James William Lanier was born on 12 April 1914 at Florence, Alabama, the son of Matha Wiley Lanier and Neppie Till. He married Grace Juanita Sanders in 1938. James Lanier was graduated in the schools of Decatur and attended the Chattanooga College of Law, a member of the Delta Theta Phi fraternity.

Capt. Lanier was killed in Action in Luzon 12 January 1945
Buried at Decatur Cemetery, Decatur, AL

1896th Engineer AVN Battalion, Company C

The Decatur, Alabama, March 25, 1945
A final tribute to the memory of a young Decatur Army officer, Capt. James W. Lanier, whose only concern when face with danger “for his boys” was paid March 18, in a memorial service at the First Baptist church. The news of Capt. Lanier’s death was received a short time ago by his wife, Mrs. Juanita Sanders Lanier of Chattanooga, Tenn., in a message stated that he had been killed in action in the Philippines January 12. The son of Mr. and Mrs. W.M. Lanier of Dectur, Capt. Lanier was born April 2, 1914 and attended Decatur schools. Always active in sports and extra curricular activities, he was a member of the first Rinky-Dink team in Decatur, played basketball, baseball and football, being a former Red Raider. He attended Chattanooga College of Law where he was a member of Delta Theta Phi law fraternity and had been with the TVA for a number of years prior to his entry into the armed forces. In keeping with the example set by his eldest brother, Charles Edward, who was killed in World War I at the age of 19, Capt. Lanier’s first interest was that of the men in his command. He ordered the building of the first chapel constructed in New Guinea for their religious services and in odd moments invented a refrigerator so that “his boys” could have ice cream. When offered an office job away from the active fighting, Capt. Lanier had refused, stating that he wanted to stay with his outfit. Surviving are his wife, his parents; two sisters, Mrs. J.O. Braswell and Mrs. Beulah Kilgore, both of Decatur and five brothers, two of whom are in the service.

  • Rank: Captain
  • Date of birth:
  • 2 April 1914
  • Date of death: 12 January 1945
  • County: Hamilton
  • Hometown: Chattanooga
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 1896th Engineer AVN Battalion, Company C
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Decatur Cemetery, Decatur, AL
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XI, Bottom Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor James W. Lanier

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