Obit of the Day (Historical): Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd (1941)
Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd died on the bridge of the USS Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was the highest ranking officer killed that day. A 1906 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Admiral Kidd was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his service on that day. His citation reads as follows:
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.
Admiral Kidd was the first flag officer killed during World War II but even more signficantly he was the first to be killed by a foreign enemy in the history of the U.S. Navy. The admiral was honored by having three separate destroyers, between 1943 and 2007, named for him. His son, Isaac Kidd, Jr. was commissioned as an ensign only twelve days after his father died. The son, like his father, also became an admiral, retiring in 1978.
Random note: Fifteen men were awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions during the Pearl Harbor attack. The other fourteen are Captain Mervyn Berrion (USS West Virginia, posthumously), Lieutenant John Finn (Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay), Ensign Francis Flaherty (USS Oklahoma, posthumously), Lt. Commander Samuel Fuqua (USS Arizona), Chief Boatswain Edwin Hill (USS Nevada, posthumously), Warrant Officer Thomas Reeves (USS California, posthumously), Ensign Herbert Jones (USS California, posthumously), Lieutenant Jackson Pharris (USS California), Machinist Donald Ross (USS Nevada), Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Robert Scott (USS California, posthumously), Chief Watertender Peter Tomich (USS Utah, posthumously), Captain Franklin Van Valkenburg (USS Arizona), Seaman 1st Class James Ward (USS Oklahoma), Commander Cassin Young (USS ; OOTD featured a member of his crew in October 2011).
Sources: wikipedia.org and www.homeofheroes.org
(Image of Rear Admiral Kidd courtesy of www.findagrave.com)