This story chronicles the events on the evenings of May 14th and May 15th of 1945. Again it tells the story from the Hogan family's home front perspective. It answers that now immortal question "Then What Happened?" or as radio journalist Paul Harvey would say "Now... you know... the rest of the story!" We again do not make any claims on the original Hogan’s Heroes’ characters. All other characters are ours. But again, those characters are free for anyone to use, if you so choose. Our rating for this story would be PG for strong language. Enjoy!
Thanks to Kits and Bianca for beta-reading this 'game'.
What’s a hero do?
Well we’re not gonna tell ya, we wish we knew.
That’s why we heroes are so few.
We’ve got a slogan from Colonel Hogan and Colonel Hogan’s a hero too.
Never flinch boys, never be afraid,
heroes are not born boys, heroes all are made.
Ask not why boys, never say die boys, answer the call,
remember we’ll all be heroes for evermore.
--- Excerpt from the lyrics written by Jerry Fielding, for the Hogan’s Heroes Theme Song
Bridgeport, Connecticut, Home of Michael and Mary Hogan, Parents of Colonel Robert Hogan,
May 14, 1945, 1930 Hours
Michael, Mary, John, Sue, Ed and little Stephen sat huddled together around the radio in the Hogan's family home. National Public Radio (NPR) was their only timely source of information and the family had taken to being together most evenings since Joe had left for London just a few weeks ago.
So many awful things were still being reported that they almost hated listening. But at least tonight's listening was made somewhat easier by the fact that they knew that their entire family had survived the war intact. They had heard from both Rob and Joe just yesterday, on Mother's Day. Both were safe in London and that was all that mattered.
It was then that NPR’s radio announcer, George Thurston, came on to say that they had a special report coming in from the BBC. He prefaced the report by adding, "In this time of sadness and horror, we are proud to bring you this story. A story of honorable men, a story of heroes, and a story of sacrifice. Now we'll go directly to London and special war correspondent Walter Hobson. Walter..."
Yes. Thank you. This is Walter Hobson in London. Today I am privileged to tell you the story of a brave and resourceful group of men, heroes by any stretch of the imagination. Even American General Michael Simpson, who is the head of covert operations here at Allied High Command, has dubbed these men… Hogan’s Heroes.
But before I tell you anything about the man named Hogan, who was responsible for banding this courageous group of men together, I want to step back and tell you a story. It's a long story, a sort of fairy tale, about a Papa Bear.
As some of you may already know, Papa Bear was the code name of the most controversial spy that the Allied forces had used during the war. He was responsible, almost single handedly, so the reports say, of bringing about a crushing defeat to the Axis forces from deep behind enemy lines. Many felt that Papa Bear was just an elaborate propaganda campaign to garner support and boost morale among the Allied forces. The existence of such a spy was widely debated upon, on both sides of the Atlantic and quite possibly in both Theatres of War.
But today, I am proud that I can report to you that Papa Bear is a fairy tale come true. In a totally unexpected ceremony held at Fieldstone US Army Base in London England, Papa Bear was revealed to the world today. Newly promoted 3-star General Robert E. Hogan, an American who hails from Bridgeport CT, is credited with being this most revered master spy.
Robert Hogan graduated third in his class at West Point, and received his pilot training in California. Hogan volunteered for service with the American Eagles and arrived in London as an observer in 1939. By 1940 he was flying B-52's and had become the Commanding Officer of the 504th Bomber Squadron in London. Hogan, who for most of the war held the rank of Colonel, was shot down over Germany in October of 1941.
Robert Hogan (aka Papa Bear) and his team, operated from of all places, a Prisoner of War camp. Hogan said that he arrived as a new prisoner at Luft Stalag 13 soon after being captured in October of 1941. And amazingly enough, Papa Bear's operation was in full swing by January of 1942. Hogan credits the loyalty and dedication of his fellow prisoners for the success of his operation.
Luft Stalag 13, which is located outside of Hammelburg Germany, was to all outward appearances a normal POW Camp. As some may already know, Stalag 13 had the reputation of being the toughest POW Camp in all of Germany. Based mainly on its boast that ‘nobody had ever successfully escaped from Stalag 13.’
But… carefully concealed from the German forces, was a labyrinth of tunnels dug by Hogan's men under Luft Stalag 13. That was where most of Papa Bear's operation took place. While on the surface Hogan and his men played the part of cowed POWs who could never escape from Stalag 13, below he and his men were actually moving what averaged to be almost 4 people a day from behind enemy lines -- and out of Germany. They have been credited with saving the lives of over 5,000 people in the three and a half years that their operation was in existence.
And in addition to operating that ‘Traveler’s Aide Society’ as General Hogan has dubbed it, Papa Bear and his men were responsible for some very extensive sabotage and espionage activities in southern Germany. Hogan was heard telling reporters after the ceremony ‘That if anything needed to be taken care of, we were there to take care of it. Because we had to, there was no one else.’
Hogan's staff officers included: Staff Sergeant Ivan Kinchloe from Detroit Michigan USA, Technical Sergeant Andrew Carter from Bullfrog North Dakota USA, RAF Corporal Peter Newkirk from London England and Corporal Louis LeBeau from Paris France. Hogan, along with these four brave men, and the nearly 2000 other allied soldiers held at Stalag 13 made up Papa Bear’s team.
Today, in a truly United Nations effort at solidarity, all of the armies of the Allied Forces have granted at least a one-grade promotion to the men who supported Papa Bear. The promotions for these brave men will be retroactive to the day they were brought to Stalag 13 as prisoners of war and became one of Hogan’s Heroes.
