As a member and volunteer of the Arlington Historical Society, I’m excited to share the news.
Please join us Saturday, May 8, 2021 for the Dedication Ceremony of the Arlington World War II Memorial. Following the ceremony, head to the Fielder House Museum for an Open House!
The World War II Memorial consists of the following commemorative plaques and markers:
- Colonel Neel E. Kearby’s Texas Historical Marker and life-sized bronze statue.
- A plaque paying tribute to heroes from Arlington who gave the ultimate sacrifice in World War II.
- A plaque explaining how the North Texas Agricultural College (1923-1949), now UTA, got involved with the wartime efforts and their impact.
- A plaque, “In Memoriam – Lest We Forget,” paying tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women of Arlington who entered the Armed Forces.
About – Colonel Neel E. Kearby
Colonel Neel E. Kearby (1911-1944) is the only person from Arlington to be awarded the National Medal of Honor.
Kearby was born in Wichita Falls and later moved to Arlington. After graduating from Arlington High School in 1928, he attended North Texas Agricultural College — now known as the University of Texas at Arlington. He completed his studies at UT Austin and later enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
In World War II, Kearby piloted a P-47 Thunderbolt. He pioneered air combat tactics and led the 348th Fighter Squadron. Notably, in October 1943 over New Guinea, Kearby brought down six enemy aircraft in a single conflict — after his mission was already completed and while being heavily outnumbered. He then led his formation to safety.
Colonel Neel E. Kearby was awarded the Medal of Honor on January 23, 1944, personally from General Douglas MacArthur. Kearby would be killed in action later that year. He’s buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Dallas.
Colonel Kearby’s decorations and awards include:
- Medal of Honor
- two Silver Stars
- four Distinguished Flying Crosses
- five Air Medals
- Purple Heart
For more information about Arlington’s history, visit us at the Fielder House Museum. Current exhibits include ones about Arlington Downs Racetrack, The Hill neighborhood, Bankhead Highway, and many, many more!
Arlington Historical Society
Fielder House Museum
1616 W. Abram Street
Arlington, Texas 76013
Check out our website and visit us on Facebook.
And, check out the new page on my website with Arlington history photos. More coming soon!