Our Mission:

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.

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NOTE:  BLOG POSTS ARE NOT UPDATED, SO INFORMATION MAY HAVE CHANGED OVER TIME.

2016 Brown University Vietnam War Forum

Friday, August 26, 2016 @ 04:08 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis
Brown University Forum Participants: Elaine Zimmer Davis, David Taylor, Barry Kowalski

May 27, 2016: Brown University Alumni Reunion Forum:  The Vietnam War.  
Photo L-R: Elaine Zimmer Davis, David Taylor, ’66, & Barry Kowalski,’66. Special thanks  to David and Prof Beth Taylor (no relation) for turning a dream into reality; Jennifer Betts for her incredible archival prowess; and other Brown vets who shared their stories, made us proud and together we kept a full house at attention.  I was honored to be included.  — EZD

This video includes presentations by several Brown veterans,  not only David and Barry.   It is interesting to hear each speak of their personal wartime experiences.

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2016 Brown University Forum - Barry Vietnam War Combat Boots (Medium)

Barry’s combat boots

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 Jerry’s flight jacket & hat

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              Elaine Zimmer Davis and David Taylor (Medium) DSC_3305 (Medium)  Jerry’s and my Brown friends — great seeing them again.

10 Responses to “2016 Brown University Vietnam War Forum”

  1. Mike Huttetr says:

    brown has seen the light!! I have no doubt that your presence was a major factor in the decision. I can now resume my giving to Brown.

    http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20160916/rotc-programs-return-to-brown-for-first-time-since-vietnam-era

  2. So good to hear from you, Mike; thanks for keeping me up on the “full” return of ROTC to Brown University – you have been so supportive of everything associated with Jerry, and it’s truly heartwarming. I believe that you and other alumni – veterans and non-veterans – were key elements in ROTCs return. After nearly a half century, the first class of Navy Midshipmen and Air Force Cadets are now academically, socially and structurally on the same level as others at Brown. “…I could not be prouder of the strengthening ties between Brown University and the Armed Forces,” said Brown President Christina Paxson, in the Providence Journal article link in your comment. Paxson took the bold step to make this happen. She is a star in my books, as are you and other alumni who supported Paxson’s decision.

  3. Glenn Hoover says:

    What a wonderful presentation and congratulations to Brown. I believe Cornell is the only Ivy that maintained programs of ROTC and still has Army, Navy and Air Force represented. They may have had no choice being originally a Land Grant school. Unfortunately thier graduating classes number in the the single digits. Very encouraging to see the great reception and wonderful forum.

  4. Glenn,
    Thank you for the positive comments — I am not a great public speaker, but Jerry’s case has become a major part of my life over the past decade. Although it has been sad in many ways, I have had tremendous opportunities to be involved with people like you and Clarice. I’m so proud of your innocentsoulsvietnam.com project. Just shows what bright, motivated people can do. Hugs, Elaine

  5. Craig Nielsen says:

    Great to hear Mike.
    I excitedly started out in ROTC when I came to Brown in the fall of 1964. I can’t remember the particulars and it still doesn’t make sense to me, but as I recall, because I wanted to become a physician, for some reason, they saId I couldn’t continue to be in ROTC.
    I’ve told the Elaine Zimmer/Al Davis story many times and just checked into this update.
    You might recall that at Jerry’s memorial at Arlington (in 2009?) how grateful/relieved I was to hear from you that you went to the national Delt Carnea the year after I went (and ignorantly ignored the significance of a motion presented by our southern Delt chapters to exclude Blacks) and, along with the Wesleyan Delt Rep, helped defeat that remnant of Jim Crow.

  6. Craig Nielsen says:

    Elaine:
    I had the great privilege of being at Jerry and Al’s memorial service with you in, what was it, 2009? Great fun talking/remembering old times with Mike, Jerry, John and all; vividly remembering you and Jerry, our most stable Delt couple, in those early formative days, while the rest of us guys in DTD watched you two thinking: ok; so that’s the way to do it right…
    And then we went to Jerry’s and Al’s Arlington memorial and saw your Craig; Wow: there’ IS our old brother Jerry!!
    By the way: reading your blog, I’m intrigued to ask your hubby Al if, as an FBI agent in San Diego, if he ever worked with or knew a best friend of mine I lost, Don Rodgers ( I think he was Donald P. Rodgers.)
    All the best Elaine.

  7. Craig,

    Enjoyed hearing from you, and if we’re talking about the same Don Rodgers, he did not spend too much time in the Bureau but bought a boat and lived the good life in San Diego. Eventually Don moved to FL and remarried a high school girlfriend. He was a character. Don’s first wife still lives in S.D., but I haven’t kept in touch — really nice gal.

    Hard to believe that it has been 8 yrs. since Jerry’s Memorial Service. Seeing people like you made it extraordinarily special.

    I wouldn’t have changed a thing about the years with Jerry, and DTD was our earliest home:))

    Best,
    Elaine

  8. Mike Hutter says:

    Kathy and I were back at Brown Memorial Day Weekend celebrating my 50th Reunion. Many of the ’67 Delts returned as well and we had a great private dinner at a downtown restaurant. We have lost 3 from our class – Neal Weinstock, Doug Blair and Joe Randall – and jerry Pierson arranged to have a separate table set up for them in their memory. On Saturday we participated in the Delt Foundation Remembrance for fallen Delts -Vietnam, 9/11, and Iraq. We raised Jerry’s name and memory and we expect that next year there will be a plaque with his name on it placed with the plaques of the other Delts. The plaques are placed around a tree planted in front of the old Sigma Nu fraternity. Saturday night Bill Sproul ’65 and Geoff Goodale ’66 joined us with their wives Peg and Pru who were Pembroke ’67. A tour of the Delt house was a highlight – we entered under questionable circumstances. Such memories.

  9. Mike Hutter says:

    Craig – The Wesleyan Delt rep was Phil Corkhill. He is a leading educator and was instrumental setting up the University of Phoenix.

  10. Mike,

    Hope to see you and Kathy this summer — I look forward to hearing about entering the Delt house “under questionable circumstances.” Although not a Delt or Brown student, I can still relate:)


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