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.

Posts Tagged ‘Bea Zimmer’

COMMITTED TO OUR VIETNAM WAR MIAs

Friday, January 8, 2016 @ 02:01 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis
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(L-R)  Front:  Matt & Nick Zimmer; Middle:  Alie Zimmer, granddaughter Breeze Davis, Elaine & Ron Davis; Back:  Brett Davis, Craig & Bea Zimmer.

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Newlyweds Jessica & Brett Davis with Brett’s daughter, Breeze, who makes us laugh and love her even more.

Please join our family as we pledge to help make 2016 a year of consensus among those involved in the pursuit of accounting for our MIAs from the Vietnam War.  We still have hope that Jerry’s and Al’s remains will be found one day soon.  Like so many other families, we are grateful to have the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and others involved in the mission during these very difficult times.  We are honored by the many MIA supporters following our journey — knowing that our loved ones are not forgotten means a lot.

My New Year’s Resolution is to post more stories in 2016!   I have a good Vietnam-era war story planned for the near future,  but as always, I am humbled by the task and hope I can do it justice.

DPAA is committed to continuing efforts on behalf of our Vietnam War MIAs with no reduction in field operations planned this year.  A little more than six months since it went operational,  the agency under DPAA Director Michael Linnington’s leadership is full speed ahead.  Maj Gen Kelly McKeague, who served as DPAA’s Interim Deputy Director during the transition period, was succeeded on Sept. 22, 2015, by Brig Gen Mark Spindler, USA.

BRIG GEN Mark Splindler, USA

DPAA Deputy Director Mark Spindler, USA

Welcome Aboard

We welcome DPAA Deputy Director Spindler and look forward to supporting his efforts, of which include global analysis and investigations, search and recoveries and laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts.  Prior to joining DPAAs leadership team, Spindler served as the 47th Commandant of the United States Army Military Police School and Chief of the Military Police Regiment at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.   A “mo boy” who hails from St. Louis, MO, Splindler completed his undergraduate work at University of Missouri-Columbia and over time earned three advanced degrees elsewhere.

Spindler’s career also includes four overseas tours in the European Area of Operation and multiple tours of duty in the Pentagon and Military District of Washington.  His operational assignments include peace enforcement in Bosnia – Herzegovina; stability Ops in Kosovo and combat ops in Baghdad, Iraq.  Spindler has received numerous awards and  undoubtedly has the right stuff for the job. He is following in the footsteps of a man who weathered an MIA storm and never gave up on us.  Many thanks, Maj Gen McKeague, for your dedication, respect and belief in the families and the mission.

DPAA Interim Deputy Director Kelly McKeague's 34-year career with USAF ended on a high not. Maj Gen McKeague was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal by DPAA Director Mike Linnington. for "exceptionally distinguished service." Congratulations -- what an honor.

DPAA Interim Deputy Director Kelly McKeague, ended his 34-year career with the USAF on a high note. Maj Gen McKeague was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal by DPAA Director Mike Linnington for “exceptionally distinguished service.” Congratulations!

Please remember that  neither DPAA nor any other agency can fulfill the commitment of bringing home our loved ones without support from MIA families, veterans, military resources and humanitarian organizations — thank you.   (I will be attending  a regional  family update later this month and will follow-up with a post.)

MIA RECOVERIES IN VIETNAM — ONE STEP AT A TIME

Thursday, February 12, 2015 @ 10:02 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

 

This manmade cave and charcoal trench is located inside the crash site perimeter.

This manmade cave and charcoal trench is located inside the perimeter of Jerry’s & Al’s crash site.

 

Searching for the remains of my first husband, Capt. Jerry Zimmer, USMC – an F4B jet pilot, shot down in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, August 29, 1969, along with his navigator, 1st Lt. Al Graf, has given me greater appreciation for the challenges associated with this very complicated pursuit.

WHERE TO NEXT?

In August 2014, I learned that two-thirds of Jerry’s and Al’s crash site had been excavated to completion and that anthropologists with the recently deactivated Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), now integrated into the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), had closed that portion of the site with no remains found to date.  However all is not hopeless, officials may now survey the last third part of the site, if recently found evidence indicates that remains may be in that area.

Recovered life support equipment, considered important to the future direction of Jerry’s case, was sent in September 2014 to the Life Science Equipment Laboratory (LSEL) at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, for analysis.

TURNING POINT IN THE CASE?

Among the pieces of evidence sent to John Goines, Chief of the LSEL, were boot fragments. This seemingly innocuous evidence formed the basis of what turned out to be an important find. The fragments were from two different types of boots — one a flight boot and the other a jungle boot.   Combined with other evidence/data, Goines was able to confirm that two people were in the cockpit at the time of impact.

On a personal level, I can honestly say it helps to be reminded that the incident happened quickly and that Jerry and Al did not have time to suffer. Maybe the boot evidence and other life support equipment will lead to a turning point in the case.

I feel upbeat for the first time in a long time, and I think you’ll understand if you have time to read the full story.

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