The Advocate’s recent retrospective of the kamikaze attack on the USS Kidd on March 24, 1945, during World War II, brought back memories.

The photograph of the attacking kamikaze bomber was taken by Lt. Broox C. Garrett, a young physician-surgeon from north Louisiana, who was standing on the starboard deck of the Kidd with his movie camera, filming the attack, when the kamikaze struck the Kidd directly beneath the spot where Dr. Garrett was standing, crashing through the hull with such force that it penetrated the hull and wound up on the opposite (port) side of the ship and exploded.

A number of the Kidd’s crew were killed or injured. Dr. Garrett was severely injured and lost his left eye, but survived. However, his camera and all of its contained film was lost until around the 1990s, when Fred Benton, a Baton Rouge attorney and friend, received — “out of a clear blue sky” — an anonymous note — “Thought you’d like to have this” — along with the photograph shown in The Advocate, and mailed me a copy.

There was no other message or return address accompanying the note.

Dr. Garrett was one of my mentors when I received my surgical training at Confederate Memorial Hospital in Shreveport. Incidentally, the father of Dr. Garrett’s wife was Dr. Edmond Souchon, a well-known New Orleans physician and jazz musician and authority on New Orleans jazz in the 1930s and 1940s, who co-authored, with Al Rose, the classic New Orleans book, “New Orleans Jazz — A Family Album.”

Henry D. H. Olinde, M.D.


Baton Rouge