Museum staff making plans to move USS Kidd for 'long overdue' repairs
BATON ROUGE - Management at the USS Kidd museum says the WWII-era destroyer will need to be moved from its current location in order for it to undergo extensive maintenance.
The announcement came in a statement Friday, saying repairs would be impossible in the ship's current configuration. According to the statement, the Kidd's last dry-docking came in 1962, making it "long overdue" for such repairs.
The process of getting the ship to dry dock is expected to be a lengthy one. Museum officials say it will likely take years to plan out and secure funding.
You can read the full statement below.
It has been 38 years since USS KIDD found a home in Baton Rouge. She has seen good days and bad; floods and hurricanes, changes in the political landscape, and multiple national championship years. Children who toured or even stayed overnight on KIDD just after she arrived are, now, bringing their own children aboard to experience this historic ship.
According to the Department of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation Projects, the caretakers of historic ships should develop and adhere to “schedules for regular and cyclic maintenance, including drydocking or haul-out of vessels afloat.” The Commissioners and Staff of USS KIDD are beginning the process of developing a plan to take the ship to drydock for repairs that cannot be made while in her current mooring configuration.
Time between drydocking is determined by the conditions of the ship’s environment. Whereas a ship in saltwater may need to be drydocked every 5-10 years, a ship in freshwater may extend that period to 10-20 years, based on the estimated life of the hull coatings. Although KIDD’s unique mooring has allowed for certain repairs and restoration projects, changing river conditions have created a situation where the ship is in the water more than she is “high and dry.” USS KIDD's last known drydocking for structural maintenance was in 1962. She is long overdue.
There are many vessels within the historic ship community that have been through a drydocking project. KIDD Staff will be utilizing all those available resources in order to survey, identify, and develop a plan of appropriate action. It is expected that the planning process and securing the funding will take several years.
While KIDD’s hull is of utmost importance, it has been noted that, through the years that the ship has been boarded by thousands of visitors, many small items from KIDD’s inventory of equipment have gone missing. Therefore, KIDD Staff are declaring a general amnesty for anyone who may have felt that they couldn’t leave without taking a souvenir of their visit. Regardless of how insignificant it may seem, please consider returning the flags, knobs, labels, and other items to their proper home. No questions will be asked.
USS KIDD is restored to her 1945 configuration and staff are always on the lookout for vintage items that may help tell the story of Sailors at sea during World War II. Call the Museum at 225-342-1942, if you have material, such as magazines, Navy blankets, typewriters, v-mail, etc., that may be appropriate for use in the staterooms aboard KIDD and that you are willing to donate.
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