Jonathan Meredith, born in Bucks County, Pa. about 1772, enlisted in the Marine Corps 6 June 1803 and was promoted to sergeant 1 August of the same year.
During an engagement in the harbor of Tripoli 3 August 1805, Sergeant Meredith saved the life of Lt. John Trippe of Vixen, who with a party of nine men had boarded a Tripolitan ship. Heavily outnumbered, the boarding party fought a fierce hand‑to‑hand combat, in which Trippe was severely wounded; Meredith protected him from what would have been the final blow. Four days later Meredith was killed in the explosion of Gunboat No. 3 during a similar attack against the Tripolitans.
(DD‑165: dp. 1,284; l. 314'5"; b. 30'11"; dr. 9'2"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 101; a. 4 4", 2 1‑pdrs.; 4 21" tt.; cl. Wickes)
The first Meredith (DD‑165) was laid down 26 June 1918 by Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass.; launched 22 September 1918; sponsored by Mrs. William F. Meredith, wife of the great‑grandnephew of Sergeant Meredith; and commissioned at Boston 29 January 1919, Comdr. H. H. Michaels in command.
Assigned to Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, Meredith proceeded to Newport, R.I., for torpedoes and 18 February began a shakedown cruise to Cuba. However, she received orders 22 February to join five other destroyers as escort to George Washington, returning President Woodrow Wilson from France to Boston. On 26 February, she resumed her shakedown.
Meredith departed New York 1 May for Trepassey Bay, Newfoundland, to serve as a guide post for the first transoceanic flight, as Navy Curtis flying boats spanned the Atlantic from Long Island to Plymouth, England. Returning to Boston 22 May, Meredith cruised the east and gulf coasts with Destroyer Flotilla 2 until November, then served out of Newport for training, particularly target practice, until November, when she went into repair at Norfolk.
Rejoining her division at Charleston, S.C., 26 January 1922, she participated in maneuvers until 5 April when she went into Philadelphia Navy Yard for inactivation. Decommissioned 28 June 1922, Meredith remained at Philadelphia until, in accordance with the London Naval Treaty. she was sold for scrapping 29 September 1936.