Hahn JHS History

Opened: 1956
Closed: 1978

Hahn Junior High School was located on Hahn Air Base, which was situated at the crest of a mountain range and was fifty miles due west of Wiesbaden, Germany. The air base was located in an area of small villages and two-lane highways. The junior high was opened in 1956.

According to the first principal, David Jones:

Because this was Hahn’s first year with a junior high, there were several problems to be solved in addition to starting school. The new building additions for the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades had not been completed in time, so there were classes in the school kitchen and library. It was some time before the heating plant began to work in the new section of the school. Often we came to school shivering, and we had to wear our coats inside the classrooms.

The junior high student body rapidly increased from fifty-eight to seventy-six students, causing a brief shortage of texts. This year has been a memorable one at Hahn Air Force Base.


The first yearbook also commented about the location of the base and school. According to the first yearbook, which was part of Vapor Trails:

Hahn, the base that everyone knows about, but nobody can find, is located in the Hunsruck Mountains of Southwest Germany. By road, Hahn is somewhat inaccessible to any large cities. There are many small towns near the base that are quiet and picturesque. All of these small towns are old.

There are no traffic problems at Hahn except those caused by icy roads in winter. One might believe that he was at a quiet resort except for the thundering of jets taking off.

Hunsruck forests are known for hunting and fishing. During the hunting seasons one might see a Jaeger, or hunter, with his dog in a sack on his back, going out after deer, boar, or rabbits.

The people around Hahn are very religious and generally make their living from the land. To follow the customs of the old Agrarian Germany in this area will give you a glimpse of the country around Hahn Air Base.


Prior to the opening of Hahn Junior High School, ninth graders went to school in Kaiserslautern, and the seventh and eighth graders were part of the Hahn Family School. The school mascot was the Hawk, and the school teams were referred to as the “Little Hawks”, since the base teams were also called the Hawks. The school yearbook was the High Hawk, and the school newspaper was called the Hawk Talk.

The first year the junior high was open the school offered several sports for boys and several extracurricular activities. The boys had sports teams for soccer, basketball, and volleyball. The soccer team played local German teams, the basketball team played other Air Force schools, and the volleyball teams played intermural games. The clubs at the school included a drama club, safety patrol, and a stamp club.

The tenth grade was added to the junior high for the 1969-70 school year. The enrollment at the school was now over 425 students in grades seven through ten. The supervising principal for the Hahn schools was Mr. Chandler, and the school principal was Ward Carhart. A German exchange program that was begun in 1964 continued at the school, and the band and chorus performed at the school, in the military community, and at local German events in St. Wendel and Koblenz. The school had a chapter of the National Junior Honor Society, majorettes, cheerleaders, and several clubs. The FID (Freedom Through Discussion) Club was unique to Hahn. Boys’ sports included a varsity and junior varsity basketball team, a football team, and a wrestling squad.

By the 1970-72 school year, the enrollment had increased to almost 470 students with twenty-seven faculty members. The school had its first traveling soccer team, and the student council formed a Welcoming Committee to help new students adjust to the school.

In the 1972 yearbook, the principal recognized many of the changes at the school, including “[classes in a] converted barracks, a cafeteria, interior and exterior painting, crowded hallways and entranceways, fog, snow, mud, AYA football games, a basketball championship, new teachers and students, departing friends, bus rides, walking to housing, etc.” The school’s enrollment had now reached almost 500 students in grades seven through nine. The supervising principal for the area was Franklin Smouse, and the school principal was Leland Davis. The junior high’s football team had a record of 8 wins and one lose, and they won the Palatinate Championship. The championship game was played against Ramstein at Lindsey Air Base.

Mr. Robert Bureker was the principal for the 1972-73 school year, and the enrollment remained steady. Two sports, basketball and gymnastics, were added for girls. The track team was coed.

For the 1974-75 school year, the administrators were Robert Bureker for the high school students and Sam Rice for the junior high students. The enrollment had dropped to approximately 400 students. Career Education was added to the curriculum, and forty-one students worked at twenty-one different job sites. The school celebrated the tenth year of their exchange program with Real Gymnasium in St. Wendel. Instead of a student council, Hahn Junior High now had a Student-Faculty Council. The school had an ecology club for the first time and for the third consecutive year the drama club presented school productions. The yearbook included a section for student work called “Literary Connections.”

The last week in January in 1975, Hahn Junior High had a week of mini courses. Students took four courses for four days. The courses explored many areas that weren’t normally available to students.

The junior high was closed when the new high school was opened for the 1976-77 school year.



Information from DoD School Information Guides, DoDDS Europe publications and school yearbooks


Share This: