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.

Our Quest to Bring Jerry Home: Meet Mike & Kathy Hutter

Sunday, June 13, 2010 @ 12:06 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

When Jerry and I began dating during his sophomore year at Brown University (‘63-‘64), Mike Hutter was a freshman and had pledged Delta Tau Delta, which was Jerry’s fraternity. Although I never forgot Mike, I hadn’t seen him or any of the other guys since Jerry’s college days. Most Delts and other friends had no idea where I’d gone, and Mike was one of them.

A few years ago, I decided to logon to the Vietnam Virtual Wall, which I had never done, because I knew it would be painful to see Jerry’s name among all the other soldiers and Marines killed in Vietnam (visiting the real wall in D.C. is still tough, and I always go alone). I finally arrived at the correct site, and there was Mike’s name with warm, sensitive messages left for Jerry, year after year. I was awestruck and read each one of them, feeling a little like an interloper but so grateful for his contributions. I tried to contact him, but each time I couldn’t work up the courage.

This went on for a while. I continued to reread Mike’s postings, and at some point, I sent him an email to thank him for his faithful friendship to Jerry. I also let Mike know of our efforts to find Jerry’s crash site, as well as our plans to hold a 40th Memorial Service at Arlington National Cemetery. Mike had given up trying to find me and was surprised to get my email. We made plans to meet at a restaurant on College Hill, close to Brown. He and his wife, Kathy, would be returning from a vacation at Cape Cod. I don’t know if Mike recognized me, but I knew it was him in a second.

I have always been very emotional about Jerry, so I don’t typically talk about him, fearing that I’ll make everyone uncomfortable with my tears. However, I held it together and later called Ron back home in California to let him know that I hadn’t gone wacko while with the Hutters. Aside from reconnecting and meeting Kathy, who clearly was a wonderful woman, we talked about the progress being made on Jerry’s case, and Mike vowed to help notify the Delts to give them an update.

Mike’s updates resulted in a number of Delts attending Jerry’s Memorial Service. Mike and Kathy were with our family throughout that weekend. Also, the Hutters had an opportunity to get to know Craig, and I realize it was difficult for some people to see Craig, because he looks just like his dad. But being with Craig actually helped Mike deal with his long-time sadness at losing a good friend. For me, seeing Mike and the other guys from Brown was a reminder of the wonderful people Jerry and I knew back then, and how they had continued on the right track (in spite of those wild Delt parties and drinks that I am told required the services of a naked brother stomping fresh fruit in a tub).

Mike, I appreciate your efforts in bringing the Delts back into the fold for Jerry. I know that your dad, a former Marine pilot, was one of Jerry’s special mentors and, consequently, your faithful friendship had an extra special significance. Thank you so much.

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