WWII (1943-46)

“Brother, Can You Spare a Turbine?” – Another Big Swap with the ANTHONY

Memory from: Rear Admiral C.J. Van Arsdall

Setting the Scene

In a previous story, we told how parts from the KIDD may have been scavenged during her repair at Ulithi Atoll following the April 11th kamikaze attack to aid the USS CASSIN YOUNG (DD-793). In the following recollection, Rear Admiral C.J. Van Arsdall, commanding officer of USS ANTHONY (DD-515) at Okinawa during World War II, tells of how parts from the KIDD also helped his ship continue the fight against the Japanese in these final desperate days of the war in the Pacific.

The Recollection

We were still in fire support when KIDD was hit on April 11. Late in that month, we got our first picket support assignment and had a lot of hairy times in the next month. Must have had angels riding in the yardarms, since all the damage from many attacks was minor and not one man was badly hurt. But all of the demands on the engineering plant finally caught up with one generator turbine which started throwing blades. Our efforts at cutting out bad sections plus those necessary to maintain it in balance finally were not enough. We were ordered to escort some cripples to Ulithi. En route, we were told we would go alongside a destroyer tender for replacement of the turbine. I don’t remember the tender, but once alongside [we] found them ready to open us up and replace the generator turbine with one they had cannibalized fromómaybe you guessed itóthe KIDD! It worked perfectly and were back at Okinawa in less than three weeks from our departure. If you want to make a “real” story out of this, I doubt that anyone has records to make a liar out of you or me. The ANTHONY was put out of commission in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1946. Somewhere in the late ’50s, when West Germany was back on our side and allowed to build up a modest navy, they asked for four destroyers and agreed to pay for a recommissioning overhaul and some changes they desired.

The ANTHONY was one of the four. This was such a successful program that we (Destroyer Force Atlantic) and the Navy material folks looking to adding years of service to our aging destroyer forces, used these ships as examples of what could be done with about five million per shipóand was what put our proposed FRAM-I program on track. End of story? No. After about eight years of duty in the West German Navy as Z-1, the ANTHONY was used as a target by a group of NATO ships in the Mediterranean just inside Gibraltar. So maybe the KIDD generator turbine wound up down on that sea bottom? I knew your skipper, Commander H.G. Moore (always since Naval Academy days known by his middle name, “Grimshaw”) who was wounded in the April 11 attack. Not well, really, until after the war, when we had lots of time together in Atlantic destroyers and in Newport, Rhode Island. He never did regain full use of his feet and ankles after all those bones were fractured by the force of the underwater explosion, and had to slide his feet instead of the old “heel and toe” motion. But after the war, I commissioned USS PERRY (DD-844) in Boston, built at Bath Iron Works. He commissioned USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY, JR. (DD-850) in Boston. He died in August 1979. Somewhere along the line, I had the pleasure of seeing the KIDD with the glorious pirate on her stack. I was also around when came the infamous order that only a squadron logo could be shown. Somewhere, I was told that enough spot welds were put in place so that the pirate could be put back without benefit of template, if necessary. I’m so happy you managed to get it back up.

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