From Ashland, MS, Billy entered the US Navy following high school graduation on May 16, 1944 at age 18. He served aboard the U.S.S. Duluth and was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific medal, two Bronze Stars, and the American Theater medal. He was discharged April 15, 1946. He died March 16, 2009 at the age of 83.
Billy was one of eight young men from Benton County to enter the service on this date. Seven of the eight served together throughout the war.