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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 ‘Vietnam POW; Army 1st Calvary; Dr. Kushner; Vietnam flight surgeon; Ft. Hood;’

Looks are deceiving! This historical photo shows Dr. Hal Kushner being released from a North Vietnamese prison in 1973, after 5 1/2 years.


By coincidence, Dr. Hal Kushner, a former Vietnam POW, is a friend of Dr. Woody Hunt, the 2011 Commodore of San Diego Yacht Club. I’ve always felt a special kinship with Woody, knowing that his pre-ophthalmologist days in San Diego were in the Navy during the Vietnam War as a flight surgeon–sometimes flying backseat in F4s–the aircraft that my first husband, Capt Jerry Zimmer, USMC, flew in Vietnam before he was shot down and declared MIA.

Thinking Woody would be interested in Dr. Kushner’s story, my husband, Ron, emailed him the following copy, along with a few other former military doctors. In the small-world category, Woody told Ron that he has known Dr. Kushner for many years and that he practices ophthalmology in Daytona Beach, FL –Woody’s old hometown. Although Woody was in the Navy, he knew that his friend was also a flight surgeon in the Army but nothing of Dr. Kushner’s horrific experiences as a POW. I think anyone who reads Dr. Kuchner’s story will agree with Woody: “His is an incredible story of survival, fidelity and humility which he kept largely to himself. I am proud to know him.” Read more