USS Kidd hosts ceremony remembering 72nd anniversary of kamikaze attack

Updated: Apr. 11, 2017 at 8:17 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Tuesday, April 11, marks the 72nd anniversary of the day when a kamikaze aircraft went through the hull of the USS Kidd.

A total of 38 sailors were killed and 55 members of the crew were injured.

A remembrance ceremony will be held on the fantail of the USS Kidd on Tuesday to honor the fallen.

The ceremony will begin at 1:55 p.m., the exact time the attack began on April 11, 1945. The ship was on the coast of Okinawa, just south of Japan. The Kidd and her squadron had fought off three aerial raids that day before a fourth raid resulted in the ship being struck on her starboard side by one lone suicide plane.

The Kidd crew will remember those onboard the ship on that fateful day alongside one of the few remaining survivors of this attack, Coach Fred King of Miami, Florida.

A rare artifact will also be presented to the museum at that time: the battle-scarred US flag that flew aboard ship off of Okinawa. Christopher Brittin, the son of Lieutenant Burdick H. Brittin, the ship's executive officer who survived the attack, will return the flag to the ship from which it last flew 72 years prior. He will also be presenting his father's military foot locker so that it may once again reside in the executive officer's stateroom aboard the Kidd.

The Kamikaze and the Kidd, a painting of the attack by artist Lieutenant Colonel Paul Eckley, USAF (Ret.). Eckley's brother, John W. Eckley, served aboard the Kidd and survived the collision. Colonel Eckley painted the attack based on the recollections of his brother and his fellow shipmates. The artist's daughter drove from Pennsylvania in December to deliver the painting for inclusion in the museum's newest display, an art exhibit entitled Captured In Canvas—The USS Kidd as Interpreted Through the Brush & Lens. The exhibit is scheduled open on April 11 to coincide with the anniversary of the attack.

The Kamikaze Attack Remembrance Ceremony is free and open to the public.

The USS Kidd Veterans Memorial is located at 305 South River Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.

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