The National Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by the National Rivers Hall of Fame to those people who are making significant contributions to America’s waterways. The National Rivers Hall of Fame with members in 36 states is the only national museum telling the stories of the people of America’s rivers.
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Honored in 1987
Lt. General Walter K. “Weary” Wilson spent his career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, serving as District Engineer for the St. Paul and Mobile Districts and Division Engineer for the South Atlantic Division of the Corps. President Kennedy appointed him Chief of Corps of Engineers in 1961, a post which he held until he retired in 1965. He then served as president of Southern Industries Corporation and chaired the Task Force 2000 in Mobile, Alabama before his death in 1985.
Lt. General Wilson’s first assignment with the Corps of Engineers was an assistant to the District Engineer in Mobile. Fourteen years of troop command, staff assignments, advanced study, and a teaching appointment at West Point followed. In October 1943, he reported to India as deputy engineer-in-chief in the newly formed Southeast Asia Command under Lord Louis Mountbatten. He remained in the China-Burma-India Theater throughout the war, spending the last eight months commanding American troops and overseeing the demobilization effort.
During the war, he achieved the rank of Brigadier General, at the age of 38. He took command of the St. Paul Engineer District in 1946 and became Mobile District Engineer in 1949. Lt. General Wilson was deputy chief of Engineers for construction when the Corps was supporting the ballistic missile and space programs. As Chief from 1961-1965, Lieutenant General Wilson guided the Corps through a difficult period of Army reorganization.
Lt. General Wilson received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the French Legion of Honor, and the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Citation.