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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 ‘USS Bowditch’

UNDERWATER MIA RECOVERIES – A BIG DEAL!

Saturday, October 1, 2011 @ 06:10 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

The USNS Bowditch  team off the coast of Vietnam in 2011, supporting JPAC and its Vietnamese counterpart in the search for Vietnam War MIAs lost  over water. (JPAC photo by DOD civilian Ron Ward/Released).


What began as a nail-biter for families of MIAs still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War is fast becoming a year of celebrations, ranging from JPACs FY2012 budget approval, needed to keep recovery operations afloat in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, to its new Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii, now under construction, that should help streamline and speed up the process of identifying remains from all past wartime locations. Everyone’s blood pressure is back to normal, at least for now.

And although media attention has subsided, the biggest reason for celebration among many families with water-related losses in Vietnam was the discovery of what may have been an F4 Phantom crash site, among several site surveys conducted in waters off North Vietnam. After four decades, the U. S. Government and Vietnamese government engaged in a new spirit of cooperation, producing phenomenal results, conducting underwater surveys, aboard U.S. Navy ships.

Even though the war ended in the mid 1970s, this military-to-military effort is the first to offer renewed hope to nearly 500 families, who lost loved ones in overwater crashes during the Vietnam War. We’ve come a long way!

Ron Ward, JPACs Casualty Resolution Specialist in Hanoi, said: “Though the status of the military-to-military relationship is not within JPACs responsibility, the oceanographic survey missions are a small part of the overall bilateral military situation, which can help expand accounting in an indirect way.”

SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (May 27, 2011) - A Vietnamese Naval Officer, left, learns about the USNS Bowditch from the ship's Captain and another crew member during an ongoing investigation off the coast of Vietnam. The USNS Bowditch is a Pathfinder Class oceanographic research ship which uses specialized sonar to survey the ocean's floor, searching for U.S. aircraft lost during the Vietnam War. (JPAC photo by DOD civilian Ron Ward/Released)

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