The USS Kidder (DD-319) served in the US Navy for a decade in the early 20th century. She was named for First Lieutenant Hugh P. Kidder who was noted for his distinguished service in World War I. Kidder was built as a Clemson-class vessel.
Kidder was laid down in San Francisco, California by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in March 1919, launched in July, and commissioned in February 1921 with Lieutenant Commander H.J. Abbett in command. Carrying a crew of 114, Kidder was 314 feet, five inches long, had a displacement of 1,215 tons, and was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, one three-inch anti-aircraft gun, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes. She was propelled by geared turbines and had a cruising speed of 35 knots.
Kidder was stationed at San Diego, beginning in 1921 and assigned to Destroyer Division 34, Battle Fleet. From then until 1924, Kidder operated along the west coast, and participated in training maneuvers from Washington State down to the Panama Canal Zone. She also conducted fleet problems and gunnery exercises, and aided in the development of experimental torpedoes for use in naval warfare.
In January 1924, Kidder sailed to the Caribbean via the Panama Canal for fleet operations, and returned to San Diego in April to resume training operations there. She also conducted fleet operations off San Francisco in April 1925 and off Hawaii. Following this deployment, Kidder sailed with the Battle Fleet to Australia, Samoa, and New Zealand, and returned to Mare Island Navy Yard in September.
Kidder was assigned to winter fleet concentrations in the Caribbean for much of 1927. In the spring and summer of 1928, Kidder participated in a submarine exercise off Hawaii, and various other exercises and experiments that helped the Navy gain experience in naval combat. This proved to be invaluable later on during many World War II battles. The following year, Kidder operated out of San Diego, and was then decommissioned in March 1930. She was struck from the Navy list in July and then sold for scrap according to the London Treaty which sought to reduce and limit naval armament following World War I.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Kidder (DD-319)
The use of asbestos in the construction of marine ships was mandated by Congress in the 1930s, after a fire at sea on a luxury liner killed 137 people. Ships like Kidder deployed asbestos insulation frequently in engines and engineering compartments, and for fireproofing all through the ship. When asbestos insulation is worn or damaged it becomes "friable", which means that individual fibers can break off and enter the surrounding air, where they are inhaled or ingested by naval personnel and shipfitters, increasing the odds of developing mesothelioma. The harm caused by asbestos fibers occurs when very small particles are inhaled; they can infiltrate the respiratory system and occasionally other organs, causing scarring in the case of asbestosis and damage at the DNA level in the case of mesothelioma.
Because malignant mesothelioma usually spreads quickly and is difficult to diagnose, the prognosis in mesothelioma cases is generally not optimistic. Patients who have contracted peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma may have a need for legal help and a qualified mesothelioma attorney can be a valuable resource.
We have also created a mesothelioma information package with up-to-date information concerning your legal options and treatment options, and a list of mesothelioma clinical trials in the United States. All you have to do is complete the form on this page and we will get a packet to you free of charge.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-319.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd319txt.htm Retrieved 4 January 2011.
NavSource Naval History, USS Kidder (DD-319).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/319.htm Retrieved 4 January 2011.