Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A fateful meeting at Pearl Harbor

A fateful meeting at Pearl Harbor

Two weeks before the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, my Grandfather a Colonel in the US Army Medical Corps, had lunch on board the USS Arizona with Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, the Commander of Battleship Division One. My Grandfather and RADM Kidd were old friends having served together in the Panama Canal Zone in the late 1920s and early 1930s. My Grandfather was traveling from Manila in the Philippines, where he was chief of surgery at Sternberg Army Hospital. He was in the states when the attack occurred on December 7th.

My Grandfather in 1940, an Army Doctor in the Philippines

RADM Kidd was on the USS Arizona, his flagship, during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The other ships in the Division were the USS Pennsylvania and the USS Nevada. RADM Kidd directed the defenses of the ships until a Japanese bomb penetrated the deck and exploded in the forward magazine, detonating over one million pounds of explosives. The explosion ruined the ship and killed over 1000 men including RADM Kidd. His remains were never found, only his Naval Academy ring welded to a bulkhead by the heat of the blast. Divers later found a trunk of his belongings, which were returned to his family and now are in the USS Arizona memorial museum.

RADM Kidd was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on December 7, 1941

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