Stationed as a veterinarian in the Philippines during World War II, WSU alumnus U.S. Army Captain Clayton Mickelsen (’39 DVM) cared for more than 1,600 mules and horses, essential for the war effort. But it was his acts of bravery during the war that earned him the Distinguished Service Cross. In 1944, Mickelsen was one of 11,796 Americans who surrendered to the Japanese and spent the remainder of his life in a prison camp. He died on February 10, 1945, just weeks before the camp was liberated by U.S. forces.
Mickelsen’s legacy lives on in every student who receives the Captain Clayton Mickelsen Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was started by his cousin, Russell Mickelsen and his wife Pat, to help veterinary students with financial need. “Clayton’s choice to become a veterinarian was a dream come true for him,” said Russell Mickelsen. “Our entire family has always been animal lovers. We want to assist students toward their goal of becoming a veterinarian.”
Russell Mickelsen, who is now deceased, will be recognized in the fall of 2018 as a benefactor by the WSU Foundation. His wife Pat will accept the honor on his behalf.
- WSU News WWII alum destroys bridge, escapes death, lands in prison camp
- Home of Heroes Distinguished Service Cross
Give now to the Captain Clayton Mickelsen Memorial Endowment Fund.