Harris Lester Collins

Army of the United States
30 September 1943 - 26 April 1968
San Angelo, Texas
Panel 52E Line 015


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Harris Lester Collins

22 Apr 2005

Harris Lester Collins was born in Ballinger, Texas to Mary Proctor Collins and Oliver Louis Collins. He was raised in Ballinger and in San Angelo, Texas. He last attended San Angelo Central High School. He was drafted into the U. S. Army in the summer of 1967 and trained as a Military Policeman. He was killed in a hostile firefight with the V.C. on April 26, 1968.

He received a posthoumous promotion to Corporal. He is remembered by the Concho Valley Vietnam Memorial in San Angelo and by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Midland, Texas. May his sacrifice not be forgotten.

From a Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial Representative,
Billy M. Brown

08 Jun 2006

As a correction, Harris was born in Winters, Texas, which is in Runnels County, Texas. His mother and father were both Texas natives. His mother was from Winters, Texas and his father was from Hood County, Texas. At the time of Harris' birth, his father Oliver Lowe Collins was serving with the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Harris was educated all over while his dad served with the U.S. Air Force. His father completed 4 years in the Army Air Corps and 24 years in the U.S. Air Force. The family did live in San Angelo when Harris was in junior high and during his sophomore year at Lake View High School. He completed high school at Wheelus Air Force Base in Tripoli, Libya as his dad was transferred there from Goodfellow Air Force Base. The Collins family considered San Angelo to be their home. At the time of Harris' death, his younger brother Larry was serving his second tour in the Vietnam theater with the U. S. Navy on board ship (his sister believes it to be the USS JOHN BOYLES).

From a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

Harris Collins, center right

25 May 2005

God bless you, Cpl Collins. I had just met you on the morning of 26 April 1968 after I had told the First Sergeant the night before that I would like to have my drivers rotated so I would get to see how the soldiers assigned to our operation of assisting the infantry providing security for the engineers on Highway #4, or Route 4, just north of Dong Tam.

So I really did not get a chance to know you. I do recall, Cpl Collins, that I was impressed by your military bearing and professionalism. I was glad that morning after we had been on the road for a few hours while you were showing the new LT around our area of responsibility.

That afternoon never leaves my consciousness. Even though we were trailing behind the Provost Marshall and his First Sergeant-driver, I will alway feel responsible for getting hurt. May God always be your protector. You are always in my prayers, HARRIS LESTER COLLINS.

Michaeo F Cahill
1Lt, 9th MP CO,

14 Apr 2006

Dad, I just want you to know how much I love you. And how very proud I have always been that you were and are my dad.

To the men who were with him, Thank You!! For being there and for making it home.

I've often wondered what happened on his last day, and you have helped fill in that void. Please don't grieve for him, there was no way for you to know what was going to happen. He's in good hands now, and we will see him again!

You said you didn't have time to get to know him, me either, but from what everyone has told me he lived the All-American boy life, and all his family and friends respected and loved him. He was very blessed, and so are we for having him in our life.

May God bless you.

From his daughter,
Laura Collins Waltman

01 Dec 2006

Dear dad,

I just wanted to let you know, your first granddaughter, Toni, is now married and you are a great grandfather again. Her name is Jessica Danielle and she was born November 21 2006 and is 5lb 11oz. She is so tiny but very beautiful, and has a head full of thick black hair! I know you would be very proud of her.

We love you always and forever.

Your daughter, Laura

Laura Waltman
24 Apr 2006

Hey, Pawpaw Collins, I'm your granddaughter Nikki Michelle. I'm Laura's daughter and after seeing momma write you a letter I got kind of scared but then I realized you weren't going to write back haha... Well, I'm in the 8th grade by now, fixin' to be in the 9th and even though I never got to know you Mawmaw told me all about you and how great a person you were. I'm very disappointed that I never got to meet you. I'm pretty sure me and you would have gotten along.

I've also been to see the memorial wall at LSU. We sketched your name onto a piece of paper like almost every one else did but to me it felt way more special because even though we never met you were still my grandpaw and at school that year I had written a paper on you and all my thoughts about you. It was put in the school paper. It was really cool. Well I guess that's all I really had to say and how very much I love you and appreciate what you did. To me you are my hero. Well I love you so very very much, Pawpaw Collins ... bye with much much love.

Nikki Michelle

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his daughter,
Laura Collins Waltman

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 Apr 2005
Last updated 01/16/2007