KIDD Keynotes presents “Philippine Sea Expedition 2021” | Columns







Stephenson Parks


KIDD Keynotes from the USS KIDD Veterans Museum presents “Philippine Sea Expedition 2021” with Parks Stephenson on Saturday, January 22 at 2:00 p.m. on the museum’s Manship Deck.

In 2021, Mr. Stephenson teamed up with adventurer Victor Vescovo in the DSV Limiting Factor to locate and inspect the WWII wreck USS JOHNSTON. Fletcher-class destroyer JOHNSTON, like USS KIDD, became famous for her heroism in the Battle of Samar in the Philippine Sea. She and a few light ships engaged Japanese battleships and cruisers and helped prevent them from attacking American landing forces.

The wreck of the USS JOHNSTON at 21,180 feet is the deepest wreck studied. Mr. Stephenson’s presentation details his process of finding and locating the JOHNSTON and includes images and video of the wreckage.

Parks Stephenson is a historian, documentarian and explorer for Zocon Entertainment. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a career naval flight officer, he served aboard submarines, aircraft carriers and amphibious ships, eventually commanding a multi-service air traffic control detachment in Kuwait during the second attempt to invade Kuwait by Iraq.

As a subordinate project manager to undersea explorer James Cameron, he led a team of naval architects in producing a peer-reviewed finite element model analysis of the sinking of RMS Titanic. He co-wrote (as a technical advisor) and illustrated the book “Exploring the Deep: The Titanic Expeditions” with James Cameron.

Mr Stephenson served as lead investigator and forensic analyst in a multinational investigation that uncovered Japanese submarine wreckage off Pearl Harbor that changed history from the 1941 attack.

Focusing on historical research and forensic reconstruction, Mr. Stephenson specializes in military and maritime fields where he can apply his personal experience. He was an advisor or on-screen actor in 27 (director out of three) television documentaries about shipwrecks on the high seas.

Admission to the presentation is free, but seating is limited. Email [email protected] or call 225-342-1942 x13. The sponsors of this event are the Indigo Baton Rouge Downtown Hotel and the Louisiana Veterans Museum Foundation.

KIDD Keynotes is a free series that aims to inform the public of the various challenges faced and sacrifices made by veterans and their families, as well as to educate the public on a variety of historical topics.

The USS KIDD Veterans Museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is located on the riverfront in downtown Baton Rouge. For more information, visit the website at www.usskidd.com or call 225-342-1942.

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