Courtesy of his classmates
United States Military Academy, Class of 1946
FREDERICK FRANCIS HICKEY, JR.
No. 15498 Class of 1946
Died 4 April 1968 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, aged 46 years.
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery
FREDERICK FRANCIS HICKEY, JR. was born 2 April 1922 in Springfield, Massachusetts. His father moved to New York During Fred's youth and Fred graduated from New Hartford High School, New Hartford, New York. He attended Philips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts for a year before entering Dartmouth in 1940. Three years later, Fred graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in economics, but he had always wanted to go to West Point. At this time his parents were living in Utica, New York, where his father was president of the Savage Arms Company. Fred went to West Point straight from Dartmouth, entering in July 1943 with the Class of 1946.
After graduating from Dartmouth, academics were no problem for Fred. He was always ready and willing to help any classmate who needed it. His B-I classmates all recall Fred as very mature and serious; the latter because most of his classmates always seemed slightly juvenile. As one B-1'er put it, “Fred was the father of B-I Company.” Another classmate recalls that he never saw Fred panic, indeed get really excited, was as cool and calm as anyone this friend knew during that period. Fred was absolutely unflappable. This characteristic plus his quickness of thought, ability to express himself and concern for his fellows, made him a consensus choice to be an outstanding officer. Another classmate recalls that Fred greatly enjoyed his free time as a cadet and contributed much to relieving the usual cadet stresses by means of his great sense of humor. When graduation rolled around, Fred became a second lieutenant of Artillery.
Two days after graduation, Fred married Emily Jane Brown of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York in the Holy Trinity Chapel at West Point. After finishing Artillery branch schooling, Fred was assigned to C Battery, 159th Field Artillery Battalion in Nara, Japan. As was the case in those days, Fred had to wait before he could bring Jane over to join him. Prior to her going to Japan, Jane was diagnosed as suffering from multiple sclerosis. Fred was put on orders back to Fort Dix, New Jersey so he could be near Jane, and it was a year before Jane was able to travel. In October 1949, Fred and Jane went to Fort Bundy, Puerto Rico, where Fred was assigned to the 504th Field Artillery Battalion. After a year in Puerto Rico, the battalion was moved to Panama, and Fred and Jane moved there. O. W. “Tut” Parmly, USMA'50, recalls that his first assignment after graduation was to A Battery, 504th FA Battalion in Panama, commanded by Fred Hickey. Fred and Jane met the Parmlys at the airport, and the two couples lived next door to each other in a duplex at Fort Kobbe, CZ. Since the Class of 1950 was not sent to their respective Branch Basic Courses before their first assignments, Tut recalls that Fred was very much a leader and teacher for him. Tut Parmly made the following observation about Fred Hickey: “Without reservation, of all the officers under whom I served during my 16 years of military service, Fred had the most desirable leadership qualities which, when I could, I emulated during my career. He was truly outstanding.”
From Panama, Fred and Jane went back to the Artillery Officers Advanced Course and then to the Staff and Faculty of the Artillery School. Their son Michael was born at Fort Sill during this assignment. In 1955 Fred and Jane went to Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia for advanced schooling. Their friends, the Parmlys, were also there, and the two couples lived only a block apart. When Fred graduated from Georgia Tech with a Masters degree in electrical engineering, he then had three degrees. From Georgia the Hickeys moved to Fort Bliss where Fred became a guided missile project officer with the Artillery Board. Jane recalls that Fred enjoyed this assignment as much as any he had. Their daughter Kathleen was born during this tour at Fort Bliss. In 1960 Fred was selected to attend the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Fred became the honor graduate of his Nuclear Weapons Employment Officers Course. His next assignment was to Colorado Springs, Colorado with the Continental Air Defense Command. After two years in Colorado, Fred had health problems and was sent to William Beaumont General Hospital at Fort Bliss, Texas. He was a patient for six months. Recovered enough for reassignment, Fred was sent to
Korea, where he served as Combat Arms Advisor to the ROK V Corps. In July 1965 Fred returned to CONUS for assignment with the Air Defense and Missile Division, Office of the Chief of Research and Development, Department of the Army. In March 1968 Fred was promoted to colonel. On 4 April 1968, Fred Hickey died at the Dewitt Army Hospital at Fort Belvoir, Virginia from complications involving the health problems that had plagued him earlier. He was survived by his wife Jane, son Michael and daughter Kathleen.
Fred's Artillery friends remember him as a brilliant person and a highly-skilled
artilleryman. One classmate recalls that it is to Fred's credit that he took a low-profile career path in order to provide the needed support for the family that he loved and cherished. For Fred Hickey was devoted to his family, and his family loved the Army life. He was content with his career; he was totally absorbed with his work in the missile field and enjoyed every aspect of each assignment. As long as he had his work and his family, Fred was happy. It is one of the ironies of fate that such a brilliant, dedicated man, so happy with his life, should be taken away at that point in his career when he had begun to contribute greatly. The Army lost a dedicated, professional soldier. His family lost the cornerstone of their lives. His classmates lost a friend and comrade. Fred is missed by everyone who knew him, but they all are grateful to have had the honor and privilege of knowing and serving with a true son of West Point. To his devotion to “Duty, Honor, Country” must be added his devotion to “Family,” for these four precepts were the foundations of his life.
It is with pride that his classmates say, “Well Done, Be Thou At Peace.”
'46 Memorial Project and his wife Jane
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard