Kinkaid, Thomas C.
Thomas Cassin Kinkaid was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, on 3 April 1888, the son of a Navy family. Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1908, his early commissioned service was spent in the battleships Nebraska and Minnesota. In 1913, he began instruction in ordnance engineering and served in that field for the next few years. Lieutenant Kinkaid was an officer of the battleship Pennsylvania in 1917-18, was then attached to the British Admiralty and later in 1918 became Gunnery Officer of USS Arizona. He remained in that ship until mid-1919, when he was assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance, in Washington, D.C.
Lieutenant Commander Kinkaid was Assistant Chief of Staff to the Commander U.S. Naval Detachment in Turkish Waters in 1922-24. He was next placed in command of the destroyer Isherwood and in 1925-27 was assigned to the Naval Gun Factory. For the following two years, Commander Kinkaid served as Fleet Gunnery Officer and Aide to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet. Studies at the Naval War College in 1929-30 were followed by duty as Secretary of the Navy's General Board and as a Naval Advisor at the 1931-32 Geneva Disarmament Conference. He was Executive Officer of the battleship Colorado in 1933-34 and served with the Bureau of Navigation, in charge of the Officers' Detail Section, until mid-1937. Captain Kinkaid then took command of USS Indianapolis. Service as Naval Attache in Italy and Yugoslavia followed in 1938-41. In the months prior to U.S. entry into World War II, he commanded a destroyer squadron.
The year 1942 brought promotion to Rear Admiral and command of a Pacific Fleet cruiser division. During the last half of the year, he commanded a task force built around the aircraft carrier Enterprise, participating in the long and difficult fight to seize and hold the southern Solomon Islands. Rear Admiral Kinkaid was placed in charge of the North Pacific Force in January 1943 and took it through the operations that regained control of the Aleutian Islands. Moved in November 1943 from the cold of the northern Pacific to the steamy Equatorial region, Vice Admiral Kinkaid became Commander Seventh Fleet, a responsibility he held for two years as he directed U.S. Navy forces in their advance across the northern coast of New Guinea and up to Leyte in 1944, and through the Philippines and into the East Indies in 1945. After the Pacific War ended in August 1945, his fleet assisted in operations on the Korean and China coasts.
Admiral Kinkaid was Commander Eastern Sea Frontier and the Atlantic Reserve Fleet from 1946 until his retirement in May 1950. He subsequently returned to active duty with the National Security Training Commission in 1951-53 and was a member of that body for much of the rest of the decade. He also served with the American Battle Monument Commission for fifteen years, beginning in 1953. Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid died on 17 November 1972.
USS Kinkaid (DD-965), commissioned in 1976, is named in honor of Admiral Kinkaid.
This page features selected views of Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid.