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century. Cmdr. Richard E. Thomas of Westwood, N.J., will command Kidd and lead her crew of 380 officers and sailors. The 9,200-ton Kidd has an overall length of 511 feet, a waterline beam of 59 feet and a navigational draft of 33 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.

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