Walter K. Wilson was born on August 26, 1906, at Fort Barrancas, Florida. His father, Gen. Walter King Wilson, was an artillery officer which sparked an interest in Wilson to join the military. Wilson Jr. attended the University of Hawaii for a short amount of time while his father was stationed at Fort Ruger. Later, Wilson attended the Army's West Point Preparatory School at Schofield Barracks and then entered the Military Academy in 1925. He graduated in 1929 and, due to his class standing, was eligible for commission in the Corps of Engineers. Wilson joined the corps per his father’s advice and began his career.
Finally fed, he and Williams worked in Jasper for two months cutting lines for the survey party. Wilson left Jasper and returned to the District Office to work on the notes he gathered. He met his wife, Jeanne Herman, a graduate from the University of Alabama, at a Bachelor's Ball, and they got married in 1930 in Tuscaloosa and had two sons and two daughters. Between 1943 and his return to Mobile in 1965, half of Wilson's career was spent on the military side in schools and the other half on the construction side. In 1943, he was sent to India as Deputy Engineer-in-Chief where he remained for the duration of World War II. While in India he become a brigadier general, but when he took command of the St. Paul Engineer District in 1946, he returned to colonel rank. He briefly came back to Mobile in 1949 and left again to become South Atlantic Division Engineer and later lived in Morocco during a two-year tour as Mediterranean Division Engineer. For the next two decades, Wilson served as Commanding General and Deputy Post Commander in Fort Leonard Wood, Assistant Chief of Engineers for Military Construction in Washington, D.C., and Commanding General of US Army Engineer Center and Fort Belvoir. He traveled periodically during his time when the Corps became heavily involved in major construction projects such as the building of the ballistic missile and multiple space programs. In 1960 he was selected at the 40th Chief of Engineers by President Kennedy. Between 1961-1965, Wilson guided the corps through a period of reorganization up until his retirement from active duty.
He received many medals and public service awards along with joining many professional societies. Upon his return to Mobile, he was hired as vice president of Southern Industries Corporation and within a year was elected director. But Wilson wasn't done yet, in 1966 he became chairman of Mobile's Task Force 200 (an industrial development agency of the Chamber of Commerce) and sat has chairman for the Hell's Canyon Project and reviewed construction programs in Vietnam as an advisor to the Secretary of Defense. He was also appointed by the director of the Alabama Highway Department to advise the construction of a tunnel underneath the Mobile River (George Wallace Tunnel).
Though he retired shortly after, he kept up with old projects to see if he could give any insight. Wilson was the first one to be credited as stressing the need for a high-level bridge on Interstate 65 over the Mobile River due to the anticipated waterway development. Construction began in 1978 and was opened to the public in 1980. They named the bridge General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge in his honor. Wilson died in 1985 and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
Aimee Gueret is a senior majoring in journalism with a dual minor in English and political science. She was born and raised in a small town in Mobile County and graduated from McGill-Toolen in 2014. Aimee is a member of the Million Dollar Band Color Guard and Alta Marea Winter Guard. She plans to attend law school upon graduation and work in media law.