The North Texas Fallen Warrior Portrait Project recently presented new portraits of six young Collin County men who died while in the service of the U.S., including two from Anna, two from McKinney and one from Celina.
The portraits were added to the 64 other portraits already on display in the “Hall of Heroes” at the Russell A. Steindam Courts Building, at 2100 Bloomdale Road in McKinney. There are 416 names engraved on the “Wall of Honor” at the Veterans Memorial Park in McKinney, and the goal of the project is to put as many faces as possible with those names. The portraits were created by U.S. Air Force veteran Colin Kimball, who donates his time and talents.
The six heroes newly honored are Albert E. Stelzer from Celina, Glenn Hubbard Stevens from Anna, Jack Kirby from McKinney, Evans O. Estep from Anna, Darrel U. “George” Mahan from McKinney and Joe S. Huston from Plano.
Stelzer, 24, was a corporal in the U.S. Army, Headquarters Plt. Co A. 359th Inf. Reg. 90th Div. He died of pneumonia on Aug. 5, 1918 in Recy, France during World War I. Stelzer was the first Collin County resident to die in the war zone. He is buried at St. Mihiel American Cemetery, in Thiaucourt, France.
Estep, 22, was a private in the U.S. Army. He entered the Army during the war in Korea, and died May 10, 1951 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, while in training. He is one of three Esteps on the Wall of Honor, and is buried at Cottage Hill Cemetery in Celina.
Stevens, 22, was a Tech 4 in the U.S. Army, 507th Parachute Infantry Reg. 82nd Airborne, Paratrooper. He was killed in action during the Normandy invasion of France on D-Day, June 6, 1944, when dropped behind enemy lines during World War II. Stevens was awarded the Bronze Star and is buried in Leonard, Texas.
Kirby, 21, was a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Div. Paratrooper and Machine Gunner. He was killed in action on Feb. 28, 1945 at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. The Marines of his unit placed the flag atop Mt. Suribachi for the historic Iwo Jima photograph. Kirby graduated from McKinney High School in the Class of 1942.
Mahan, 20, was a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, G Co. 2nd Bn. 1st Marine Regt. 1st Marine Div. He was killed in action on Aug. 19, 1967 when ambushed by Viet Cong near Chu Lai, South Vietnam. Mahan is buried at Ridgeview Memorial Park.
Huston, 20, was a sergeant in the U.S. Army, A Co. 2nd Bn. 1st Inf. Reg. 196th Light Inf. Brigade, Americal Div. He was killed in action on March 19, 1969 during an ambush on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam. In complete disregard for his life, he went to the aid of wounded comrades who were lying in an open area completely exposed to enemy machine guns. Huston was cut down after picking up one of those men and carrying him back to safety. He was awarded the Silver Star and is buried at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas.
The printing and framing of the portraits for the “Hall of Heroes” are paid for through donations of local citizens. The search for more names and faces continues on the Collin County Freedom Fighters website at ccfreedomfighters.com, where all 416 heroes are listed with bios.
For more information, contact R.D. Foster at email@example.com.