Tag Archives: Man of God

Pastor Gerald C. Primm Memorial Day Hero Obituary, WWII Air Force Fighter pilot, Man of God

Pastor Gerald C. Primm Memorial Day Hero Obituary, WWII Air Force Fighter pilot, Man of God

“But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”….Isaiah 40:31

I have read many obituaries. I always look for the ones of Word War II veterans. It is my way of thanking them for their sacrifices. Today I was presented an obituary that left me in awe and with respect for a shining example from the Greatest Generation. It is fitting that the world celebrate and give thanks for the life of Pastor Gerald C. Primm, a war hero and man of God.

From the Greensboro News and Record Obituaries, Sunday, May 29, 2011, Memorial Day Weekend.

“Gerald joined the Army Air Force during WWII to fight for his country. He became a Fighter Pilot flying the P-38 Lightning. During the war years he flew 56 combat missions (Note: only had to fly 50 but volunteered for 6 more). 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. From Sardinia Gerald was stationed at Gioia del Colle on Italy proper.

He flew six combat missions out of Gioia del Colle – 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 bandits (enemy) were spotted and 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, thus 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 remaining number of his 50 missions would be flown out of Foggia airfields which included escorting bombers to bomb the infamous Ploesti oil refineries in Rumania. Other exploits included flying from England to Algiers and having to emergency land on Gibraltar because one engine had failed. But the most noteworthy assignment of the war came about after Gerald had received the promotion to captain and volunteered for more missions (6) beyond his obligatory requirement of 50. At this time he was called into the office of Lt. General Ira Eaker, Mediterranean Commander, USAAF at King Victor Emmanuel’s Palace where he was asked if he knew about the upcoming invasion of Southern France. Once Gerald said no, Eaker informed him that he had been selected to fly Lt. General Jacob Devers, Supreme Allied Commander of the Mediterranean, in a specially modified P-38 to view the invasion on August 15, 1944, called Operation Dragoon. This Gerald did as he and the General, as well as 7 other Generals flew out of Corsica to view the invasion of Southern France by the Allies.

For his exploits in WWII Gerald received the Distinguished Flying Cross awarded for “Heroism or Extraordinary Achievement” and the Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters. In addition he received the Asian-Pacific Theatre Ribbon, Europe-Africa-Mediterranean Theater Ribbon with three battle stars and Distinguished Unit Citation.

After the war Gerald attempted to pick up his college education that had been interrupted by the war years by attending the UNC-Chapel Hill and moving to Texas to attend Baylor University. But a higher calling was in the offing for Gerald as he felt led to enter the Christian ministry as a Southern Baptist Preacher/Pastor. At about the same time he met the love of his life Ethel Brown at the First Baptist Church in Sanford where Ethel was Educational Director. Their marriage on December 28, 1948 formed a magnificent partnership in serving their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ until Ethel’s death on January 10, 2006. ”

“Gerald also took a stand for Civil Rights as evidenced by his bold and heroic actions in the 1950’s at his church in Raleigh which was located beside Shaw University, a black college. Some of the leaders of the church told Gerald that four Shaw University Students (African American) were attempting to enter the church to worship and these officials would not let them. Gerald rebuked them and told the officials to let them come in to worship. The next week Gerald, from the pulpit, resigned as pastor saying the courageous and truthful words to some members of the congregation that “their hearts were blacker than the faces of the students they barred from the place of worship”. This incident made statewide, national, and international news and brought Gerald great admiration from the African-American communities in Raleigh and threats from others. To the church’s credit they received the rebuke from their pastor and voted to rescind his resignation.
Gerald Primm was a war hero and a hero of the faith, but to the ones who loved him and knew him the most he was a loving friend, pastor, mentor, husband, brother, son and father. ”

Read more:

http://obituaries.news-record.com/obituaries/news-record/obituary.aspx?n=gerald-c-primm&pid=151343746

Thank God for the life of Pastor Gerald C. Primm

Advertisements

Eric Liddell, Olympic athlete, Man of God, man of principles, 1924 Olympics, Paris, Scotland, Liddell refused to run on Sunday, Missionary in China, IOC says no to Chicago, Thanks be to God

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”  Isaiah. 40:31

 

EricLiddell400Meters

 

Eric Liddell on principle of his beliefs and faith in God refused to compete on a Sunday. His event was changed and he won the 400 meters. Because of his actions, his story lives on and has inspired millions of people around the world about the power of God. I believe that Eric Liddell was smiling upon us today.

 

From the movie “Chariots of Fire”, a movie about two men from England who competed in the 1924 Olympics. Harold Abrahams ran to prove something .  Eric Liddell ran for the glory of God.
Chariots of fire – movie, opening scene

 

Chariots of Fire – Movie 1981 – Closing Scenes

 
Film clip of Eric Liddell’s race

 

The Eric Liddell Centre

Short bio
“As a result of having insufficient time for both running and rugby, he chose the former, aiming for the 100 meters in the Paris Olympics.  When he learned that the heats were to be run on a Sunday, he switched to the 400 metre competition as he was not prepared to run on a Sunday.    He won a gold medal for the 400 metres and a bronze medal for the 200 metres at the Paris Olympics.

After the Olympics and his graduation he returned to North China where he served as a missionary from 1925 to 1943 – first in Tientsin (Tainjin) and later in Siaochang.   During his first furlough in 1932 he was ordained as a minister.    On his return to China, he married Florence Mackenzie (of Canadian missionary parentage) in Tientsin in 1934.    They had three daughters; Patricia, Heather and Maureen, who now all live in Canada.

Living in China in the 1930s was potentially very dangerous and in 1937 Eric was sent to Siaochang where he joined his brother Rob.   He was now crossing the Japanese army lines.  

In 1941 life in China was becoming so dangerous that the British Government advised British nationals to leave.   Florence and the children left for Canada.

During 1941 – 1943 Eric stayed in Tientsin, then in 1943 he was interned in Weishien camp until his death in 1945.”
 
 
 
Dr. David J. Mitchell recollections
 

“I remember seeing Eric Liddell just the day before he died. For more than two years of our wartime captivity our school was interned in the same camp he was. That day he was walking slowly under the trees near the camp hospital beside the open space where he had taught us children to play basketball and rounders. As usual, he had a smile for everyone, especially for us children.

The athlete who had refused to run on a Sunday in the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, but who later won the gold medal and created a world record in the 400 meters, was now, twenty-one years later at the age of forty-three, reaching the tape in his final race on earth. We knew nothing of the pain he was hiding, and he knew nothing of the brain tumour that was to take his life the next evening, on that February 21, 1945.

Sent to this same camp in Weihsien in August 1943 with many other missionaries’ children, I will forever share with all the other hero worshippers of my age that vivid memory of the first sight of the man whom other prisoners described excitedly as the Olympic gold medalist who wouldn’t run on a Sunday.

Eric Liddell stood out among the 1500 people packed into our camp that measured only 150 by 200 yards. He was in charge of the building where we younger children, who had already been away from our parents for four years because of the war, lived with our teachers. He lived in the very crowded men’s dormitory near us (each man had a space of only three by six feet) and supervised our daily roll call when the guards came to count us. One day a week “Uncle Eric” would look after us younger children, giving out teachers (all missionaries of the China Inland Mission and all ladies) a break. His gentle face and warm smile, even as he taught us games with the limited equipment available, showed us how much he loved children, missing his own so very much.”

Read more:

http://content.ericliddell.org/ericliddell/content/alifeinspired.htm

 

In my prayers for many months I have asked for Barack Obama to be removed from office and that the truth about him be revealed.