HALL OF FAME
E-Mail: Museum Director
White Sands Missile Range
Page 16 of 33
Major General Niles J. Fulwyler
Sep 24, 1982 - Jun 4, 1986
Major General Niles J. Fulwyler, 16th Commander of
White Sands Proving Ground/Missile Range, was born on Nov. 13, 1928 in
Homedale, Idaho. He received his commission following graduation from Bowling
Green (Ohio) State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in political
science. He also earned a Master's degree in international relations from the
American University, Washington, DC.
Fulwyler attended the Field Artillery School, the
Infantry School, the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War
Before coming to White Sands he was Chief of the
Nuclear Activities Branch at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and the
Director of the Nuclear and Chemical Directorate in the Army's Office of the
Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans.
When Fulwyler first arrived at White Sands in 1982 he
immediately immersed himself in the effort to establish a launch complex at
Mountain Home, Idaho. Since Idaho was Fulwyler's home state he used his
influence and powers of persuasion to ensure a smooth and problem-free
In 1984, White Sands, under Fulwyler's leadership,
hosted the Joint Logistics Conference. This conference brought the four-star
logistics leadership from all the services to the missile range. The exposure
for White Sands was necessary, as the missile range has been a well-kept
secret since it was established in 1945. .
Because of his influence the Departments of Army and
Energy funded a restoration of the McDonald ranch house at Trinity Site to its
1945 condition. The National Park Service did the Work. The dedication of the
ranch house restoration in 1984 set the stage for more frequent Trinity Site
During his command Fulwyler was always active in the
surrounding communities. He was in constant demand as a speaker for local
meetings and events. Evidence of his dynamic style came when the National
Freedom Foundation awarded him the George Washington Honor Medal for Public
Address while he was at White Sands.
He was also a hands-on person in the communities. In
1984 he led more than 100 volunteers in a clean up around Bum Lake in Las
Cruces. Later, he led more volunteers in laying sod in the new Albert Johnson
General Fulwyler retired in 1986 and lived in Meridian,
Idaho until his death on 11 January 2014.