Born in Philadelphia 14 April 1831, Kidder Randolph Breese was appointed a Midshipman 6 November 1846 and warranted 8 June 1852. He served in Mississippi, flagship of Commodore Perry, during the expedition to Japan (1854-55) and as captain of Black Hawk, flagship of Admiral Porter's Mississippi Squadron, during the Civil War. Retired in 1874, Captain Breese died at Newport, R. I., 13 September 1881.
(DD 122: dp. 1213; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'4"; s. 33.2 k.; cpl. 122; a. 4 4", 2 3", 12 21" TT.; cl. Lamberton)
She reported to Commander, Cruiser Force, Atlantic Fleet, and cruised for several days as a convoy escort at the close of World War I. Returning to Norfolk, she was assigned to Division 12, Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, and served in Cuban waters during the spring of 1919. In July 1919, Division 12 was assigned to the pacific Fleet, based at San Diego. For a year she served with Squadron 4 and from June 1920 was in Rotating Reserve. During October 1920 to June 1922 she participated in division maneuvers and fleet maneuvers with the battle force, in the Pacific, and went out of commission 17 June 1922.
Breese was redesignated a light minelayer (DM 18) on 5 January 1931. Recommissioned 1 June 1931, following overhaul and conversion at Mare Island Navy Yard, she returned to San Diego for trials and standardization tests before departing for Pearl Harbor. Assigned to Division 1, Minecraft, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet, in Hawaiian waters, she engaged in training exercises, served with submarine divisions as target ship, and as station ship for airplane flights until her return to San Diego in June 1937. She was out of commission in reserve from 12 November 1937 until 25 September 1939.
Upon recommissioning Breese joined Mine Division 5, Battle Force. On 2 November 1939 she arrived at Puget Sound Navy yard for Neutrality Patrol off the Oregon and Washington coasts. The next year she made an inspection trip to Alaskan bases with Commander, Alaskan Section, embarked. Upon returning she rejoined her Division in San Francisco and prepared for a cruise to Hawaii, where she arrived 10 December 1940. Attached to Mine Division 2, Minecraft, Battle Force, Pacific Fleet, through the succeeding year she took part in training exercises in the operating area and on Maui range. On 7 December 1941 Breese was anchored at Pearl Harbor and by 0757 she opened fire with her machine guns at close range on the attacking Japanese planes. Although she received no material damage from the Japanese attack, she aided in the sinking of one midget submarine and damaged numerous enemy planes.
Breese operated in the Central Pacific from 7 December 1941 until 10 October 1944. She then extended her sphere of duty westward to include various islands in the Marianas-Philippine area and continued to serve as a minelayer and patrol ship until 7 November 1945.
During her wartime career she carried out minesweeping duties during the consolidation of the Solomon Islands (6-13 May 1943); New Georgia-Rendova-Vangunu operation (29 June-25 August); occupation and defense of Cape Torokina (1-8 November); Leyte landings (12-24 October 1944); Lingayen Gulf landings (4-18 January 1945); Iwo Jima operation (16 February-7 March); Okinawa seizure (25 March-30 June); and 3rd Fleet operations against Japan (5-31 July). In August and September 1945 Breese swept mines in the Eat China Sea and Kyushu-Korean area.
On 7 November 1945 Breese steamed to the west coast, arriving 25 November. She transited the Panama Canal and put into New York 13 December. She was decommissioned 15 January 1946 and sold 16 May 1946.
Breese received ten battle stars for her World War II service.
8 December 2005