2 Navy ships leave for deployment overseas - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

2 Navy ships leave for deployment overseas

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The guided-missile destroyers USS Kidd and USS Pinckney left San Diego for independent deployments Tuesday morning.

The 300 sailors on each ship will take part in maritime security operations and conduct exercises with ships of allied navies, according to the U.S. Navy.

"USS Kidd has spent the last year preparing for our upcoming deployment by completing all basic and intermediate training phase requirements," said Cmdr. Gabriel Varela, the commanding officer. "Kidd is looking forward to a deployment in the Seventh Fleet area of responsibility and working closely with our friends and allies in the region."

The Seventh Fleet is responsible for the Western Pacific and Indian oceans.

"The Pinckney crew is looking forward to continuing the fine reputation that the ship and Navy have established throughout the world," said Cmdr. Frank Okata, its commanding officer. "While each and every sailor on board will look forward to being reunited with family and friends, we are steadfast in our commitment to serving the nation."

The Kidd honors Rear Adm. Isaac C. Kidd, who was killed aboard the battleship USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and was subsequently awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor.

Kidd was the commander of Battleship Division 1 at the time, which also included the USS Nevada and USS Pennsylvania. The Arizona was his flagship.

The Pinckney is named for Cook First Class William Pinckney, a World War II combat veteran who received the Navy Cross for his rescue of a fellow crew member on board the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise during the Battle of Santa Cruz in October 1942.

According to the Navy, Pinckney was at his battle station in an ammunition handling room aboard the Enterprise when the carrier was struck by two Japanese bombs. He and another sailor were the only ones who survived among a group of six.

The Navy said when the other sailor collapsed, Pinckney carried the larger man to safety through flames, suffocating smoke and gasoline fumes. He was one of only four blacks to receive the Navy Cross during the war.

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