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Michael Williams, DC3
Atherton, John McDougal, LTJG.
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Home Town Harrods Creek, KY
Last Address Glenview, KY
Casualty Date Oct 15, 1942
Cause Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Reason Other Explosive Device
Location Pacific Ocean
Conflict World War II
Location of Interment Cave Hill Cemetery - Louisville, Kentucky
Wall/Plot Coordinates 13 110 6
Last Known Activity
USS Meredith (DD-434) was sighted by a Japanese patrol plane on the morning of 15 October 1942, and shortly after took aboard the 68-man crew of Vireo to depart the area at high speed. However, while preparing to torpedo Vireo to keep her out of Japanese hands, Meredith was attacked by a force of 38 bombers, torpedo planes, and escort fighters from Zuikaku. In the first three minutes of the attack, Meredith was struck by a bomb that exploded beneath her bridge, destroying all communications, steering control, and gun direction. A second bomb struck the forward port side, and a torpedo exploded below the ready ammunition locker, igniting the ship's pyrotechnics and setting fire to fuel oil leaking from her bunkers. Meredith fought fiercely, and brought down three of her attackers, but she was struck by an estimated 14 bombs and seven torpedoes. Meredith rolled over and sank in 10 minutes. Of the crew of 273 on board that day, only eight officers and 73 enlisted men survived the attack.
LTJG Atherton was among the men listed as missing in action and later declared dead.
Service number: Enlisted - 4007356 Officer - 095601