John King Hickey, 95, a longtime Lexington resident who flew on bombing missions over Germany during World War II and went on to head the continuing education program in the University of Kentucky College of Law, died May 6 in Fort Belvoir, Va.
A native of Mount Sterling, Hickey was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and flew 25 missions as a bombardier on a B-17 Flying Fortress in 1943, shooting down two German fighter planes in one mission over Bremen, according to an obituary provided by the family. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters.
Hickey attended UK’s law school on the G.I. Bill and graduated in 1948, then joined the U.S. Air Force as a captain. For the next 24 years, he worked in the Judge Advocate General’s Department, the legal branch of the military, serving in a number of locations, including Tokyo and Madrid. He earned a master’s degree in international law at the Air War College in Alabama.
After retiring from the military as a colonel in 1970, Hickey became director of legal and judicial administration for the Lexington-based Council of State Governments, where he worked from 1971 to 1973.
From 1973 to 1986, he directed the continuing legal education program at UK.
Hickey and his wife of 67 years, Elizabeth J. Pattavina Hickey, lived in Lexington until 2011, when they moved to Virginia. Elizabeth Hickey died in 2012.
He is survived by his children, Roger Hickey, Patricia Corsini and Jack Hickey; a brother, Paul Hickey, of Austin, Texas; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted at Arlington Cemetery in the coming months.