"Texas" Heinz Gunnesson remembers...

In September 2001 we met one of the formar four technicians of Radio CAE. Also present was "english speaking" Dieter Gripp and some other former members of BFBS. Here the summary of the meeting:

Heinz Gunnesson, of Swedish origin, is 74 years old today. His heart is still beating for Radio CAE and it's true to say, that this man is a living legend in the history of broadcasting. He was active in Fort Victoria until the closedown of the station and, in addition to operating the studio equipment, he also ran the two cinemas in Camp 6 and 7.Tex

His nickname, „Texas", originated in his great love for C&W music. He has a big collection of old 78 shellacks and vinyls from big names from the past, from which he knew some like e.g. Marty Robbins and Hank Snow even personally. He also remembers the upcoming C&W scene of the 60's in Germany; and for example, such a concert in Iserlohn, ending really up in style.

At Radio CAE „Tex" was responsible for the news, too. These were aired by the CBC in Montreal over the shortwave-transmitters in Sackville, and picked up by a special directory receiving aerial and a Telefunken-receiver, sized like an average phonebooth in Fort Victoria. "Tex" had to record the actual reports on tape and later cut them together for the news broadcasts on CAE. He recalls, for instance, that he was the first one in Europe to know about the attack on President Kennedy, and passed this message on immediately and even was promoted for that.

The 250 watts FM-valve-transmitter of Radio CAE was manufactured by Rohde & Schwarz in Munich, a company which, besides Marconi, supplies most of the transmitters in Germany to this day. In the beginning there were big difficulties with the stability of the transmitter: there was no manual, and the frequency went everywhere except to the exact location on the FM-band. But eventually there was success in exchanging a stabilizer in the oscillator to solve this problem.


The "fate" of the antenna tower (325 ft., 20 tons) almost seemed to be sealed right after it was set up in 1956, when a very heavy storm shook it to his bones one night. Although not all stabilizing ropes were fixed completely then, the tower faced this acid test without any greater damage. The fact that CAE transmitted with 250 watts all of it's lifetime also has to be owed to "Tex".  Shortly after the beginning of transmission a general asked him, if 250 watt were enough for the station. "Tex" said, he had been to Hemer and Iserlohn, and found out that reception there was absolutely brilliant. By the way – for the „worst case" there always was a spare transmitter with a total of 3000 watts (!) waiting in Fort Victoria. If this would have been powered up, CAE could have been received nearly all over Northrhein-Westfalia and far into the Netherlands. But it never went "on the air".

The station also had two mobile studios. With those broadcasting, it was possible to report directly from places and events outside, e.g. the visit of The Queen in Werl, live coverage of sporting events or even the famous pop-show "Teentime", which hit the air every Saturday night at 9 P.M., produced live by teens from the brigades in Werl, Soest or Hemer.

During the last four hours of broadcasting from Radio CAE "Tex" didn't pull any fader in the station, because he was official discharged with others from the staff in Soest. But around midnight he was the one hitting the "red button" to take Radio CAE off the air forever. Later he went to the British Forces Broadcasting Service BFBS in Cologne, and was eventually ordered to the BFBS Berlin studios. With his terrific knowledge in C&W and his big record-collection he lent a helping hand everywhere, e.g. to Ingo „Marty" Wollgass for his shows, too. At BFBS he also met "english speaking" Dieter Gripp, which led into a deep friendship between both, still existing today.