HAMPTON, Va. (July 24, 2019) - LTC (R) Roosevelt Wilson, Hampton University Class of 1969, transitioned to the heavenly kingdom on July 12, 2019 at 88 years of age.
LTC(R) Wilson enlisted in the Army as a Private, from Columbia, Mississippi, attending a segregated basic training unit at FT Dix, NJ. President Truman did not sign Executive Order 9981 desegregating the Armed Forces until July 1948. According to his family, his grandmother agreed to sign his enlistment papers even though he was not legally of age to be in the Military. Just think about it, his enlistment must have occurred during the Korean War, since he retired from the Army in 1971. We presume he was selected for OCS and completed the Infantry Officer Basic Course sometime between 1953-1955. He later went on to Command a Recruiting Station in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1957. A Company Commander in West Virginia in the late 1950s, it was certainly not the place a young black officer would want to be assigned. He later went on to command a rifle company in the 101st Airborne Division during the 1960s. His company was deployed to support the enrollment of James Meredith at the University of Mississippi in 1962. He later served in the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam, and we know they did not have a cake walk over there. He eventually was assigned to FT Monroe, and attended Hampton Institute to receive a degree in sociology in 1969. LTC(R) Wilson had a Combat Infantry Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Legion of Merit and a host of other awards when he retired in 1971. He was the type of Infantry officer that fit the model, tall, lean, and a super duper paratrooper.
LTC Wilson was laid to rest at the Albert Horton VA Cemetery in Suffolk, VA one day shy of his birthday... today he would have been 89 years of age.
If you know people who have served, you really need to ask them some questions about their service. LTC Wilson was a leader in/out of the Military and he was the type of officer that you encourage our younger warriors to emulate. He will be missed.