She is one of only four Fletcher-class destroyers still in existence that are preserved as museums and the only known destroyer in the world preserved in her World War II configuration. She is recognized as one of the most authentically restored vessels in the world by the Historic Naval Ships Association, an organization whose fleet spans several nations scattered across five continents.
The USS Kidd's unique docking cradle allows her to be afloat six months of the year and sit high and dry the remainder of the year. This allows for the seasonal rise and fall of the Mississippi River caused by rainfall and snowmelt in the upper Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri and Tennessee rivers and other tributaries in late winter and spring.
The Kidd served in World War II, the Korean War and throughout the tension-filled years of the Cold War. Every Fourth of July, her guns roar back to life in a dramatic reenacted battle with World War II-era aircraft. The rest of the year, she serves to honor veterans, educate children and adults, and host youth groups in an overnight camping program.
The USS KIDD Veterans Memorial & Museum, is comprised of the centerpiece exhibit, a veterans memorial dedicated to all veterans of all branches of service and all eras, and a museum which houses many unique exhibits and military artifacts. In its collection is a replica of a P-40E Warhawk fighter plane used in the filming of "Tora, Tora, Tora" and Steven Spielberg’s comedy "1941." A restored A-7E Corsair II jet attack aircraft is the State of Louisiana’s official memorial to its Vietnam-era veterans.
The museum also houses the largest collection of ship models in the South, a full-scale replica of the gun deck of Old Ironsides and the Veterans Hall of Honor which recognizes Louisiana natives who have had outstanding or unique military careers. The Louisiana Memorial Plaza with its eternal flame honors over 7,000 Louisiana natives lost in combat from the American Revolution to the terrorist attacks of 2001.