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Kidder (Destroyer No. 319)

(DD-319: dp. 1,190; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'10"; s. 35 k..; cpl. 95; a. 44", 12 21" tt.; cl.. Clemson)

Hugh P. Kidder was born in Waukon, Iowa, in 1897. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre with palm and star during World War I for courage and endurance while carrying orders to advanced positions under violent machine gun fire during a period of 9 days. Lt. Kidder was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism near Blanch Mont. France, 2 to 3 October 1918 when he led a small patrol into enemy trenches and captured two strong machine gun positions. First Lieutenant Kidder was killed in action 3 October attempting to better his position in the face of heavy machine gun and artillery fire.

Kidder (Destroyer No. 319) was launched 10 July 1919 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., San Francisco, Calif.; sponsored by Miss Ethel Murry Jonstone; and commissioned 7 February 1921, Comdr. H. J. Abbett in command.

After shakedown along the coast, Kidder was assigned to Destroyer Division 34, Battle Fleet, at San Diego. From 1921 to 1924 she operated along the West Coast between Washington and the Canal Zone engaging in training maneuvers, fleet problems, and gunnery exercises. The destroyer played an important role in the development of naval warfare through using experimental torpedoes in exercises.

Kidder transited the Panama Canal during January 1924 for fleet concentrations in the Caribbean, returning San Diego 22 April. She continued her training operations before clearing San Francisco 15 April 1925 for a fleet problem and joint exercises off Hawaii. Kidder then accompanied the Battle Fleet to Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand before returning Mare Island 26 September.

For the rest of her naval service she was almost constantly at sea, including winter fleet concentrations in the Caribbean during 1927 and a joint submarine exercise off Hawaii in the spring and summer of 1928. The Navy gained valuable experience from the various exercises and experiments which Kidder conducted, information that made possible many of the great naval victories of World War II. During her final year of service, Kidder operated out of San Diego and decommissioned there 18 March 1930. After scrapping, her materials were sold 31 October 1930 in accordance with the terms of the London Treaty limiting naval armament.

Published: Wed Feb 24 22:14:03 EST 2016