Born in 1950 into a Military family and handed over to a USMC program at the age of twelve, Wolfgang Hammersmith was raised in the world of the US Marine Corps. He graduated from the program at the age of eighteen, serving as a combat team commander (CTC) in the Vietnam War and in counterterrorism and anti-human trafficking operations. As part of Combined Services, prior to RDF (Rapid Deployment Force) and Delta Force, he continued an illustrious combat career during which he led combat teams in eighty-six missions, across 41 countries. Always proud to serve our great Nation, he quickly realized after being the last man on the team up a particular hill, on a particular day, that after 19 years of service, countless injuries, and numerous gunfights, that at the ripe age of 37, he was done. Having never known civilian life, the transition was not an easy one.
Meeting his life partner, Elizabeth, came at the perfect time and he readily admits that she saved him from returning to fieldwork and certain death. They married in 1988. While most men who have seen what he has seen, and done what he has done, would most likely live out the rest of their years in isolation. As his teams were only called up four to six times per year, Wolfgang was able to capitalize on the skills he picked up during the months when he was not working. This extensive list of skills includes professional still photographer, cinematographer, helicopter pilot, writer, master scuba diver and USMM 200-Ton Ship’s Masters’ license.
They settled in the Northwest, but not being one to sit still for very long, Wolfgang created and developed a digital encryption system based on the unbreakable One-Time Pad. He also dedicates time to play the electric bass, and he is an avid chess player (USCF member.) He continues to study Pistolcraft and Comprehensive Knife Fighting with his friend and co-author, Jeff Nitsche. Riding most of the year, he has put over 1.8 million road miles on the back of many different Harley Davidson and other motorcycles since 1959.
Knowing he had stories to tell, he studied professional writing in Sol Stein’s courses and that’s what brings us here today. Although writing over thirty publications for the military, Beyond the Call of Duty: Gunfight! is his first foray into the world of writing to entertain. All stories are true as they happened. Wolfgang writes from a place that most warriors don’t want to go back to, their memories, and he shares with us the stories of his Teammates and honors their memories through books in the “Gunfight!” series.