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Professor Paul Edmund Hainault

Professor Paul Edmund Hainault


Professor Paul Edmund Hainault

Professor Paul Edmund Hainault







A Legacy of Action:
Professor Paul Edmund Hainault

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

From the Obituary in the Daily Mining Gazette

Paul Edmund Hainault, 90, a resident of Houghton, passed away peacefully June 25, 2011. He lived at The Bluffs for the past seven years. Paul was born November 16, 1920, at home in Hubbell to Delia (Chandonais) and Albert Joseph Hainault.

Paul graduated from Lake Linden-Hubbell High School in 1938 and from Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1942 with a degree in metallurgy. He lettered in marksmanship on Tech's Rifle Team and spent four years in Army ROTC.

He received his diploma and commission on the same day. As a lieutenant in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Paul constructed roads and bridges behind the front lines of advancing Allied Forces. He shipped out as part of the 20th Engineers Combat Battalion to North Africa, participating in combat landings at Casablanca in November 1942 and Sicily in July 1943.

At Lands End, England, they regrouped as the 1340th Engineers Combat Battalion and landed on Omaha Beach June 7, 1944, as members of the United States Army First Infantry Division. On the night of June 9-10, Paul led the first platoon of Company A/1340th to install a 50-foot Bailey Bridge across the Aure River near Trevieres, even while receiving enemy fire. The next morning, the 38th Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division moved across the bridge. This marked the first bridge constructed by the Allies in Normandy.

With the 20th Engineers, he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, receiving a Purple Heart, and the Hurtgen Forest campaign, and advancing through France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, and Czechoslovakia before war's end. Paul returned to Omaha Beach in 2010, commemorating the 66th Anniversary of the invasion.

Paul and Alice Claire Lewis began dating after his return. They married at St. Cecilia Church in Hubbell on June 18, 1946, by Fr. Bernard Eiling.

Paul worked for USF&G as a safety engineer in Baltimore, Kansas City and Chicago. In 1951, he began his teaching career at MTU from which he retired in 1988. He was a popular and creative teacher.

Throughout his life, Paul was an active member of Catholic parishes. In the Copper Country he served in various ministries at St. Cecilia, St. Ignatius Loyola, the Newman Center and St. Albert the Great. He was also active in the Third Order of St. Francis, Knights of Columbus (achieving 4th Degree), the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel (MARSP), VFW, Quincy Hoist Association and the Houghton County Democratic Party, which honored him and Alice with their service award in 1996. Paul also served on many school boards, both secular and parochial. Paul and Alice were dedicated and loving parents, hosting family events and traveling frequently to visit children and grandchildren. He was an avid card player, nature lover, and delighted in touring friends and strangers alike everywhere and anywhere in the Keweenaw.

Paul's great interest in his retirement was the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. He wrote books and gave many talks. He believed the ship may have grounded on Superior Shoal and even if it hadn't, believed markers should be placed on the Shoal to assure safe passage.

Graduation picture Michigan Tech 1942 Yearbook