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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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Archive for the ‘FBI Style Research & Investigation’ Category

An F4 ejection seat, mechanic's disarming device was presented to JPAC and helped to confirm that we had found Jerry's crash site.

If JPACs efforts are severely reduced in Vietnam, I believe that only the most viable cases will be worked, and the others might get pushed back. Unfortunately, there are some problems that require a super human effort to overcome; namely, the reality of bad logistics–as in site location, which probably describes many of the cases yet to be worked. Although location has been a challenge since the beginning, JPAC has been able to use helicopter transportation for difficult-to-access areas. However, for the past 8 mo. (approx), helicopters have been permitted only to transport supplies, not ground teams, because of safety permits. I’m sure this issue will be resolved in the future, but in the meantime, it is even more important that these sites have everything else in their favor. A well-researched case that has a good chance of success will get JPACs attention.

MOST IMPORTANT, TAKE OWNERSHIP OF YOUR LOVED ONE’S CASE. GET INVOLVED. BECOME A WILLING PARTNER TO JPAC. IF YOU ARE PASSIONATE AND CONFIDENT ABOUT YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCESS, THEN YOU NEED TO INJECT “NEW LIFE” INTO A CASE THAT HAS BEEN ON THE BACK BURNER FOR FOUR DECADES. Read more

MIA Repatriations: Where Do We Go From Here? (Part One)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 @ 12:06 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

My article in the July 2010 issue of Leatherneck, which is posted in the blog, presented the facts about concerns for JPACs future efforts in Vietnam to recover, identify and repatriate MIA remains .

This blog will offer some personal opinions about the issues that I think need to be resolved so that JPAC and its Vietnamese counterpart can continue to do the job of returning our loved ones to their families in the United States of America.

The Vietnamese government monitors publications and other communications that deal with matters of concern to them, such as the MIA issue. In spite of the hurt that lingers for most American families with MIAs in Vietnam, I will continue to treat the Vietnamese with respect, as I always have, and hope that they will do likewise with all of us. Read more