Biography 

Gerhardt Thamm, born in Detroit, Michigan in 1930, lived in Germany from 1932 until 1948.

From 12 February until 10 May 1945, he fought as a “boy soldier” with the 100th German Jäger Division on the Eastern Front as the Red Army advanced westward, overtaking his family’s ancestral home in the town of Jauer, Lower Silesia. In 1946, following the postwar realignment of Polish-German borders, Lower Silesia became part of Poland and the name of his town was changed to Jawor. The Polish government deported him and all Germans living in that region as part of the largest, United Nations-sanctioned, ethnic cleansing operation in history. Gerhardt and his family were re-settled in West Germany. Gerhardt returned to the United States in February 1948, and joined the U. S. Army the following month. He completed basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky with the 3rd Armored Division and reported to the Pentagon for duty in the German Military Documents Section. In 1953, he was re-assigned to 513th Military Intelligence Group (MIG), Oberursel, Germany after completing training at the Army’s Military Intelligence School in Fort Riley, Kansas. In late 1953, following additional intelligence training in Germany, he became clandestine case officer.

Upon his return to the United States in 1956, Gerhardt continued his Army career in the Pentagon NATO Document Security Force. Later he served as team chief for the 410th and 411th US Army Security Special Operations Units in Fort Meade, Maryland, and in Frankfurt and Herzogenaurach, Germany.

Gerhardt retired from the U. S. Army in June 1968, and worked briefly for the Library of Congress (Federal Research Division). From 1970 to 1984, he served as an intelligence analyst with Naval Intelligence; thereafter as Operations Officer with Navy Task Force 168 (CTF 168). He transferred to the Defense Intelligence Agency (AT 10) as Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Operations Officer, a position he held from 1985 to his retirement in 1987.

Following federal retirement, he became Director of Multinational Security for AVANCO Corporation. In that position he and his partner Louis Zammarella created and delivered security training at the Pentagon for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In 1994, he and his wife Suanne moved to Fernandina Beach, Florida, where Gerhardt continues to write and speak about his remarkable life and adventures in addition to other military and intelligence-related topics.