North Texas

Veterans Remembered With Portraits in Collin County

There is a solemn ceremony planned Monday for Veterans Day at the Collin County Courthouse in McKinney.

The North Texas Fallen Warrior Portrait Project will present the portraits of five men who died serving the country. The portraits will become a part of the existing Hall of Heroes along with the 59 other portraits that already hang in the courthouse halls.

“To me it is sort of an obligation and it stems from losing friends in war and especially during the Vietnam era when they were forgotten,” artist and Portrait Project co-founder Colin Kimball said. “The honor comes from getting to know the families and knowing the peace and comfort they gain knowing their loved one is not forgotten.”

New veteran portraits are added each Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

“I spent a lot of time working on their eyes because I want you to look into their eyes and I want to give a sense of their humanity,” Kimball said. “I try to honor and glorify the warrior without glorifying the war itself, because there is nothing glorious about war.”

The ceremony is set for 11 a.m. at the courthouse and the portraits will remain for public viewing on the first floor year-round.

Under each portrait is the story of the fallen service member.

“The portraits are here to create an interest and it is the plaques that tell their story. That’s the most important part to me,” Kimball said.

Lanny Hale
Jerry Combest

The five new Hall of Heroes inductees are:

Lanny Hale, 24, and Jerry Wayne Combest, 25, were best friends, classmates and teammates at Wylie High School. Lanny, U.S. Army, Sp4 Class, 198th Light Inf. Brigade, was killed in action Feb. 8, 1968, as he led his squad across a wide rice paddy while under an enemy mortar barrage, at the Battle of Lo Giang, just south of Da Nang, South Vietnam.

Jerry had been a pall bearer at Lanny’s funeral and was soon after sent to Vietnam, where as a Sp4th Class, U.S. Army, he served with the 25th Infantry Division. On Aug. 21, 1968, Jerry led his Company into battle in a dark forest known as the Ben Cui Rubber Plantation. He was killed in action that day, just about six months after his best friend’s funeral. Jerry Combest and Lanny Hale were awarded the Bronze Stat Medal and are buried at Wylie Cemetery. [[500264511,R,225,300]]

Lowell Kinney

Jimmie Doyle, 25, of McKinney was in the U.S. Army Air Corps, S/Sgt. He was killed in action Sept. 1, 1944 when the B-24 Liberator of which he was a crewmember was shot down by Japanese forces over the Koror Passage of the Palau Islands, in the South Pacific. Missing in action until his remains were discovered and returned to be buried at Lamesa Memorial Park, Lamesa, Texas, 65 years later in April 2009. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Lowell E. Kinney, 22, of Celina was in the U.S. Army Air Corps, 2nd Lt. 423rd Bomber Squadron, 306th Bomber Group, Heavy. Killed in action Nov. 9, 1942, when his B17 Flying Fortress “Miss Swoosh” was shot down on a mission to St. Nazaire, France. Listed on the “Tablets of the Missing” at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England, with a memorial marker at Cottage Hill Cemetery, Celina.

Jim Goodner

Jim B. Goodner, 21, of McKinney was in the U.S. Army Air Corps, 2nd Lt. Bombardier/Navigator of B17 Flying Fortress, 612th Bombardment Squadron, 401st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. Flew missions over France and Belgium. Killed in action April 11, 1944, when shot down over Germany on his third mission. Buried at Pecan Grove Cemetery.

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