Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
 
Related Sites

 

Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.


Ski Troopers from Second Infantry in training at Fort Brady during WWII.


In 1942 the 702nd Battalion was re-stationed at another fort in lower Michigan.

Prior to the war, Fort Brady housed four companies, but during World War II several thousand troops were stationed there. Soldiers from the Second Infantry held maneuvers in temperatures ranging from zero to sixteen degrees below to determine what equipment would be needed to conduct warfare during winter weather.

In 1941 the 702nd police battalion arrived for the protection of the locks, canals, and navigation channels against sabotage and conventional attacks.

Life at the Fort During WWII


Troops playing broomball on ice skates, circa 1944.

The 20,000 troops stationed at Fort Brady during WWII engaged in a myriad of outdoor activities. During warm seasons soldiers would play tennis on outdoor courts.

Tennis courts were located in the courtyard in front of the officer's quarters (Brady Hall) and other tennis courts were located in front of the commanding officer's home (now the president's house). The tennis courts were made of dirt until the early 1960s after which they were rebuilt and made of cement. In 1974 the original courts were removed and replaced by sod. When the construction of the James Norris Physical Education Center was completed in 1974 new tennis courts were built in front, where they still stand.

During winter seasons soldiers participated in broomball games. Games were played in the middle of streets. Some soldiers enjoyed their spare time at the officer's rec building, which was destroyed in the 1960s. The rec building was located behind the commissioned officer housing, known today as the row houses.

Transportation in WWII


Mules were used not only for transportation but also for recreation, as the photo shows soldiers being dragged by the sturdy animals.

During the early years of the fort many donkeys and mules were used to haul supplies, pull carriages, transport soldiers and assist with construction projects. The mules, being very adaptive and much stronger than horses, were very useful during the long winters of the Sault.

During the early years of World War II army trucks came into use for hauling troops and supplies from all over Michigan. They were used by Companies B and F of the US Infantry. In late 1941 when the fort was declared a surplus, trucks would arrive daily with troops and supplies to be stored in the attic of Brady Hall. The supplies were later removed when the fort was taken over by the state for use as a branch of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology.


Soldiers hanging out under tarp, above cab, parked in front of infantry barracks (South Hall and twin).

Army trucks in front of infantry barracks during a parade for the public in the summer of 1941.

International Success

Brittany Currie

First Place
Lake Superior State University

Automated tie rod assembly work cell

Second Place
Shanghi Jiao Tong University, China

Third Place
University of North Carolina

2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress
American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Student Manufacturing Design Competition

Nov. 2002
New Orleans, Louisana

Learn More...

-Computer Eng.
-Electrical Eng.
-Mfg. Eng. Tech.
-Mechanical Eng.

Apply Today!

Home » Fort Brady > World War II
Share this page with your friends: