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Title USS KIDD friendly fire accident cake
Object ID Number 1993.022.0356
Object Name Print, Photographic
Description Two men holding a cake inside a box. The cake is decorated USS KIDD with a purple heart. American flag flying.
To keep the ship's gunners as sharp as possible, frequent drills and exercises were carried out, day and night. In one such drill during a dawn alert, the Battleship accidentally fired into a friendly destroyer, USS KIDD (DD-661). Steaming parallel to the Battleship at a range of 10,000 yards, KIDD was acting as a simulated target for the Battleship's guns.

"They made me first loader on a 5-inch.... (One time) we were firing illumination star shells, and I was asleep in the mount. Of course, we were in automatic and this was practice. There were only two of us in the mount. The rest of the crew was outside the mount. Well, out of this cold sleep, the mount captain grabs me in the shirt and starts screaming at me to load. He had the headphones on, you see, so he got the order to load. Since the rest of the crew was outside, he takes the powder can and throws it in. I jump up and grab the shell and load it and rammed it. I never heard as much confusion in my life. We had fired into the USS KIDD, one of our own ships. These two little hands are the ones that loaded it; but I was only a seaman, so it wasn't my responsibility. This was the officer's and director's fault, I suppose. Anyway, there were no casualties on the KIDD, but she took a direct hit."
Michael Horton, Seaman 1/c

Three days later when the wounded destroyer came alongside the Battleship to fuel, a highline rigged between the two ships was used to send over a cake decorated with a purple heart. 50 gallons of precious ice cream were also passed across while the Battleship's band played.

"One night we were firing star shell at the USS KIDD. In the plotting room we had a mix up with the star shell mount. We placed the mount in the suface mode when it fired the star shells [and] instead of illuminating the KIDD we hit it with two shells - one on the waterline and one through the wardroom. When the KIDD came alongside the next morning to fuel the captain thanked us for the unexpected damage control drill we had caused. The bakers baked a large cake with a big purple hear as the frosting and during the fuelding, sent it with ice cream to the KIDD."
Harold Smith, Firecontrolman 1/c
Caption USS KIDD cake
Date 09/12/1943
People in Image Horton, Michael
Search Terms U.S.S. Kidd
Bake Shop
Friendly Fire