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USS Meredith DD434 KIA


mkite93
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The story of the Meredith seems to be overlooked in the Shadows of more famous ships suffering a similar fate. This is a posting to honor one of her crew, one of many to lose their life on October 15th 1942. The Meredith started her war taking part in screening the aircraft carrier Hornet for the Doolittle Raid. This Stewards Mate enlisted in the Navy in 1939 and was assigned to Meredith prior to Pearl Harbor in 1941 so he was present for all of the ships actions which were few. 
 

On October the 12th Meredith was part of a convoy headed to resupply Guadalcanal. Roughly two days later it was learned that a Japanese task force was operating in the area and all ships except Meredith and the Tug Vireo pulling a barge of aviation gasoline turned back. The captain of the Meredith determined to get the supplies to Guadalcanal pressed on. On the 15th the two were spotted by a Japanese patrol aircraft, knowing they had been spotted the captain of Meredith ordered the Tug abandoned and took her crew aboard. While preparing to torpedo the tug and barge to prevent her from falling into enemy hands the full force of the Japanese came upon them. A Japanese aircraft carrier had launched 38 aircraft and since the Japanese were unable to locate their primary target which was an American carrier operating in the area the Meredith was next in line as a secondary target.  The crew fought hard bringing down at least 3 aircraft but this sadly was not enough. She was hit by a estimated 14 bombs and between 4 and 7 torpedos. She sank in 10 minutes.  The ordeal was not over for her survivors as they would spend 3 days and nights fighting off exposure, sharks and dehydration before being rescued. In all out of 273 onboard 81 would survive the sinking and the three days lost at sea.  It’s unknown if this Stewards Mate survived the sinking only to lose his life while waiting for rescue or if he was killed during the attack. I thought I would honor him and the crew of USS Meredith by posting this. 
 

interesting fact about this ship. No ship in US Navy history has as many ships named after members of her crew that were killed that day with 7. 73A13371-226D-4662-B245-5E4A75880484.jpeg.f16b3494a236d58273559a923aef0a7b.jpeg9281802E-E4F3-4FB8-92D6-A70ADDFC84C6.jpeg.2b163e347b0f7fb8b8bdba2654845290.jpeg3E613664-6088-4217-8993-BDD0E57CC56E.jpeg.a62308561a6509659b9da224d9ddac7d.jpeg511531FB-C156-49D2-AE6F-E5F208054739.jpeg.7c59357e04493fe373e8e64316db3458.jpeg

 

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To me, this is an outstanding piece.  A posthumous, split brooch PH from an early WWII naval engagement, to an African-American sailor.  Does it get any better than this?  I am very jealous and also very pleased that Hyke’s sacrifice will not be forgotten.  Just excellent. Congratulations.

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huntssurplus

Very nice write up, and a great piece of history. Thank you for sharing and preserving this sailors memory. His sacrifice will not be forgotten. 

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Trevor Arendall

Wow! What a great piece. Thank you for remembering the sacrifice of Hykes. 

 

On another note, that is my favorite picture of a Gleaves-class destroyer!

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Thanks everyone for all the comments. It’s an interesting story and thought it was worth sharing. I haven’t seen a heart to a crew member of this ship before so I though I would honor his sacrifice. 

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