After today’s ceremony where Robert Hogan accepted his General’s Stars he said… and I’m quoting now, "Ladies and Gentlemen. This is very awkward for me. My men and I had resigned ourselves to the fact that no one would ever know the extent of our operation in Germany. We never started the operation for the accolades. Now though, I’m glad that my men will get the recognition they deserve. They have sacrificed three years of their lives to fight for a cause they believed in. I keep saying ‘my men’, and that’s wrong. Each of these men assembled here, volunteered to stay and work with me to help in bringing about the end of Hitler’s Third Reich. It’s to each individual that I owe my thanks. Without them, Papa Bear would not have existed."
Robert Hogan is to return to Germany, becoming the first Military Governor of the US Controlled Zone. He will be joined by his former second in command, now Captain Ivan Kinchloe. Two-Star General Michael Simpson, of the Allied High Command is quoted as saying, "Personally I can think of no man more qualified to take up the role of Military Governor in Germany than General Robert Hogan. The United States is lucky indeed to have such a dedicated man willing to take up the reins."
And finally on a personal note, I want to extend my own thanks to Hogan and his Heroes. For I was one of those 5000 people rescued by that amazing operation. Had it not been for Papa Bear and his team, I would have died in Germany close to a year ago. It has been hard keeping their secret, but the lives of Hogan and his men also depended heavily on those of us that they rescued. It was imperative that we not give away their secret.
So. In closing, I just want to be among the first to say ‘Thank you Papa Bear and welcome home.’
"Thank you Walter, for such an uplifting story," George Thurston came back on to say. "Ladies and gentlemen please join us again tomorrow night for a special report. Walter Hobson has been granted permission to interview Major General Robert Hogan. The one and only Papa Bear."
The radio had become just barely audible background noise to the shocked members of the Hogan family. There was stunned silence from everyone present. It was as if no one dared breathe. Nobody knew how to react. Finally John broke the silence. Shaking his head he said, "Wow. Can you believe it? God. Even in the Pacific we had heard of Papa Bear. He was the mystery man of the war. Too think Rob was Papa Bear! Hot dam big brother. Way to go!"
John's reverie was broken by the sound of crying. He looked up just as his mother Mary ran from the living room sobbing. His father Michael, who looked as though he just wanted to throw up, followed her almost immediately. John glanced back at his sister Susan and her husband Ed. Sue was being held tightly by her husband. She wasn't crying, but as she looked at John, her faced showed so many conflicting emotions.
John just didn’t know what to say. Damn Rob. I guess you have some explaining to do. But nothing could truly dampen the pride John felt in his big brother. All your talk, in your letters, of sitting on your ass… What a crock! I’m so glad you that got to kick some Nazi butt… And now I understand how Joe was able to find out your status so quickly after just arriving in London…You super spy you.
God damn it. If Joe has known all along… I'll kill him. Whoa. Could he have really have kept that from us? For your sake Joe, the answer better be ‘no’.
It was just a few minutes later that the phone in the Hogan household began to ring off the hook.
The very next evening…
Again the Hogan family sat huddled intently around the radio, the volume almost as loud as it could go. No one wanted to miss a word of the coming broadcast. Whatever their feelings were about yesterday’s announcement… Well it did nothing to quell the excitement they all felt about hearing Rob’s voice for first time in years. But sadly, they were in store for only disappointment.
George Thurston came on to announce, "I’m so sorry ladies and gentlemen. Walter Hobson’s interview with Major General Robert Hogan has been postponed indefinitely. I’m sorry to say that Walter was injured earlier today and was not able to complete the interview. The injury Walter suffered was minor. A broken nose. But sources tell us here at NPR that Walter was injured in an altercation… allegedly with Major General Robert Hogan. Our sources report that the Major General, upon seeing Walter roared, "You (bleep). You almost got us killed." And then Robert Hogan was to have punched Walter in the face, breaking his nose.
Walter Hobson will neither confirm nor deny these allegations. And there has been no comment from Major General Hogan or from the powers that be at Fieldstone US Army Base. We will keep you posted on further developments. For now we’ll return you to our regularly scheduled programming.
Again stunned silence reigned in the Hogan household, until the phone began to ring… off the hook… for a second night in a row.
What follows is a short biographical sketch of Paul Harvey, the radio journalist we quoted at the beginning of this chapter.
Harvey, Paul (1918 -- )
Radio journalist. Born Paul Harvey Aurandt, on September 4, 1918, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hired as a radio announcer while still in high school, he worked in various Midwestern stations until he began his daily newscasts in Chicago in 1944. His syndicated commentaries were aired nationally beginning in 1951.
Descended from Baptist preachers, he designed his colorful broadcasts, "Paul Harvey News and the Rest of the Story," to reach into the heartland. His distinctive delivery style consisted of dramatic pauses and inflections. He is also known for a somewhat dubious practice of blending commercials and endorsements with the news. -- Biography.com
And as a point of reference for those who may not already know or remember...
Hobson, Walter (Fictional HH Character)
Walter Hobson, an American war correspondent, appeared in the Hogan's Heroes Episode entitled "No Names Please". This episode was first aired November 30, 1968. A quick synopsis... Hogan's operation is endangered after Walter Hobson returns home and publishes the story of his escape from Germany through a POW Camp. When that newspaper article falls into Gestapo hands, things get tough for our Heroes.
This copyright covers only original material and characters, and in no way intends to infringe upon the privileges of the holders of the copyrights, trademarks, or other legal rights, for the Hogan's Heroes universe.