On December 07, 2018, the Honorable Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of the
City-Parish of East Baton Rouge, in cooperation with the Louisiana Naval War Memorial
Commission and the Military Order of the Purple Heart — Red Stick Chapter 177, declared
the Fletcher-class destroyer USS KIDD (DD-661), moored as a living museum in
downtown Baton Rouge, as a Purple Heart Ship.
The Purple Heart Trail was established in 1992 by the Military Order of the Purple Heart
to create a symbolic and honorary system of roads, highways, bridges, and other
monuments throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories to commemorate and honor all
men and women who have been wounded or killed in combat while serving in the
United States Armed Forces. The Trail originates in Mount Vernon, Virginia, which is the
burial location of George Washington. The Purple Heart Medal is specifically a combat
decoration and is our nation''s oldest military medal. It was first created by General
George Washington in 1782 and was known as the Badge of Military Merit. The Purple
Heart Medal is only awarded to members of the armed forces of the United States who
have either been wounded or killed in action by an enemy of the United States.
On April 11, 1945, the USS KIDD (DD-661) was struck by a Japanese kamikaze aircraft
while on radar picket duty 90
miles east of Okinawa. This attack resulted in the deaths
of 38 of her crew and wounded 55 more. Several more crewmen are known to have
been wounded but did not report their injuries, considering them minor compared to
those already suffered by their shipmates.