Retired March 1, 1973.
Brigadier General William T. Meredith is assistant for facilities management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Installations and Logistics). He supervises the planning, programming and surveillance of execution, on a worldwide basis, of the maintenance, operation and repair of real property, including family housing, in the Department of Defense.
General Meredith was born in Halifax, Va., in 1919. He graduated in 1937 from Brandy High School, Brandy, Va., and attended the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va., Catholic University, Washington, D.C., and the University of Maryland. He was awarded a battlefield commission.
General Meredith entered active military service in February 1941 as a private in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and after completion of basic engineer training at Fort Belvoir, Va., was assigned to the 21st Aviation Engineer Regiment at Langley Field, Va.
He was transferred to the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations where he was placed in charge of construction of the Karachi and Malir airports in India. In November 1942 he was transferred to Ledo, Assam, in India, and assigned as leader of a patrol composed of Naga hillmen, with responsibility for terrain reconnaissance for the forward security over the supply trail into Northern Burma. He, Major General R.A. Wheeler and Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Seagroves (Burma Surgeon) were ambushed and trapped by Japanese forces. They were surrounded for two weeks, supplied by air drop, broke out and walked 127 miles back to Ledo, Assam. During this action, in March 1943 General Wheeler awarded him a battlefield commission as second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers.
General Meredith returned to Fort Belvoir in October 1944 where he was assigned to the Engineer School as an instructor. In November 1945 he was relieved from active duty and joined the Virginia Department of Highways.
In February 1947 General Meredith returned to active duty with the Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Belvoir as assistant post engineer and in April 1948 again became an instructor in the Engineer School.
He transferred to the U.S. Air Force in July 1949 and was assigned to Dhahran Air Base, Saudi Arabia, as air installations officer. In July 1950 he was assigned to Headquarters Military Air Transport Service, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., where he served in the Air Installations Division as officer in charge of Master Planning, Engineering Branch; Chief of the Programming Branch; and in September 1951 was made chief of the Requirements and Development Branch. During 1953 he attended the Air Command Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
In March 1954 General Meredith was transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installations as Assistant for Reserve Affairs. In July he was assigned as military assistant in the Directorate of Real Property, and later became executive to the director of real property, in which position he assisted in the development and presentation of the annual military construction program to Congress.
General Meredith was transferred in August 1957 to England where he served with the Third Air Force as director of military construction and director of project management for the deputy chief of staff, installations, and lastly as director of engineering and construction in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Civil Engineering. In that capacity he was responsible for the engineering and construction of all facilities for the Army, Navy and Air Force in the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries. During this period he also served as president of the London Post, Society of American Military Engineers. In August 1960 he entered the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base.
In July 1961 General Meredith began a series of assignments in which he was primarily concerned with restructuring civil engineering organizations to adequately fulfill their mission of direct combat support. This was accomplished by two projects that established Air Force combat engineer organizations - PRIME BEEF (Base Engineer Emergency Forces) and RED HORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable, Heavy Operations Repair Squadrons, Engineer).
He first served at Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Directorate of Civil Engineering as chief of the Operations Branch, Base Maintenance Division; then as special assistant to the deputy director for civil engineering; and from August 1964 to February 1966, as deputy chief, Plans and Operations Division. He assumed command of the Civil Engineering Construction Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in March 1966, with responsibilities for implementation of the PRIME BEEF and RED HORSE projects; in July 1967 became commander of the 560th Civil Engineering Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., with responsibilities for training RED HORSE personnel for Southeast Asia duty; and from October 1967 to November 1968, served in the Republic of Vietnam as commander of the 554th Civil Engineering Squadron at Phan Rang and as vice commander of the First Civil Engineering Group at Tan Son Nhut Airfield with responsibilities for carrying out the RED HORSE mission.
In December 1968 General Meredith was assigned to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Civil Engineering, at Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., as director of programs and in June 1969 became deputy chief of staff for civil engineering. He was appointed assistant for Real Property Maintenance, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Installations and Logistics), Washington, D.C., in August 1970.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, and the Army Commendation Medal. In 1966 he was awarded the Newman Medal by the Society of American Military Engineers in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Air Force civil engineering as a leader in the PRIME BEEF and RED HORSE projects.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Aug. 1, 1970, with date of rank July 4, 1970.