John Samuel Gilmer was born March 14, 1925 in Greensboro, the only child of John H. and Anna Smith Gilmer. He died on New Year’s Day, 2014 and is survived by his wife of 50+ years, Mrs. Uretha Williams Gilmer, and their four daughters: Brenda Martin, Jeanetta Dixon, Venatia Jones, and LaFini Mosby; six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Gilmer, who played clarinet and saxophone, was one of 9 students at Dudley High who joined B-1 prior to their high school graduation. After the war, he returned to Greensboro, where he majored in music at A and T. After college, he enlisted in the Army and served with the famed “triple nickel” battalion of paratroopers, the all-black 555th. He enjoyed his annual reunions with both groups of his military colleagues.
The Gilmers were Columbus, Georgia residents on and off since 1966.
An interview with John Gilmer about his military service was conducted at East Carolina University in 2002. It has not been transcribed.