The following volunteers and staff members of the USS KIDD Veterans Museum were recognized with five international level awards at the Historic Naval Ships Association annual conference and banquet held at the USS LEXINGTON Museum On The Bay located in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday, September 23.
Radarman 2nd Class Wallace B. “Mac” Mackensen is a Cold War veteran who began volunteering aboard KIDD in 2003.He earned HNSA’s distinguished Bos’n Marvin Curry Award for exceptional service in the areas of interpretation, maintenance, preservation, and restoration. Only one of these awards is issued annually. This marks the third year in a row that a KIDD volunteer has received this honor: Garrett Lynch in 2014, Frank “Beef” Lewis in 2015, and now Mackensen in 2016.
Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Henry J. “Hank” Taddeucci is also a Cold War veteran who served aboard USS KIDD in 1961-62. He has volunteered aboard his old ship via the museum’s Field Day program since 2005. He earned HNSA’s Maintenance/Preservation/Exhibition Award for exemplary work in those areas over a long period on a part-time basis. Taddeucci travels regularly from Colorado each October to help repair and replace ropework along the decks of his old destroyer. KIDD volunteers have also been among those receiving this honor for the past three years: George Seal in 2014, Richard Ammon in 2015, and now Taddeucci in 2016.
Former KIDD Executive Director Alejandra “Alex” Juan earned HNSA’s William J. Difley Award which honors departing directors of HNSA Fleet Member organizations who have contributed in some great measure to the success of their museums. From December 2013 to May 2016, Juan successfully steered the museum through a difficult financial period and a state investigation. New programming initiated under her tenure garnered international attention from as far away as India and an 86% increase in attendance in 2015.
Tim NesSmith has worked at the USS KIDD since 1995, starting out as a part-time tour guide. He advanced through the ranks to his current position where he guides the ship’s restoration and the museum’s educational efforts. He earned HNSA’s Educator Award for performance at a superior level in furthering the museum’s education program. He was further honored by his peers in HNSA with the Old Walrus Award, given for demonstrated knowledge of the Historic Naval Ship Fleet and cooperation and assistance with other fleet members.