USS Palau CVE-122
Wilbur Ray "Bill" Mickey, Radioman 3/c - Bill was born on 03 November 1927 in Connellsville to the late Ray and Roxey (Faidley) Mickey. He graduated from Connellsville High School, Class of 1945, and had begun his freshman year in the dentistry program at the University of Pittsburgh, where he had received a football scholarship, when he decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy on 25 September 1945.
Bill entered active service on 29 November 1945, and was sent to Great Lakes Naval Training Station, near Chicago, IL. After training, in January 1946, he was sent to San Francisco, California, where he went aboard the USS Palau CVE-122, an aircraft carrier. After transiting the Panama Canal, still aboard the Palau, he was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia, before serving on cruise operations to Cuba, Brazil and West Africa, after which he returned to Norfolk in December 1947. He continued to serve aboard the Palau on East Coast cruise operations until May 1948, when he was transference to the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVB-42 at Norfolk.
He served aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt for four months until September 1948. At that time, still at Norfolk, he was transferred to the USS Midway CV-41, where he served one month, until he was honorably discharged on 16 October 1948 at the Norfolk Naval Yard. After his term of service, he returned to Connellsville, and became employed by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (later Chessie System, Inc. and CSX Transportation), retiring as Connellsville Yardmaster in 1989. He was married to the late Caroline (Butera) Mickey, and had three children, including William S. Mickey, Sr. and Joseph E. Mickey, both of Connellsville. Mr. Mickey died on 29 July 1999 at the age of 71 and is buried in Saint Rita's Cemetery, Connellsville.