|Colonel Robert Hogan|
|Enlisted In||Allies, United States Army Air Forces|
|Appearances||Full List of Appearances|
Colonel Robert Hogan is a fictional character who is the Senior POW officer of Stalag 13 in the television series, Hogan's Heroes. He is assigned to lead an underground organization made up of POWs that would work as spies inside Germany. He was played by the show's main star, Emmy Award-nominated actor, Bob Crane.
Early Life and Before the War
Robert E. Hogan (his middle name is never specified) was born in Ohio (according to Gestapo Major Pruhst in "Hogan's Double Life"). While his exact date of birth is unknown, Hogan's birth month is April (according to General Biedenbender in "Hogan Gives a Birthday Party"). He doesn't deny the statement when it's made. Although never confirmed in the show, most fans agree Hogan was born in 1905, making him thirty-seven in the pilot episode. Before the war, Hogan lived in several major cities in the American Midwest and East. Among these were Indianapolis, Indiana; Cleveland, Ohio (which he frequently claims as a birthplace); Bridgeport Connecticut and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By his own admission he was something of a wild child in his youth, and was known for his talents in the fine art of vandalism. His womanizing began in his teens and would stay with him for the rest of his life. As an adult he became a career Army man, having enlisted at his local recruiting center, and eventually rose to the rank of full colonel. He claimed to have been assigned to The Pentagon, but as it was still under construction, he apparently elected instead to go fight in the war as a bomber pilot.
During the War
During the war, he commanded a squadron of bombers (the 504th), until he was shot down during a raid. It is unknown whether the Allies had planned for him to crash his plane or he simply took advantage of it. Either way, Hogan would lead the operation for more than three years. His men included, among others, Louis LeBeau, Peter Newkirk, Andrew Carter (having replaced Vladimir Minsk), and James Kinchloe (later replaced by Richard Baker). The above average clever Luftwaffe officer who masterminded the operation where Hogan was shot down was Colonel Biedenbender, who received a promotion to General for it. Hogan got his revenge when he not only kidnapped Biedenbender and sent him to England as a prisoner but also framed him by using the General's own bomber to destroy a German refinery in Hogan Gives a Birthday Party.
Several times Hogan came close to being exposed: in (1/20) It Takes a Thief... Sometimes, an underground contact, is a Gestapo double agent who suspects Stalag 13 is an underground center but is killed in a German ambush meant for the underground; in (2/3) Diamonds in the Rough, a Gestapo officer blackmails Hogan for a million dollars in diamonds; in (3/17) Two Nazis for the Price of One, an SS officer blackmails Hogan in exchange for the revelation of the Manhattan Project but is killed by a disgruntled subordinate; in (6/22) Hogan's Double Life, when Gestapo Major Pruhst realizes the unbelievable truth that Stalag 13 is the center of a secret Underground unit and that Hogan is the Chief Espionage agent but Hogan discredits him with the unknowing help of Sgt. Schultz. In (3/20) Sticky Wicket Newkirk, Newkirk brings a date in through the tunnel. She turns out to be a Gestapo agent and denounces them to the Gestapo but the prisoners moved fast to discredit her and hide their tunnels and maps.
Known for his wit and daring, Hogan found it easy to manipulate the Germans running the Luft Stalag. Hogan is a true master at reverse psychology and with Klink he has the perfect blank slate on which to paint.
Hogan almost always managed to get Klink to do what Hogan wanted him to do. The key to manipulating Klink is to inflate the Kommandant's massive ego and make him think that the course of action suggested was really his own idea. Further, Hogan would generally reassure Klink that the suggested course of action wouldn't lead to any trouble. Klink is so insecure and neurotic about being punished by his superiors (Burkhalter or any other German officer who either outranks Colonel Klink or has special connections to high ranks) or rivals such as Hochstetter, that it is often easy to get Klink to do things he otherwise wouldn't have done or even have thought of.
By continually reminding Klink of his "perfect no-escape record at Stalag 13", the possibility Klink might get sent to the Russian Front, and that Klink "deserves to be promoted to General", Hogan is able to control all of the action at the camp through Klink or just as often through Schultz, who never wanted to be in the German Army in the first place. Schultz's reluctance to see, report or even know things comes from his desire to go back to a normal civilian life and to avoid getting into trouble. So, Hogan always has Schultz over a barrel.
As well as being able to manipulate Klink, thanks to his quick wit Hogan is constantly able to save Klink, Major Hochstetter, General Burkhalter, and Sergeant Schultz from being fatally punished when the four were placed in situations that seemed impossible to crack.
Hogan’s Awards as seen on episode Easy Come, Easy Go.
- Air Force Cross – Established in 1960 – period correct would be Distinguished Service Cross
- Air Force Distinguished Service Medal – Established in 1960 - period correct would be Distinguished Service Medal
- Silver Star Medal
- Distinguished Flying Cross
- Bronze Star Medal
- Air Medal
- Purple Heart
- Air Force Commendation Medal – Established in 1958 – only period correct equivalent would be the Army Commendation Ribbon (medal added in 1947) in 1945 after the war
- Air Force Outstanding Unit Award – Established in 1954 – no period correct equivalents for combat arms during World War II.
- American Defense Service Medal
- American Theater of Operations Campaign Ribbon – Established in 1942; medal added in 1947
- European-North Africa-Middle East Theater of Operations Campaign Ribbon – Established in 1942; medal added in 1947
Hogan has three campaign stars on ribbon denoting Air Operations 1942-1944, Normandy, Central Europe.
- He graduated third in his military class (aviation cadet), in contrast to Colonel Klink, his main opponent in the series.
- Hogan is a charmer when it comes to females. He has an ongoing romantic relationship with both of Klink's secretaries and Tiger, as well as getting kissed almost every time a woman comes in contact with him and his men.
- Hogan was named after the late actor Robert Hogan who was a friend of the series' co-creator and producer Bernard Fein. The actor Robert Hogan appears as a guest star in a couple of episodes.
- The 504th Bombardment Group actually existed - but was assigned to the Pacific!