The Jon and Teresa Zachery Story

The Ensign Locker

Available now:
Amazon.com

In 1966, the destroyer USS Manfred is bound for Vietnam. For junior ensign Jon Zachery, life is simple. He wants the American dream for his wife and for himself, and the navy is just the first step along the way. After the ship enters the combat zone, however, Zachery lands in hot water with his superior officers. At the same time, he begins to have troubles with his wife. He finds himself in challenging combat situations with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, but he is most distressed when he discovers that one of his roommates is rabidly anti-war. Following two months in the combat zone, the ship gets a new commanding officer-and a new set of problems face Zachery and his shipmates. At first, his new commanding officer distrusts only the five ensigns in the ensign locker, but eventually he begins to distrust the entire wardroom. What happens next has a huge affect on the entire crew-ultimately resulting in the ship returning home to San Diego. Now Zachery must face the anti-war sentiments at home, and it may be the last straw for him.

Sundown Town Duty Station

Available now:
Amazon.com

Jon Zachary is a student in the US Navy flight training program. He wants to fly jets off aircraft carriers. But needs of the service dictate whether a student will be a jet, helicopter, or propeller plane pilot. List Almighty is due out soon, which will determine if he gets his wish. The List is published. Zachery is assigned to Meridian Naval Air Station for jet pilot training. He is overjoyed and moves his wife and two small children to Mississippi. They arrive in Meridian as the Klan is staging a campaign against what they consider to be a resurgence of Civil Rights activity. At Catholic Mass, Jon and Teresa sit in a pew with a colored girl, who is “sitting in,” and by doing so, put themselves in Klan crosshairs. Getting through the flight training program is no longer the most important consideration in their lives.

The Junior Officer Bunkroom

Available now:
Amazon.com

It is 1970. Jon Zachery is a young US Navy pilot who wants to fly combat missions in Vietnam. Unfortunately, the navy plans to decommission his squadron and it looks like he will not see combat but only a dead-end job. 

Amos Kane is a natural stick and throttle jockey. He desires the same thing, fly combat missions. Kane shoots off his mouth to the wrong people and derails his chances. He encounters Charlotte Wilkins, a dedicated anti-war activist, who converts Kane. Events bring Zachery and Kane together in the Junior Officer Bunkroom aboard an aircraft carrier in the Tonkin Gulf. In the bunkroom, pro-war and anti-war clash at the junior officer level with the same fervor and violence as back in the states. 

A Ticket To Hell: On Other Man's Sins

Available now:
Amazon.com

It is 1970. Jon Zachery is a young US Navy pilot who wants to fly combat missions in Vietnam. Unfortunately, the navy plans to decommission his squadron and it looks like he will not see combat but only a dead-end job. 

Amos Kane is a natural stick and throttle jockey. He desires the same thing, fly combat missions. Kane shoots off his mouth to the wrong people and derails his chances. He encounters Charlotte Wilkins, a dedicated anti-war activist, who converts Kane. Events bring Zachery and Kane together in the Junior Officer Bunkroom aboard an aircraft carrier in the Tonkin Gulf. In the bunkroom, pro-war and anti-war clash at the junior officer level with the same fervor and violence as back in the states. 

Other Titles

Guerilla Bride

Available now:
Amazon.com

Emerson Sharp is eighteen years old. His father makes his decisions as if he were a hired hand, a slave, a draft horse working Pa’s farm. On the eve of his arranged marriage, Emerson makes an independent decision to visit a young woman of his choosing and is forced to flee for his life from her homicidal brothers. Fate leads him into western Missouri and the Civil War, where everyone is intent on killing him. He is unable to hide from the war and unable to find love. Perhaps he should have listened to Pa and married sharp-tongued Deborah Simmons three years ago.

J. J. Zerr is a US Navy and Vietnam veteran. His works of historical fiction include stories set in the Vietnam, World War II, and the Civil War timeframes.

The Ghosts of Chateau du Chasse

Available now:
Amazon.com

Bill Marshall is a senior US Navy fighter pilot, who will not make admiral. During his career, he spoke his mind too often to the wrong superior officers. His wife, Kate, has subordinated her ambitions for Bill and for their children, but she has an opportunity for a great job. Bill decides to resign and support his wife, however, the US Navy has one more job they need from Bill. He receives orders to NATO military headquarters in Belgium. Kate feels betrayed by her husband and struggles to swallow her anger to preserve their marriage for the sake of her children. In Belgium, they will live in a castle. As Kate and Bill work to resolve their earthly problems, their castle home places them on a spiritual battlefield where a two-hundred-year-old struggle between innocence and evil is rushing toward a conclusion. Not many people’s minds can stand with one foot in the spirit world and the other in the physical. Navy fighter pilot Bill Marshall cannot. 

Noble Deeds

Available now:
Amazon.com

Navy Captain Pete Adler has arrived at the pinnacle of a US Navy career. He is the commanding officer of an aircraft carrier. The first time he takes the ship to sea, a huge fire breaks out and threatens the survival of the ship and its crew of thousands. Many in Pete’s crew perform heroic and noble deeds, and the carrier is saved. But there is no rest for Pete and the crew. They must repair the ship and make their scheduled deployment date. Again the crew responds heroically. In the midst of the repair effort, Pete’s father dies. When he is at home for the funeral, he learns the nobility of some deeds is but skin-deep.

The Happy Life of Preston Katt

Available now:
Amazon.com

It is December 7, 1941, in Pearl Harbor when Seaman Second Class Preston Katt sneaks back aboard the USS Callahan after a night of debauchery with a fellow trouble-seeking seaman. After a short night, Katt awakens with a hangover. Two hours after reveille, the Japanese attack.

Katt had enlisted in the Navy to escape Saint Ambrose, Missouri, and his alcoholic momma. But now, in a matter of moments, as World War II escalates into a monumental worldwide battle, his life hangs in the balance as bombs, bullets, and torpedoes whizz past him. As the skies fill with flak bursts, tracers, and diving Japanese bombers, Katt serves as a lookout, a role that quickly propels him into the atrocities of war. Soon weighed down by the deaths of sailors at Pearl Harbor and other battles, Katt is sent back to the States to work. But he is determined to return to the war and fight the Japanese on behalf of all those who died.

In this historical tale, a young sailor must confront Japanese bombs and torpedoes, his own conscience, and a typhoon as he fights in nearly every major battle in the Pacific during World War II.

Who Am I

Available now:
Amazon.com

Five year-old Eddie Walsh thinks he’s special. As he journeys through grade and high schools, he finds out why he was special, and by the time he is able to answer: Who Am I.

Short Stories

War Stories

Available now:
Amazon.com

Joe Bob is a pilot who has been taught everything about flying from his war veteran father. Two weeks before Joe Bob is set to leave for college and the United States Navy ROTC program, his pop purposely pilots his plane into power lines and kills himself. Years later, Joe Bob reflects on the what and who of his identity as he returns to his own memories of war.

In twelve short stories, J. J. Zerr explores both past and present conflicts that occur between genders and generations and societal and individual consciences from Missouri to Los Angeles, fighter-bomber cockpits to playgrounds, the Civil War to Vietnam, and a backyard to present day. Emerson Sharp has a decision to make. His woman, Sally, provides salvation, redemption, forgiveness, and a future. But there is only one problem: it is her future. Third grader Heiny Bauer is frantically searching for something to say when an angry nun asks him who he loves during class one day. But when he answers “baseball,” Heiny discovers the true meaning of punishment—and the difference between a good and bad nun.

War Stories shares a diverse collection of short tales that highlight eclectic characters who bravely face life’s greatest challenges with perseverance, courage, and humor.