WWII (1943-46)

“Rescue at Guam” — July, 1944

Memory from: Donald P. Starks

Setting the Scene

Gunfire support was not the sole duty assigned to the KIDD while in the vicinity of Guam, nor the only close encounters with the enemy that she experienced. Records show that on July 13, 1944, while operating independently away from the fleet, an enemy aircraft missed hitting the KIDD and crashed in the waters alongside her. Just five days later on July 18, the KIDD proceeded independently to Fadian Point, Guam, to rescue an American pilot who had crashed in the sea just off the shore line. No enemy opposition was encountered. Donald P. Starks, turret gunner for a Grumman Avenger which flew off of the escort carrier CHENANGO (CVE-28) tells of a similar incident in the waters off of Guam.

The Recollection

Having just recently discovered that the USS KIDD is part of your naval war memorial, it occurred to me that the enclosed picture could be of interest. It was taken on July 27, 1944, off the island of Guam during the period of the invasion and retaking of that island. Our Grumman Avenger had been ditched that day while returning from a support mission over the island. The pilot, radioman, and myself (turret gunner) were picked up by the KIDD and returned to our ship, USS CHENANGO (CVE-28). The lucky transferee in the picture is me, with by now, my favorite destroyer, the KIDD, and crew members in the background.

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