Walter K. Wilson Jr.

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Walter King Wilson Jr.
Walter K Wilson.jpg
Lieutenant General Walter K. Wilson Jr.
Born (1906-08-26)August 26, 1906
Fort Barrancas, Florida
Died December 6, 1985(1985-12-06) (aged 79)
Mobile, Alabama
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Years of service 1929–1965
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held Chief of Engineers (1961–65)
Battles/wars World War II
Cold War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Soldier's Medal

Walter King Wilson Jr. (August 26, 1906 – December 6, 1985), was an officer of the United States Army with the rank of lieutenant general. He is most noted as a Chief of Engineers during 1961–65. He was the son of Major General Walter K. Wilson Sr.

Biography[edit]

He was born at Fort Barrancas, Florida, the son of artillery officer and World War II Major General Walter K. Wilson Sr. (1880–1954). He graduated from West Point in 1929 and was commissioned in the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Before 1942 he served with troops, continued his military and engineering education, and was an instructor at West Point. From 1942 to 1943, he commanded the 79th Engineer Combat Regiment

From 1943 to 1945, Wilson served as Deputy Engineer-in-Chief with the South East Asia Command at New Delhi, India, and Kandy, Ceylon. He became Commanding General, Advance Section, U.S. Forces, India-Burma Theater, and Chief of Staff of the Chinese Army in India. Later, he commanded Intermediate and Base Sections and consolidated all three, commanding all ground forces remaining in the theater.

After the war he was District Engineer in St. Paul, Minnesota (1946–49), and Mobile, Alabama (1949–52), and then South Atlantic (1952–53) and Mediterranean Division Engineer (1953–55).

He assumed command of the 18th Engineer Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in 1955.

He served as Deputy Chief of Engineers for Construction from 1956 to 1960. Wilson was commanding general of the Army Engineer Center and Fort Belvoir and commandant of the Army Engineer School in 1960–61.

Wilson's military honors included a Distinguished Service Medal,[1] Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Soldier's Medal and membership in the French Legion of Honor.

He retired as Chief of Engineers on June 30, 1965, and died on December 6, 1985, in Mobile, Alabama.

Wilson was part of a military family. His younger brother John Newton Wilson (1913–1944) was a lieutenant colonel who was killed in the Battle of Normandy. His son Walter King Wilson III (1937–2008) also served in the Engineer Corps and reached the rank of colonel.

Dates of rank[edit]

Image Rank Temporary Permanent
US-O1 insignia.svg
Second Lieutenant
N/A
June 13, 1929
US-O2 insignia.svg
First Lieutenant
N/A
October 1, 1934
US-O3 insignia.svg
Captain
N/A
June 13, 1939
US-O4 insignia.svg
Major October 16, 1941 June 19, 1946
US-O5 insignia.svg
Lieutenant Colonel May 7, 1942 July 15, 1948
US-O6 insignia.svg
Colonel March 4, 1943
N/A
US-O7 insignia.svg
Brigadier General February 13, 1945
N/A
US-O6 insignia.svg
Colonel May 16, 1946 April 17, 1952
US-O7 insignia.svg
Brigadier General March 16, 1953 April 2, 1957
US-O8 insignia.svg
Major General March 25, 1957 June 22, 1959
US-O9 insignia.svg
Lieutenant General May 19, 1961
N/A

Decorations[edit]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
1st Row Army Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit w/ Oak Leaf Cluster
2nd Row Soldier's Medal Army Commendation Medal American Defense Service Medal with Foreign Service Clasp
3rd Row American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ two Service Stars European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
4th Row World War II Victory Medal National Defense Service Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster Officer of the Legion of Honor (France)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

This article contains public domain text from "Lieutenant General Walter K. Wilson Jr.". Portraits and Profiles of Chief Engineers. Archived from the original on June 19, 2005. Retrieved August 22, 2005. 

Military offices
Preceded by
Emerson C. Itschner
Chief of Engineers
1961–65
Succeeded by
William F. Cassidy