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 ‘Sean Tallman’

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 

My Visit To Jerry’s Crash Site

Saturday, June 9, 2012 @ 02:06 AM  posted by Elaine

Had someone told me that my first helicopter ride would be in a Russian-made MI-17, launched from Da Nang Heliport in central Vietnam, I would have thought they were crazy.  Yet here I am in an MI-17 on a surreal journey in peacetime Vietnam, flying over the Que Son Mountains, where the remains of my first husband, Capt Jerry A. Zimmer – a Marine F-4 Phantom pilot shot down during the Vietnam War on Aug. 29, 1969, along with his navigator, 1st Lt Al Graf, are believed to be located, possibly with others from both sides of the battlefield in this mountainous graveyard.

In many ways, I have relived this journey in my dreams — probably a thousand times during the past 40 years, but this is reality, and I am no longer dreaming.  Ironically, my foray coincides with the long 2012 Memorial Day weekend in the United States. Although not planned around the holiday – or at all — I know that every Memorial Day in future years will take me back to this experience for the rest of my life.

I am here at this moment, thanks to the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), the government group responsible for bringing home our MIAs from past wars.  I have been given a unique opportunity to visit Jerry’s crash site and to observe the American and Vietnamese teams, working side-by-side, as they conduct the site’s Phase II excavation.  I am not here because the teams have found remains, although this could happen at any time.  Yet in simple terms, the goal is to find Jerry’s and Al’s remains so that our respective families can repatriate them for burial in the U.S. and hopefully achieve some modicum of closure in the process.   But as many people know, there is nothing simple about JPACs job, and I am soon to learn — although trite – no truer words have ever been spoken.

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL TEXT AND MORE PHOTOS OF “MY VISIT TO JERRY’S CRASH SITE