Sunday, February 12, 2023

Tom Gauger AFN Hoechst 1965


This is a 30 minute aircheck during a summer day in 1965 when I did AFN Frankfurt's mid-day dj show The Duffle Bag. The show was split into two parts with AFN News taking up 15 minutes at noon. It was a hot day and there was no air conditioning in the Castle.

I'm the DJ, Ken Larvick (now with Well Fargo in Wisconsin) is the studio announcer, Maury Cagle is the news reader. It's interesting that there is not a single actuality in the newscast as they were hard to come by in those days. We had to steal stuff via short wave, if the quality was good enough.

The second half of The Duffle Bag featured items for sale sent in by listeners.

I was at AFN in the old castle in Hoechst between 63 & 65. I did the afternoon local "Music Off the Record" (17:05-18:00) for a long time

Also, "Music In the Air," a network dinner-hour music segue for the officer crowd, 19:05-20:00.

Lotsa good times with Sgt Sam, station commander Col. Bob Cranston, PD Trent Christman and many others including the legendary Gisela Breitkopf, AFN's librarian and den mother to us all.

I came back to the states and finished up at WMAL in Washington during its salad days in the 70s & 80s. Later did a five year gig at ABC Radio News as a reporter/editor.

My best,
Tom Gauger

Janice from AFRS Spain was a big Tom  Gauger fan

Hi, Thom, and thanks for posting the words/images of Tom Gauger. When we left Spain in 1983 (after my second tour at AFRS Rota) and moved to the DC Metro area, we loved listening to WMAL-AM. It was SO DC and, as transplanted southern California native, it was my prime source for a wealth of local info. The on-air personalities were "traditional" radio types (e.g., Frank Hardin and Jackson Weaver, among many notables). Since I was having serious withdrawal from my years as a Navy Journalist. It was somehow soothing (comforting) to have that station "in my ear." I think I might ever have called Mr. Gauger once, after realizing that he, too, had been a military broadcaster.

I wish I could say good things about the state of local-area radio in 2011. Things have changed—most not to my taste, so now my daily "radio fix" comes from out local NPR station. But, I often think about what Mr. Gauger term WMAL's "salad days" and the delights of REAL radio. For that I thank him and WMAL colleagues.

Best Regards to all,


JR Gerde

Gaithersburg, Maryland

Roger Monroe worked in the Von Bruning Schloss 1957-58

. The castle was not only a wonderful and historic place to work, it was scenic and romantic. Some of the guys were fortunate to live in parts of the castle. However, most of us lived in a three-story house a block away. That's where we ate and had our living accommodations. We also had a club in the lower level of the castle where drinks were served. We were a part of the Hoechst community about as much as Americans could be. Heck, I even dated a beautiful German fraulein there which made my involvement in Hoechst even more personal. In retrospect, when I was offered the opportunity to extend my military commitment, I should've accepted it. I did sports and traveled all over Germany doing Army baseball games sometimes in uniform sometimes out of uniform. It was a blast. Shelby Whitfield joined the sports department later and he stayed and stayed, married a German girl and went on to bigger and greater things including serving as head of ABC Radio Sports and working with Howard Cosell and even collaborating with him in writing a book. I still admire Shelby.


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