Isaac Campbell Kidd was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on 26 March 1884. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1902, graduating with the Class of 1906 in February of that year, and was commissioned an Ensign in 1908. Kidd participated in the 1907-09 "Great White Fleet" cruise around the World while serving in USS NEW JERSEY (BB 16). Following service in USS NORTH DAKOTA (BB 29) and USS PITTSBURGH (Armored Cruiser # 4), he became Aide and Flag Secretary to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, the first of his many flag staff assignments. He was an instructor at the Naval Academy in 1916-17.
During and after the First World War, Kidd was stationed on USS NEW MEXICO (BB 40), then had further staff and Naval Academy service. He was executive officer of the battleship UTAH (BB 31) in 1925-26, then commanded USS VEGA (AK 17) until becoming Captain of the Port at Chrisobal, Panama Canal Zone in 1927-30. Promoted to the rank of Captain, he was Chief of Staff to Commander, Base Force, U.S. Fleet in 1930-32. After three years at the Bureau of Navigation in Washington, D.C., he was Commander Destroyer Squadron ONE, Scouting Force, in 1935-36.
Captain Kidd next attended the Naval War College and served on the College staff. He was Commanding Officer of USS ARIZONA (BB 39) from September 1938 until February 1940, when he was promoted to Rear Admiral and assigned as Commander Battleship Division ONE and Chief of Staff to Commander, Battleships, Battle Force. On 7 December 1941, he was killed in action on board ARIZONA during the Pearl Harbor Raid. Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Pearl Harbor attack. He was the first flag officer to lose his life in World War II, and the first in the U.S. Navy to meet death in action against any foreign enemy.
Ships named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd: