BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The USS KIDD has completed a restoration project that hopes to make the ship more interactive for a new generation of visitors.
After months of anticipation, a crane from McKinney Fleet & Barge Services of Baton Rouge lowered a radar back atop the ship's mast. The restored radar is rotating for the first time in nearly a decade.
"For years, folks have been asking 'Didn't the radar used to operate?'" said Tim NesSmith, Ship Superintendent and Educational Outreach Coordinator for the USS KIDD Veterans Museum. "Machinery gets old and eventually breaks down. Sometimes it's not so easy or quick to fix. But it's interesting to see how many people noticed that missing detail."
The restoration project was launched in August 2015. It was completed Monday, May 16.
"We fight a constant battle between education and entertainment," NesSmith admitted. "People want to see the latest and greatest technology. But the main reason they come here is to learn how their grandparents operated without the gadgets that we have today. It's a fine line to walk."
The project was made possible through a coalition of contributors. McKinney Fleet & Barge Services provided the use of a crane barge for three separate lifts, valued at a total of $28,000. The Henson Moore Endowment Fund for the USS KIDD, which is housed at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, covered over $2,000 of the initial cost of repairs to the radar arrays. Tin Can Sailors, Inc., the National Association of Destroyer Veterans, also provided funding for any additional repair costs.