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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


Archive for April, 2010


Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 03:04 AM  posted by Elaine

Team leader Capt Ernest Nordman, USMC, discusses his current excavation assignment with VFWs Adjutant General Gunner Kent and Senior Vice Commander Richard Eubank.

 I jumped at the opportunity to visit an excavation site outside of Saigon during my mid March trip to Vietnam. I tagged along with the leadership of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), which was a great experience.  The two groups were hosted by JPAC and others, as is customary during their visits to Vietnam.  A lot of Americans don’t realize how much effort they exert on behalf of their respective memberships.  Until recently, I didn’t know the VFW had over 2 million members.  I was humbled to be among both of them!  I urge all Vietnam vets to support their efforts!

The hike was easy — an anomaly for the JPAC team these days, now that the low-hanging fruit has been picked.  The temperature/humidity was way up there, so I was happy with the short haul.  I was told the teams – both American and Vietnamese — were excavating for two Air Force officers – a pilot and RIO – shot down in an F4C.  Since Jerry and his backseater, Al Graf, were also shot down in an F4, I felt a kinship with the men, and the site was hallowed ground to me.  (Check out the Excavation Site photos in the gallery, too). Read more


Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 12:04 AM  posted by Elaine

Daniel Young is a Supply Management Specialist -- an enormous job -- considering Daniel is responsible for getting supplies to remote sites in a country where local labor is plentiful, but not necessarily everything else.

Since Jerry’s case is likely to be excavated in the near future, it was fascinating to observe the administrative side of JPAC’s quarterly field operations in Vietnam. This set the stage for my next day’s visit to an excavation site, about two hours outside of Saigon. Excavation Site

In essence, JPAC sets up a Joint Operations Center (JOC) at the detachment headquarters in Hanoi. This temporary nerve center appears quarterly for approx a month and is staffed by a core group of four people (I think the number varies) who monitor/assist field operations throughout Vietnam. During my visit, the team was following six Joint Field Activities, consisting of two investigations and four excavations.

Check out the gallery to see more photos of the JOC team – notice the white board in a couple of the shots. This board was updated daily through feedback from the field, concerning staffing, logistics, supplies, emergencies and, of course, any potential evidence of remains or life support. Regardless of a team member’s permanent base (some were dispatched from JPAC headquarters in Hawaii), everyone reported to Lt Col Emoto during their time in Vietnam.

I was proud to think that these guys might be monitoring Jerry’s excavation in the future.