April 10, 1963
United States Navy
William Edward Graham was born on October 23, 1930, in Paragold, Ark., the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Russell H. Graham. At an early age, his family moved to Louisville, Ky., where they presently reside.
He attended Emma Dolfinger School, Western Junior High School, and Aherns Trade High School, before enlisting in the Navy, on March 29, 1948.
William received his basic training at the U.S. Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill., and later attended the Navy’s Fleet Sonar School in Florida.
His first sea duty was in the destroyer U.S.S. Box (DD 779), which was followed by a tour of duty in the destroyer escort, U.S.S. Maloy (DE 791).
He then volunteered for submarine duty and attended the Submarine School at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, Conn. He successfully completed the course of instruction in November 1954 submarine duty and attended the Submarine School at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, Conn. He successfully completed the course of instruction in November 1954, and was assigned to the submarine U.S.S. Crevalle (SS 291). He later served in the U.S.S. Guavina (SS 362), U.S.S. Jallao (SS 368), and the fleet ballistic missile submarine U.S.S. Ethan Allen (SSBN 608).
A qualified submariner, William had earned the Navy’s Good Conduct Medal (three awards); the National Defense Service Medal, and a Meritorious Mast by the commanding officer of the U.S.S. Maloy.
In October 1962, William received orders to the nuclear-powered submarine
U.S.S. Thresher (SSN 593).