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CSM Kenneth E. Kidd

Sergeant Major of the 720th Military Police Battalion, 18th MP Brigade
28 October 1967 to 17 May 1968 ~ Vietnam
Killed In Action 5 June 1968 while 89th MP Group Sergeant Major

        SGM Kidd was a native of Orlando, Florida and entered military service in 1947. His assignments included tours of duty at For Lee, Virginia, Austria, Salsburg and Bremerhaven Germany, Korea, France, and eleven years of service at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

        Prior to reporting to Vietnam he served as Operations Sergeant Major, S3 Section, 4th AIT Brigade (MP School) at Fort Gordon, Georgia.


28 October 1967 SGM Kidd started his tour with HQ Detachment, 720th MP Battalion and on 17 May 1968 was reassigned to the 89th MP Group.

On Wednesday, 5 June 1968 SGT Maggard, age 22 of Hazzard, Kentucky (driver for COL Payne), and SGM Kenneth E. Kidd , age 40, of Orlando, Florida, accompanied Colonel Francis E. Payne, the 89th MP Group Commander on a helicopter flight to Saigon and the Delta Region.

        The Colonel had received orders for a new assignment and was conducting a farewell inspection of the units before leaving Vietnam.

        Both SGT Maggard and SGM Kidd were in the back seat of the Huey on the return flight to Bien Hoa Air Base. They had just passed over Saigon, the Colonel who had dozed off briefly, awoke startled by the pilots frantic calls of Mayday.

        Within seconds the helicopter fell to the ground and crashed into a rice paddy in the vacinity of the Newport Bridge. The force of the impact threw COL Payne and the pilot clear of the impact into the rice paddy, SGT Maggard and SGM Kidd were not as lucky, they were crushed when the helicopter motor came forward.

        The Colonel and the pilot were both kept alive by the quick actions of a doctor who was passing by in a jeep several hundred yards away and had witnessed the crash. The doctor managed to swim to them and assist their breathing until they could be evacuated to Saigon. Both were very seriously injured but survived. As reported by LTC (COL Ret.) Francis E. "Frank" Payne, Commanding Officer, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade, Republic of South Vietnam, July 1967 to June 1968.

        SGM Kidd was survived by his wife, Betty, to who he was married in 1949, and two daughters, Debbra Sue and Peggy Lee. He was a member of the Fairfield Baptist Church in Burgess, Virginia.

On 8 June 1968 A special memorial service was given for CSM Kidd at Chapel #6, 4th AIT Training Brigade, Military Police School, Fort Gordon, Georgia.

      In giving the Eulogy at the service for SGM Kidd at Fort Gordon, CMS Buford Brown stated: "In one sense there is no death. The life of a soldier lasts beyond his departure.
        You will always feel that life touching you in the familiar things he touched, worked with, loved as familiar friends. He lives on in your life and in the lives of all others who knew him."

On 15 June 1968 the men of HQ Detachment, 720th MP Battalion named their newly finished day room on Long Binh Post, "Kidd's Place" in honor of SGM Kidd who encouraged them to build it before his death.

        Major General Karl W. Gustafson, The Provost Marshal General, presented the Legion of Merit, awarded posthumously to CSM Kenneth E. Kidd, to his widow, Mrs. Betty L. Kidd, at the Main Navy Building in Washington, D.C. The promotion to CSM was also made posthumously.

--- General / Personal ---
Last name: KIDD
Home of Record (official): ORLANDO
State (official): FL
Date of Birth: Saturday, December 17, 1927
Sex: Male
Race: Caucasian
Marital Status: Married

--- Military ---
Branch: Army
Rank: SMG
Serial Number: 14244761
Component: Regular
Pay grade: E9
MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 00A50

--- Action ---
Start of Tour: Saturday, October 28, 1967
Date of Casualty: Wednesday, June 5, 1968
Age at time of loss: 40
Casualty type: (A2) Hostile, died of wounds
Reason: Air loss - Crashed on land (Helicopter, non-crew)
Country: South Vietnam
Province: Gia Dinh
The Wall: Panel 60W - Row 019

        In the August 1968 edition of the MP Journal, CPT Arnold Daxe, Jr., Commanding Officer of the 615th MP Company, 1967-1968 (Vietnam) wrote a glowing testimonial to SGM Kidd's memory, it was titled "Testimonial to an MP."
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