Wildo D. Colon
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 05/30/1942 - 02/19/1948
Medical Doctor, Medical Administrative Corps

Wildo was born in Puerto Rico as one of two sons to Domingo and Francisca Colon. His mother was a schoolteacher. His father ran a coffee and tobacco plantation, then became a marshal in the court in Cayey, a small town near Barranquitas, where Wildo grew up. Wildo entered University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras when he was 16, and earned a bachelor of science in three years. While there he worked in the school's genetics laboratory where he conducted experiments and gave lectures. He also earned money to join his older brother, Egidio, at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. "My father had enough money for him, but not for me, so I had to make my own money," Wildo recalls. His brother was able to provide him a job that paid room and board in intern quarters. Like his brother, Wildo studied pediatrics. He returned to Puerto Rico for his internship where he worked in surgery and internal medicine and pediatrics. In 1943 Wildo was drafted into the U.S. Army and took basic training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. When sent overseas, he was given command of a contingent of 70 doctors during the voyage to France. On the vessel, he was in charge of the dispensary. Sailing with the doctors, he recalls, were 500 former German prisoners of war who were returning home. Wildo was stationed at Bremerhaven near Munich, a city, he recalls of "just rubble." For two years he worked in the dispensary at Bremerhaven, which was a port of entry. "We had to check all of the soldiers when they came in and out," he says. He was sent to Bamberg, Germany, for "three or four months" where he again worked in a dispensary, then was sent to a similar posting in Berlin. Often while shopping in stores he bartered with cigarettes and candy bars. In his spare time, he bought antiques and jewelry, and vacationed in places such as Spain, Czechoslovakia, and Spanish Morocco, where he purchased material for his future wife's wedding dress. After his discharge back home he married Mercedes in 1949. They would have five children. Wildo entered a residency in pediatrics at Cook County Hospital in Chicago for two years, then decided to move to Shreveport in 1950. "I wanted to be in the South," he recalls. "I decided to come to a place where they have a background of Spanish. And here was French and Spanish. That's why I picked out this place." He worked as a pediatrician at C.E. Boyd Clinic, the moved over to Doctors Hospital. After 23 years, he returned to school at LSU, studied radiology, then worked as a radiologist at hospitals in Jena and Columbia. He retired in 2003. Mercedes, and his second wife, Betty Vacarro, are both deceased. He is now married to Martha Akin.