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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Keeping it real: This mage was part of a PowerPoint presentation presented during the 2014 League meeting, depicting actual Vietnam War field operations.

Keeping it real: This slide was part of a PowerPoint presentation during the 2014 League meeting, depicting a collage of field operations that took place while searching for our MIAs from the Vietnam War.

 ANNOUNCING

THE 46TH ANNUAL MEETING*

NATIONAL LEAGUE OF FAMILIES

OF AMERICAN PRISONERS AND MISSING

IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

JUNE 24 – 27, 2015

HILTON CRYSTAL CITY HOTEL**

ARLINGTON, VA

_________________________________________________ 

UPDATE:  PREVIEW 2016 LEAGUE & DPAA MEETING

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

The annual League meeting has been a must-attend event for more than four decades, and 2015 will be no exception. In fact, this year’s meeting is more important than ever for Vietnam War families with loved ones still unaccounted-for in Southeast Asia.

There is strength in numbers, and our attendance will not only demonstrate the League’s strength, but it will also send a message to the newly formed Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) that families support their efforts, and we are eager to hear DPAA tell us they are committed to ours.

IT TAKES A COMMUNITY

The meeting is expected to include some new faces and hopefully a number of returnees that have stood by us through the good and bad times. I continue to learn more from these annual meetings than I ever thought possible – in essence, they are the closest connection that families have, as a whole,  to a transparent environment within the accounting community – largely because of League Chairman Ann Mills Griffiths, who has been the League’s guiding force for nearly four decades.

 The League supports families in numerous ways, but neither Ann nor other members of the board and key advocates in veteran and political circles can do it all. Family members are the lifeblood of the mission to bring home our loved ones.

ESTABLISHING CONNECTIONS

If you have created MIA business cards, bring a bunch — remember DPAA is newly formed.   I recommend that cards include your loved one’s name, rank, branch of service, official date of death and, if desired, a thumbnail image of him — don’t forget to include your name and email address.  For security reasons, I don’t encourage including home address or telephone numbers. If your cards are one-sided, you can use the blank side (if requested)  to hand-write personal contact information.  My cards are one-sided and very simple with Jerry’s  name, rank, branch of service, my name and URL for this site.

Even if a family member has five minutes for a face-to-face with an official at some point during the meeting, he or she will appreciate receiving a business card from you and hopefully that person will reciprocate with a card, as well. (If you had a noteworthy conversation, jot down something on the back of their card, as a memory jogger).

*MEETING REGISTRATION MUST BE POSTMARKED BY FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2015

**TO RECEIVE A SPECIAL RATE FROM HILTON CRYSTAL CITY HOTEL,

THE CUT OFF DATE IS MAY 22, 2015

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.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY IN PDF FORMAT