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.


Vietnam Map


Jerry’s 40th Anniversary Memorial Service at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery, 8/20/2009

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 05:02 PM  posted by Elaine

Many thanks to Col Bill Peters, USMC, Ret, for creating the  beautiful video of Jerry’s Memorial Service.  Billy was Jerry’s close friend  and shared the same core values of honor, integrity and dedication to family, friends and the USMC.  Both attended Brown University on NROTC scholarships and ended up meeting their future wives during that time frame.  Jerry and I introduced Billy to his wife, Nancy, and they remain married with two grown children — Nancy and Jerry (named after Jerry Zimmer), along with 4 grandchildren. 

16 Responses to “Jerry’s 40th Anniversary Memorial Service at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery, 8/20/2009”

  1. Shane Wall says:

    I rarely get very emotional, but this is very special.

    This sums up my feelings right now:

    “In fields unknown tho they lay,
    home to America they will stay.”

  2. Elaine says:

    Beautifully said — echoes my sentiments.

  3. Glenn Hoover says:


    Beautiful web site. The video is very special.

    I have been forwarding information to classmates and friends on face book as I receive updates. Ellen (Mahar) Pulver, a Vestal classmate, mentioned to me that her brother Tim was in DaNang with Jerry and was one of the last ones to see him on the flight line the day of his mission. Ellen said Tim seldom has discussed it and doesn’t think you or Gene are aware of it, but he would like very much to make contact with you and/or Gene. For some reason (senior moment stuff I think) I cannot find where I have been filing all my Jerry stuff, including your e-mails. I will forward this site onto Ellen and perhaps she can have Tim make contact through this site.

    God Bless you, Gene and all who are helping you.

  4. Elaine says:

    Thanks, Glenn — I would like to talk with Tim. No apologies on the senior moment — I have them everyday!

  5. Tim Mahar says:

    I do not know how to express my feelings after watching this wonderful memorial. I have tried several times to write them,but , as I’m sure you know, it is hard to say with a heavy heart.
    I hope that we can “Bring Jerry Home” soon.
    God Bless-Semper Fi
    Tim Mahar

  6. Elaine says:

    Tim — Thanks for the nice note. I am sending this reply from Saigon and hope that my visit here is fruitful. I will try to post a blog within the next couple of days, so please check back. Jerry meant so much to so many people, so I understand your feelings.
    Best, Elaine

  7. Bonnie Hajduk says:


    Jim just brought this to my attention that posts continue to be made on Jerry’s site. Watched the video again as we near the 1 year ann.; was just as emotional as being there. Jerry will be in our hearts forever as well as your continued efforts to bring him home. Take care and may God be with you, Bonnie

  8. Bonnie,
    What a nice surprise to hear from you — hope you’ll stay connected. Things are going well with Jerry’s case, and I’m trying to catch up on my blogs with some good news. Hope all is well with your family. Fondly, Elaine

  9. Molly Frantz says:

    Elaine — this is Memorial Day weekend and I have been thinking about Jerry. Reading the blog and, especially, seeing the video of his service brings back so many memories and emotions. Perhaps none more moving than being in Binghamton for his service many years ago. We laughed so hard over the truck ride and cried so hard over the loss of Jerry. His memorial service at Arlington was so special and healing.

    Much love. You are never far from my thoughts.


  10. Molly — I’ll never forget that day at the Zimmer farm, either. I would have driven that truck to the end of the world, had I known how to get it out of 1st gear! Thanks for your sweet note. Love, Elaine

  11. Molly Frantz says:

    Elaine — I just watched the service again. It is so moving and so healing. Jerry and you are always in my thoughts — and Ron, Craig and Bret. 2009 is not that long ago, nor was Pensacola, Meridian, and Kingsville. Can the calendar really be right! Much, much love, Molly

  12. Molly,

    Thank you for checking in — even though time has not exactly flown, it seems that there is never enough. Still hoping for a miracle on Jerry’s case. Hang in with me:):) Elaine

  13. Molly Frantz says:

    Elaine — with all that is happening with John McCain’s funeral, Jerry and you and Vietnam are so much in my mind. I went to visit Charlie and Jerry today, really yesterday. Much has changed in Arlington — really grown since August 20, 2009. There are now five rows of In Memory Of in front of Jerry.

    The War was such a defining moment in our young lives. I told Jerry, that even though his remains are yet to be found, he has always been home — as home is in our hearts and memories. How blessed he has been to have touched so many lives and to live in so many hearts

    Much love to you, and Ron, Craig and Bret. May all your days be in the higher gears. Although 1st gear served us very well that Fall day.
    Love, Molly

  14. Molly,
    Thank you for putting up with me — as a writer, you’d think I’d communicate more with special friends. I’m hopeless! But you’ll always have a special place in my heart for never forgetting Jerry throughout the years, and that means a lot to me. Love, Elaine

  15. Molly Frantz says:

    Elaine — I watched on the news today about a son piloting home the remains of his father killed in Laos 52 years ago. Can it be — nearly 10 years since that hot August day in Arlington when we attended Jerry’s service, and now nearly 50 years since Jerry and Al were shot down in Vietnam. I will be thinking of you and Craig, and Ron and Bret on the 29th and be with you in spirit.

    Much love.

  16. Molly Frantz says:

    Elaine — just wante to check in on this important day. It is hard to realize fifty years have gone by since Jerry’s crash and ten since his memorial service in Arlington. I went to visit and lay flowers at Jerry’s and Charlie’s grave sites. A lovely, blue sky day; not as hot and humid as in 2009.


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