My first husband, Capt. Jerry Zimmer, was an F4B Phantom jet pilot, whose aircraft was shot down on August 29, 1969, approximately 20 miles South of Da Nang, Vietnam, after six months in country. Neither Jerry nor his navigator, 1st Lt. Al Graf, was able to eject, before the aircraft crashed into the Que Son Mountains. Initially Jerry and Al were classified as Killed in Action/No Body Recovered (KIA/NBR). Years later, both Marines were listed as MIA, along with other service members whose bodies were never recovered.
Jerry has been gone nearly a half century, and hope for recovering his remains had run out a long time ago. However, in recent years our family became involved with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), now merged with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), and learned that Jerry’s and Al’s remains might, in fact, be recoverable, so we are doing everything possible to support their efforts to make this happen and bring our guys home where they belong.
NOTE: BLOG POSTS ARE NOT UPDATED, SO INFORMATION MAY HAVE CHANGED OVER TIME.
Archive for July, 2010
I have no doubt that JPAC has the passion to continue doing the job. And whether you like JPAC or not, this group has developed global relationships, enabling us to partner with countries where our MIAs exist. This is a huge part of the recovery equation! Yes, there are volunteer groups and families with enough means and talent to fund a recovery team, but we’re talking about thousands of MIAs. This effort requires a mature organization with years of experience in conducting multiple investigations, recoveries and identifications at one time. This is what JPAC does, and this is why we need to help the organization work faster and better. Read more
Like many Americans, I did not know until recently that our government began one of the largest wartime recovery efforts in history, 65 years ago—long before the Vietnam War began. This effort was undertaken from 1945 to 1951, on behalf of WWII soldiers and Marines.
According to the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO)–which now develops and manages policies involving recoveries of missing Americans in wartime locations, the WWII effort involved some 13,000 personnel and cost $163.8 million in wartime dollars. Read more