Dr. William Waddell- a veterinary veteran
This Memorial Day weekend, don’t forget to raise your glass high to the legend, Dr. William Waddell, who was not only the first African American member of the AVMA, he served our country as a Buffalo Soldier. Dr. Waddell was reponsible for the care of the US Army’s 10,000 miles.
Here are five reasons Dr. Waddell is our hero.
He was a 1935 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary College and the second African American to practice veterinary medicine in the US. The first African American veterinarian was Dr. Augustus Nathaniel Lushington from the Class of 1897.
He was born in 1908 in Richmond, Virginia. His love for animals began as a child when he would help care for his father’s work horses. He was the first African American member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
He was the last living member of the 9th Calvary Buffalo Soldiers, an all-black regimen in the US Army that served in Northern Africa and Italy during World War II.
In the Army, Dr. Waddell served as a Lieutenant and was the brigade’s veterinarian, helping to care for over 10,000 horses and mules. By the time he retired from service, he had earned 135 service medals.
After leaving the army, he joined the faculty at Tuskegee University. While at Tuskegee, he and Dr. Fredrick Douglass Patterson started Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1945.
I also wrote an article about Dr. Waddell for Pet Vet Magazine, which you can read in the link below.