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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 June, 2010

ABOUT ME — Vietnam Enters My Life (PART THREE)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 08:06 AM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

I was familiar with Vietnam, long before most Americans ever heard of the country. Our family’s close friendship with a Vietnamese priest for many years may have been a blessing (literally) when I would later lose Jerry in the Vietnam War. (Please check-out Part Two).

Over the years, Father Oanh was sent to the most prestigious Cathedrals in the United States and apparently became involved with efforts to rid Vietnam of the communists. The only thing I remember him telling me was that some of his friends in the American military called him Father “Joe.” However, I never asked him about his involvement with the war.

The last time I ever saw Father Oanh was when I brought him to Brown University in 1966 to meet Jerry, who was in his senior year. Unfortunately Father Oanh was not able to marry us, because he would be out of the country on our wedding day, but he knew that Jerry was heading to Vietnam to help the South Vietnamese people, after finishing Basic School and Flight School. Read more

ABOUT ME — Vietnam Enters My Life (PART TWO)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 @ 10:06 AM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

As with most people, my life has been a series of coincidences. Who would have thought that Vietnam would enter my life at age 6, and change it forever.  The first story I ever wrote was published in the fourth grade.  It was about learning to eat with chopsticks, focusing on the fact that  I ended up with more food on my plate than in my stomach.  It was probably a good thing, since I was a chunky kid at that point.

But even more important, the story told about my special friendship with a Catholic priest that our family had befriended when I was in the first grade when we lived in Rhode Island. I will preface what I am about to say, because it’s important to know that I hated going to church, much to my mother’s embarrassment. I was a pretty good kid, except for the church and catechism thing, and the parish priest would actually visit a family’s home to find out why their child wasn’t at church.   We had several visits.

Then one Sunday, everything changed. A young priest by the name of Father Joseph Oanh from Vietnam ended up at our little parish, where Jerry and I would be married many years later. Our family sat through Father Oanh’s first mass, and I noted that his English was terrible, but he had the kindest face I had ever seen. In short, our family adopted Father Oanh, as did a couple of other families in the parish. But as a small child, I considered Father Oanh as my special friend. Read more