About Isaac Campbell Kidd
Isaac Campbell Kidd (March 26, 1884 – December 7, 1941) was an American Rear Admiral in the United States Navy who was killed on the bridge of the USS Arizona (BB-39) during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was the father of Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Jr.. He was a posthumous recipient of his nation's highest military honor — the Medal of Honor. The highest ranking casualty at Pearl Harbor, he became the first US Navy flag officer killed in action in World War II as well as the first killed in action against any foreign enemy.
Early years and military service
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 - 09 Great White Fleet cruise around the world while serving on the USS New Jersey (BB-16). Following service on the USS North Dakota (BB-29) and the USS Pennsylvania (ACR-4), 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 - 17.
During and after World War I, Kidd was stationed on the USS New Mexico (BB-40), and then he had further staff and Naval Academy service. He was the executive officer of the battleship USS Utah (BB-31) in 1925 - 26, then commanded the USS Vega (AK-17) until becoming the Captain of the Port at Chrisobal, Panama Canal Zone in 1927 - 30. Promoted to the rank of Captain, he was the Chief of Staff to the Commander, Base Force, United States Fleet in 1930 - 32. After three years at the Bureau of Navigation in Washington, D.C., he was the Commander of Destroyer Squadron One, Scouting Force, in 1935 - 36.
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 the Arizona blew up from a magazine explosion and a direct bomb hit on the bridge which resulted in the loss of his life."
Admiral Kidd's body was never recovered. U.S. Navy salvage divers located his Naval Academy ring fused to a bulkhead on the Arizona's bridge. A trunk containing his personal memorabilia was found in the wreck and was sent to his widow. 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
Admiral Kidd posthumously received the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart. His other awards include the World War I Victory Medal with Atlantic Fleet Clasp, World War II Victory Medal (posthumous), Army of Cuban Pacification Medal, American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one engagement star, and the Mexican Service Medal.
Namesake and relations
Three U.S. Navy destroyers have been named in Admiral Kidd's honor.
Kidd's son Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Jr., served in the US Navy from December 19, 1941 to 1978.
Kidd's grandson is the Navy Captain Isaac C. Kidd III.
Medal of Honor citation: "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."
Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell and Inez Nellie (Gillmore) Kidd had two children. Their daughter, Nereide Kidd, was born and died on the same day, 3 November 1912. She is buried at the U.S.N.A.
Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd (USN)'s Timeline
March 26, 1884
Cleveland, OH, USA
November 3, 1912
August 14, 1919
December 7, 1941
Pearl Harbor, HI, USA
Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland