Isaac C. Kidd Jr.
Admiral Isaac C. Kidd Jr.
Birth nameIsaac Campbell Kidd Jr.
Born(1919-08-14)August 14, 1919
Cleveland, Ohio
DiedJune 27, 1999(1999-06-27) (aged 79)
Alexandria, Virginia
Place of burial
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1941–1978
Commands heldSupreme Allied Commander, Atlantic Fleet, NATO
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Other workCollege of William and Mary

Isaac Campbell Kidd Jr. (August 14, 1919 – June 27, 1999) was an American admiral in the United States Navy who served as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO's Atlantic Fleet, and also as commander in chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet from 1975 to 1978. He was the son of Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who was killed on the bridge of the battleship Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1978 Kidd was among a number of retired four-star officers who testified before Congress in favor of the controversial SALT II arms control pact.



Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Kidd graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1941; he was commissioned an ensign on December 19, 1941, just 12 days after his father was killed aboard his flagship. As Time described the event, when Kidd received his commission as ensign "the U.S. Naval Academy and its guests broke into a thunderous cheer— an unprecedented demonstration in honor of Ensign Kidd and his father."[1] During World War II he served as a gunnery and operations officer on destroyers in both Europe and the Pacific, and participated in various Allied landings in the Mediterranean as well as at Iwo Jima.

Naval service

His 23 years at sea during his 40-year naval career included 15 years in command of destroyers, destroyer divisions and squadrons and three U.S. fleets in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean; he also served as executive assistant and senior aide to the Chief of Naval Operations in the early 1960s, earning citations for his efforts in the Cuban Missile Crisis and several other crises. In 1967, he headed the court of inquiry into the USS Liberty incident during the Six-Day War in June of that year. "Sacrificing Liberty Docuseries" released in 2020 portrays Kidd's role in the cover up of that attack in episode III. From 1975 to 1978, Kidd served as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.[2]


Shortly after his 1978 retirement, Kidd was among a number of retired four-star officers who testified before Congress in favor of the controversial SALT II arms control pact. Kidd declared that while he was not entirely thrilled with the proposed treaty's verification procedures, "the alternative of having no ceiling at all, considering our position at this point in the so-called race, I find totally unacceptable."

He also taught the law of the sea at the College of William and Mary. His six children included Navy Captain Isaac C. Kidd III.

Kidd died of cancer at age 79 at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, and was buried in the Naval Academy Cemetery.[3]

Awards and Decorations

Navy Diving Officer Insignia
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal w/ 2 Award Stars
Legion of Merit w/2 Awards Stars
Bronze Star w/ Valor device
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Navy Expeditionary Medal
China Service Medal
American Defense Service Medal w/ Atlantic Device
American Campaign Medal w/ Service Star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/ 3 Service Stars
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 4 Service Stars
World War 2 Victory Medal
Navy Occupation Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal w/ Service Star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation
Philippine Liberation Medal
United Nations Korea Medal
Navy Expert Rifle Marksmanship Medal
Navy Expert Pistol Marksmanship Medal
Command at Sea Insignia worn on right breast pocket


  1. ^ "June in December," TIME, 1941-12-29.
  2. ^ "A Brief History Of The U.S. Fleet Forces Command". United States Fleet Forces Command, United States Navy. Archived from the original on 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2006-10-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Isaac C. Kidd Jr. at Find a Grave