Capt. Fulton P. Lanier



Fulton P. Lanier, CPT Army Air Force, age 27, was officially declared missing in action (MIA) as of 31 January 1944 after the C-87 he was piloting with a crew of 4 other Army Air Force Crew Members, went missing after taking off from Kunming, China. The C-87 was never seen or heard from after departing from Kunming, and it never arrived at its destination in Jorhat, India. The U.S. Army issued a Finding of Death in January 1946.

In December 1993 and September 1994 Chinese and American cooperative efforts led to the recovery of wreckage and remains of the crew of a World War II American C-87 that crashed into a glacier in Tibet. Material evidence and remains were turned over to the Central Identification Laboratory-Hawaii/ Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. This led to both a group identification and burial, which included CPT Fulton P. Lanier, and individual identification and burial of the other four crew members at Arlington National Cemetery in January 1998.

In August 2015 a Chinese newspaper noted that remains were recovered between 31 July and 8 August 2015 by professionals at a site in Tibet. Based on research by DPAA analysts, the remains were believed to be associated with the previously excavated site for CPT Lanier’s Air Crew in the Tibet Autonomous Region. From 21 to 29 October 2015, DPAA representatives worked with the Chinese officials for the turnover of the recovered remains, culminating in a turnover ceremony between U.S. and Chinese officials. Advanced DNA testing was conducted and remains were positively identified as those of CPT Fulton P. Lanier, U.S. Army Air Forces.

Captain Fulton P. Lanier is survived by his nieces and nephews, Virginia Lanier Powers of Wilmington, Billy Worth Lanier of Erwin, Franklin Fulton Lanier of Buies Creek, William Stephen Lanier of Beaufort, SC, Dr. David Charles Lanier of Chapel Hill, Bobby Lanier of Newport News, Virginia, and Nancy Lanier Player of Florence, SC.

Fulton went to Campbell for two years (junior college) where he played football then he went to Lenoir Rhyne. His football coach at Campbell, Coach Stachovich, left Campbell to go to Lenoir Rhyne and Fulton followed him there to continue playing football. Bill remembers Aunt Mary (Fulton's sister) saying that as a child Fulton was small therefore he was called "Runt". He grew up to be a man that was six feet tall.

The family will receive friends at O’Quinn-Peebles-Phillips Funeral Home in Lillington Thursday, September 28 from 2:00-2:45 PM. A graveside service with Full Military Honors will be conducted at 3:00 PM, as well as the presentation of CPT Fulton P. Lanier’s Military Awards and Medals to his niece, Virginia Lanier Powers, at Harnett Memorial Park in Lillington.