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: Lt Col Oliver North, USMC, (Ret)

Thursday, June 10, 2010 @ 01:06 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

Lt Col Oliver North, USMC, (Ret), is a Marine\’s Marine! Many thanks to Dewy Clarridge for reaching out to Ollie on our behalf.

When we began the journey to visit Jerry’s crash site in 2008, we never dreamt it would involve so many twists and turns, as well as assistance from new and old friends. In future blogs, I will highlight some of the people who have been instrumental in our quest. I know Jerry would want me to thank you for your efforts, and this blog is for you.

I’ve never met Lt Col Oliver North, USMC, ret., in person, but over the years I’ve traveled in some of the same circles with people who know him well. One of those is Dewy Clarridge, whose name might be familiar to many in intelligence and political circles. If not, just Google his name, and you’ll get the picture – skewed if you’re reading a lib’s version. I never knew until recent years that Dewy was raised in Nashua, New Hampshire, where I spent my formative years, too, before heading off to college. Dewy’s dad was the town dentist, which meant that Dr. Clarridge was everyone’s dentist. Interestingly, we lived within walking distance of each other, but Dewy was in college when I was in primary school, so we never crossed paths. He also did his under graduate work at Brown University, which back in those years was a breeding ground for CIA recruitment.

Early-on in the process, Ron invited Dewy to have a drink on our boat in San Diego, and that’s how Dewy and I learned of the coincidences in our lives. In July 2008, Ron was communicating by email with Dewy and told him of our interest in connecting with JPAC leadership in Hawaii. Dewy knew that his friend, Ollie North, had done a Fox News segment on JPAC for his “War Stories” program, the previous year, and offered to provide us with an entrée to Ollie. Anyone who knows Ollie understands that he is a Marine’s Marine, and willing to assist a fellow Marine whenever possible. Within a day or two, Ollie called Ron and said that he had arranged an introduction for us to Dr. Mann, in the Scientific Division of JPAC. Ron called Dr. Mann, who arranged for us to talk with Johnie Webb, Deputy to the Commander for Public Relations and Legislative Affairs. The latter is a name well known to anyone dealing with JPACs leadership. We got off to a good start with Johnie, and that relationship continues today. Check out Johnie’s bio on the JPAC website, and you’ll see that he has dedicated much of his life to bringing our loved ones home.

Once contact with Johnie had been made, Ollie’s work was done, and we were just beginning ours. Many thanks to Dewy and Ollie for their assistance – sometimes people make seemingly small contributions, but in reality they can mean the difference between clear sailing ahead or turbulent waters. Thankfully, Jerry’s case is in the former category.

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