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First Name: Isaac

Last Name: Kidd

Birthplace: Cleveland, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: Annapolis, MD
Middle Name: Campbell

Date of Birth: 26 March 1884

Date of Death: 07 December 1941

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served: 1906-1941
Isaac Campbell Kidd

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1906

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Isaac Campbell Kidd
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Isaac Campbell Kidd (26 March 1884 - 7 December 1941) was an Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy who was killed on the bridge of the USS Arizona (BB-39) during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was the father of Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Jr. Kidd was posthumous awarded his nation's highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor. The highest ranking casualty at Pearl Harbor, he became the first U.S. Navy flag officer killed in action in World War II, as well as the first killed in action against a foreign enemy.

Isaac Campbell Kidd was born on 26 March 1884 in Cleveland, OH. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1902, graduating with the Class of 1906 in February of that year. He was commissioned an Ensign in 1908 after completing his (then required) mandatory two years of sea duty. Kidd participated in the 1907-09 Great White Fleet cruise around the world while serving on the USS New Jersey (BB-16). Following service on the USS North Dakota (BB-29) and the USS Pennsylvania (ACR-4), Kidd became the Aide and Flag Secretary to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, the first of his many flagstaff assignments. He was an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1916-17.

During and after World War I, Kidd was stationed on the USS New Mexico (BB-40), and then he had further staff and Naval Academy service. He was the executive officer of the battleship USS Utah (BB-31) in 1925-26, then commanded the USS Vega (AK-17) until becoming the Captain of the Port at Chrisobal, Panama Canal Zone in 1927-30. Promoted to the rank of Captain, he was the Chief of Staff to the Commander, Base Force, United States Fleet in 1930-32. After three years at the Bureau of Navigation in Washington, DC, he was the Commander of Destroyer Squadron One, Scouting Force, in 1935-36.

During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Rear Admiral Kidd was the Commander of Battleship Division One and the Chief of Staff and Aide, to the Commander, Battleship Battle Force. At his first knowledge of the attack, he rushed to the bridge of USS Arizona, his flagship, and "courageously discharged his duties as Senior Officer Present Afloat until the Arizona blew up from a magazine explosion and a direct bomb hit on the bridge which resulted in the loss of his life."

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy.

Place and date: Pearl Harbor, HI, 7 December 1941.

Citation: For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. Rear Adm. Kidd immediately went to the bridge and, as Commander Battleship Division One, courageously discharged his duties as Senior Officer Present Afloat until the U.S.S. Arizona, his Flagship, blew up from magazine explosions and a direct bomb hit on the bridge which resulted in the loss of his life.

Rear Admiral Kidd's body was never recovered. U.S. Navy salvage divers located his Naval Academy ring fused to a bulkhead on the Arizona's bridge. A trunk containing his personal memorabilia was found in the wreck and was sent to his widow. Rediscovered in the attic by his children, both the trunk and its contents are now displayed in the museum at the USS Arizona Memorial.

Kidd's son, Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Jr., served in the US Navy from 1941 to 1978. Kidd's grandson is the Navy Captain Isaac C. Kidd III.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
Army of Cuban Pacification Medal
Mexican Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal
American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal


Three U.S. Navy destroyers have been named in Admiral Kidd's honor.

Death and Memorial

Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd was killed in action on 7 December 1941. His body was never recovered.

His name is inscribed on the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu, Honolulu County, HI.

His name is also inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial in Honolulu, Honolulu County, HI.

His name is included on a large family headstone at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, MD.

Honoree ID: 1479   Created by: MHOH




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