NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. William Thomas “Tom” Meredith, died Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the age of 93 following a brief illness.
Brig. Gen. Meredith was born Oct. 15, 1919, in Halifax, Va. He attended William and Mary College and eventually enlisted in the Army, beginning a military career that spanned more than three decades.
He 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 transferred to the U.S. Air Force in July 1949. In March 1954, 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 1961, 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 RED HORSE. These organizations provided engineering and heavy construction equipment support to the Air Force in combat theaters, and were a vital part in America’s operations in Vietnam, during Desert Storm, and in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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. He was also 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. Brig. Gen. Meredith retired from active duty in 1990.
“Brig. Gen. Meredith was a remarkable man and we as RED HORSE Airmen will be forever grateful for his tireless efforts,” said Capt. Kenneth Cooper, 820th RED HORSE Airborne Flight commander.