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.

EXCAVATION RESULTS

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 @ 02:09 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

To the Excavation Team: Thank you for your hard work--you moved our case forward, and now we're headed in the right direction.

When I learned that no human remains had been found during the recent excavation of Jerry’s and Al’s crash site in Vietnam, I was extremely sad, as one might emagine; however, I quickly adjusted my thinking and got back on course. I told myself, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” I’m in it for the long haul.

I have spent hundreds of hours researching and writing about Jerry’s case, and I knew of the possibilities and was prepared for JPACs findings. The site is still open, and a team will return in the future. But at the end of the day, there are no guarantees. There’s also a chance that Al’s remains may be found and not Jerry’s—or vice versa. There were two young men who lost their lives, and if one should return and not the other, we will have accomplished something good. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

I have come to know the people at JPAC, both in Hawaii and at the Detachment level in Vietnam. They take their job of MIA recoveries very seriously. I have no doubt that everyone worked hard to find our loved ones, as they do for every other MIA family; therefore, I want to thank them for the enormous effort that each excavation involves.

To Sean Tallman and Capt Joe Hamer, along with all the other excavation team members, you are an inspiration to all! As you know, excavations don’t always have happy endings, but the good thing is that your work proved that we’re headed in the right direction.

To the guys in Det2, your professionalism and kindness have made the journey a lot more enjoyable for our family. Although we have not spent a lot of time together, it has been a genuine pleasure, knowing that you care about all the families who are hoping for their loved ones to come home.

To JPAC Hawaii, I know that you have the least popular part of the job, sometimes making decisions that don’t sit well with families, etc. At another time in my life, I probably would be a lot more critical, but instead I try to be a lot more understanding—maybe that’s called mellowing out!

Finally, to all the people who have been following my blog. It’s really important to understand that Vietnam is like a time bomb, ticking away. I’ve said repeatedly that we need to keep up our efforts, before it’s too late. I will continue to help ensure that JPAC doesn’t slack off on its job in Vietnam—they have done an incredible job, and we all need to get that message out; otherwise, I am confident that Vietnam recoveries will be history—literally and figuratively.

I will continue to blog – please stay tuned.

7 Responses to “EXCAVATION RESULTS”

  1. Larry Karch says:

    Let’s hope that in the fullness of time both Jerry and Al will be found and brought home.

    Warm Regards,

    Larry Karch

  2. Glenn Hoover says:

    Often it is the journey that is most remembered. God Bless you and all those who have been involved. Jerry has kept us all together.
    Love,
    Glenn

  3. Ellen Mahar Pulver says:

    Glenn is so right; it has been Jerry that has brought so many of us back together…and hopefully we’ll remain close long after the journey has been completed.

  4. Glenn,
    Jerry adored his friends from Vestal, and I know why. You are the greatest. Love to all, Elaine

  5. Larry,
    It was so good to hear from you. It’s truly slow going in Vietnam, mostly because of the crash location and acidic soil–maybe we’ll get lucky next time. My best, Elaine

  6. Ken & Dottie Dower says:

    Elaine – We are checking in with your blog quite often as I told Ron, keep the news coming and please be safe out there. – Ken & Dottie

  7. Thanks, Ken & Dottie, for your faithful support — it’s not over ’til it’s over. Stay tuned. Elaine


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