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Well-known conservative N.C. pastor, Gerald Primm, dies
BR staff
June 06, 2011
3 MIN READ TIME

Well-known conservative N.C. pastor, Gerald Primm, dies

Well-known conservative N.C. pastor, Gerald Primm, dies
BR staff
June 06, 2011

Gerald C. Primm, 89, former pastor of Eller

Memorial Baptist

Church in Greensboro,

died May 28 at Moses Cone

Memorial Hospital.

Known as a strong conservative leader in North

Carolina, Primm worked to restore the biblical roots

of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist State Convention of North

Carolina.

“He served the Lord with all his heart and as the Scripture

says of others, ‘lived to be old and full of days,’” said Barry Nealy, director

of missions at Three Forks Baptist Association.

Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist

Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas,

called Primm a “great man.”

Primm fought in World War II as a fighter pilot. He flew 56

combat missions in a P-38 Lightning covering several countries.

“Gerald was a jewel of a man,” said CJ Bordeaux, pastor of Gorman

Baptist Church

in Durham.

His exploits as a fighter pilot ranged from starting his

European service in Casablanca, to

starting his combat missions in Mateur, Tunisia,

in Northern Africa and in escorting bombers to Sardinia.

After Sardinia was liberated by the

Allies, he was stationed at Sardinia where he suffered

from a bout of yellow jaundice.

Six of his combat missions were flown out of Gioia del Colle

on Italy

proper. The most harrowing was the mission to escort bombers to bomb a

ball-bearing plant in Wiener-Neustadt, Austria.

When the bombers arrived at Wiener-Neustadt they had to

abort their mission due to weather, but this just started the travails of Gerald

as the enemy were spotted.

Gerald counted about 25 of them and then another 35 were

spotted for a total of 60.

Outnumbered by 60 to 16, Gerald’s plane was fixed upon, and

a bullet knocked out his hydraulic system and one engine. His wing flaps were

not maneuverable and his landing gear would not deploy.

Gerald dismissed bailing out over Yugoslavia

and decided to skim the mountain tops and glide over the Adriatic

Sea. To compound Gerald’s problems a German plane was coming in

for the kill and one of Gerald’s fellow pilots, Jim Advey, came to the rescue

and drove the enemy fighter away.

They remained life-long friends after the war. Gerald’s

Wiener-Neustadt escapade ended as he spotted an airfield north of Foggia,

Italy, and Gerald crash

landed at 130 miles an hour without the plane somersaulting down the runway.

He is survived by his sons, John and Mark Primm, both of Greensboro;

a sister, Jean Purcell of Columbia, Md.;

a brother, Bud Primm of Greensboro;

and four grandchildren.