Summary

Conflict Period:
Vietnam War 1
Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Chief Warrant Officer 1
Birth:
02 May 1940 1
Death:
09 May 1968 1
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Dayton Wayne Lanier 1
Birth:
02 May 1940 1
Male 1
Death:
09 May 1968 1
Cause: Air Loss, Crash - Land 1
Age at Death: 28 1
Body Recovered: Recovered 1
Casualty Date: 09 May 1968 1
Casualty Type: Hostile, Died 1
Residence:
Hometown: Wilmington, NC 1
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Marriage:
Marital Status: Married 1
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Vietnam War 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Chief Warrant Officer 1
Battalion:
229th Assault Hel Bn 1
Company:
C Co 1
Enlistment Type:
Reserve 1
Grade:
+ W1 1
Major Command:
1st Cav Div 1
Service:
Army 1
Tour Start Date:
09 Aug 1967 1
Years Served:
0 1
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Religion:
Presbyterian 1
Race or Ethnicity:
Caucasian 1
Memorial Wall Location:
Line: 26 1
Panel: 57E 1

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Stories

Chief Warrant Officer(CWO),Dayton Wayne Lanier, Vietnam Veteran, Native of Wilmington, NC. Chief Warrant Officer(CWO),Dayton Wayne Lanier was a member of the Army Reserve, CWO Lanier served our country until May 9th, 1968 in Thua Thien, South Vietnam. He was 28 years old and was married. It was reported that Dayton died when his helicopter crashed. His body was recovered. CWO Lanier is on panel 57E, line 026 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for less than a year. HHC 1 BDE, Tail Number: #63-09097. His Aircraft and another scout were doing lazy circles to cover each other as they worked their way up the valley. The other crew witnessed his Aircraft straighten out of its turn, start a climb, and then spin back down into the trees where there was a dull explosion. By all appearances, Dayton would have been an ‘old-man' as compared to the 18 year-olds that were inducted into the Army. He was 27 years old. Intelligent and mature, he was a perfect fit to train and fly these mechanical monsters of death. Arriving in Vietnam in August 1967 he was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division in Binh Dinh Province, a large enemy-infested area. Dayton was part of the elite 229th Assault Helicopter Command and flew daily in support of a variety of major offensives. Known affectionately as "Tar Baby" by his fellow pilots, he was well-respected and experienced. In April 1968, the Marine Corps had suffered large casualties at Khe Sanh. The 1st Cav was on the move again to relieve some of the combat troops. Because of his experience, They needed a pilot to ‘scout' the valley, locate enemy formations, and mark them for assault attacks. On May 9, 1968, CWO Lanier and his door-gunner, Cpl Chris Frankhauser (OH-13) was called into action to find out where the NVA mortar encampments were. They needed a pilot to ‘scout' the valley, locate enemy formations, and mark them for assault attacks. Artillery blanketed the area. C/229th was inserting troops and spitting machine gun and rocket fire support. Dayton and his gunner were in constant danger this day. Swooping low they would try to find where the enemy was…..and would lob a white phosphorous grenade towards the ground to mark the location. The Flight leader and another pilot were headed back to Dayton's area for another run. On the same FM frequency, they heard him communicating with the ground troops that he was getting ready to make another marking drop. Racing to give him support, they heard a report on the radio that OH-13 had just exploded and crashed….and that some of the ground troops were heading to the site. The Flight leader quickly switched to his Company frequency and quietly said "Flight, that was Tar Baby". It was a solemn moment for all, even in the heat of battle. Flying over the area, they couldn't see his helicopter due to the heavy forest canopy…..but his last airburst of white phosphorous marking is vivid in their minds still today. Upon a later investigation, it could not be determined whether CWO Laniers helicopter was shot down or had a mechanical failure…..as it burned quickly and thoroughly upon impact. Neither men survived the crash. Dayton had just turned 28 years old one week before.

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