Fletcher-class destroyer USS Kidd (DD-661) – 1943 vs. 2023: A Look at Its Legacy and Transformation
The USS Kidd (DD-661), a Fletcher-class destroyer, holds a significant place in naval history, and its story continues to captivate enthusiasts worldwide. The vessel, famously featured in the 2020 movie “Greyhound” starring Tom Hanks, has evolved over the years, transitioning from its wartime role in 1943 to its current state in 2023. In this article, we will delve into the historical journey of the USS Kidd and explore how it has transformed over the decades.
Commissioned on April 23, 1943, the USS Kidd was named in honor of Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Sr., who lost his life during the attack on Pearl Harbor. During World War II, the USS Kidd played a vital role in the Pacific Theater. It participated in numerous combat operations, escorting carrier task forces, engaging enemy aircraft, and providing crucial support during amphibious landings. The vessel was armed with five 5-inch guns, ten 40mm anti-aircraft guns, seven 20mm anti-aircraft guns, ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, and depth charge launchers.
Following World War II, the USS Kidd remained active, serving in the Korean War and undergoing multiple modernization programs. In 1982, it was decommissioned and became a museum ship, attracting visitors eager to explore its wartime history. The USS Kidd, docked in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, became a vital educational and historical attraction, preserving the memory of the brave sailors who served on board.
The USS Kidd gained renewed fame with the release of the movie “Greyhound” in 2020. The film, starring Tom Hanks, brought the vessel back into the limelight as it accurately portrayed the tense battles and challenges faced by destroyers in the perilous North Atlantic during World War II. The movie provided a fresh perspective on the ship’s wartime experiences and further solidified its place in naval history.
In 2023, the USS Kidd remains a remarkable testament to the past, having undergone extensive restoration and preservation efforts. The vessel offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time and experience the life of a World War II sailor. Its deck, crew quarters, and weaponry have been meticulously maintained to transport visitors to the era when the USS Kidd served on the front lines of the war.
The USS Kidd (DD-661) has transitioned from a formidable wartime destroyer to a living museum, preserving the legacy of those who served during World War II. Its portrayal in “Greyhound” rejuvenated interest in its history, making it an enduring symbol of naval heritage. As we reflect on the USS Kidd in 1943 and its presence in 2023, we honor its vital role in history and the dedicated efforts to ensure its enduring legacy.