USS Kidder (DD-319)

USS Kidder (DD-319) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Pacific Fleet during the 1920s, before being scrapped because of her badly worn boilers.

The Kidder was named after Hugh P. Kidder, who was awarded the Crois de Guerre with palm and star for his actions on the Western Front and the Distinguished Service Cross for actions on 2-3 October 1918. Sadly he was killed in action on 3 October.

The Kidder was launched by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corps at San Francisco on 10 July 1919 and sponsored by Miss Ethel Murry Jonstone. She was commissioned on 7 February 1921.

USS Kidder (DD-319) stripped for scrap USS Kidder (DD-319) stripped for scrap

After her shakedown cruise the Kidder joined Destroyer Division 34 of the Battle Fleet, and was based at San Diego. From 1921 to 1924 she operated along the West Coast, taking part in general training and the first of the fleet problems. She was also used to test out experimental torpedoes.

In 1922 she was the flagship of Destroyer Division 34, which was then commanded by Walter S. Anderson.

In January 1924 the Kidder passed through the Panama Canal to take part in Fleet Problems II, III and IV, which took part alongside each other. She was back at San Diego on 22 April.

On 15 April 1925 she departed from San Diego to join the fleet off Hawaii to take part in exercises that followed on from Fleet Problem V. She then took part in a massive good will cruise to the South Pacific, visiting Samoa, Australia and New Zealand. She was back at Mare Island on 26 September.

In August 1927 she took part in the unsuccessful attempts to find the aircraft that went missing during the Dole Air Race, a disastrous attempt at a race between the US West Coast and Hawaii. Two aircraft were lost during the race itself, and a third after attempting to search for the first two. By the time the Kidder was reported as being involved in the search, all three were missing, and none were found.

In the spring and summer of 1927 she took part in a joint exercise with submarines in the waters off Hawaii.

By now it was clear that the Kidder’s Yarrow boilers were badly worn. The US Navy decided to swap thirty four of the badly worn destroyers for almost fresh sister-ships that had been in the reserves for most of the 1920s. The Kidder was decommissioned at San Diego on 18 March 1930 and her materials sold on 31 October 1931, helping to fulfil the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

35.51kts at 24,890shp at 1,107t on trial (Preble)


2-shaft Westinghouse geared tubines
4 boilers
27,000shp (design)


2,500nm at 20kts (design)

Armour - belt


 - deck



314ft 4in


30ft 10.5in


Four 4in/ 50 guns
One 3in/23 AA gun
Twelve 21in torpedoes in four triple mountings
Two depth charge tracks
One Y-Gun depth charge projector

Crew complement



10 July 1919


7 February 1921

Sold for scrap

31 October 1930

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann . The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 January 2020), USS Kidder (DD-319) ,

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