W.L. "Billy" Mitchell
A Ruston product who literally grew up on the Louisiana Tech campus as the son of Dean W. L. Mitchell, Billy Mitchell was an outstanding athlete from his youth, on through Ruston High and then at Tech where he was a truly all-around standout. Mitchell lettered in football, basketball and baseball at Tech and was named the Bulldogs’ Outstanding Athlete as a senior. His competitive nature and organizational skills served him well for the rest of his life as he and life-long friend Jack Thigpen graduated from Tech in 1937 and immediately accepted appointments to West Point. Both men learned and participated successfully in the sport of lacrosse at West Point, but more importantly for Mitchell, those years set in motion a brilliant military career (he graduated from the Academy in 1941) that saw him rise to the rank of Brigadier General, serving his highest command of American troops as commander of the 314th Air Division and Air Force in Korea in 1963. He retired from the service in July of 1970 and resided in Shreveport until his death in June of 1992.