Sunday, March 23, 2008


This website had a lot of great trivia information about Sergeant Kinchloe from 'Hogan's Heroes'. (Actually it has pages for all of the characters on the show.)

So in honor of the late Ivan Dixon who played Kinch, here's that thumbnail portrait of the man......

Sergeant Kinchloe trivia
• Sergeant Kinchloe was the radio operator and electronics expert at Stalag 13.

• In episode #32, "Request Permission to Escape" (1966), Kinch's first name was stated as being James. In episode #73, "Is General Hammerschlag Burning?" (1967), Kinch's first name was Ivan.

[Toobworld Splainin: His full name was Ivan James Kinchloe. But times being what they were, he didn't want to be known as "Ivan", so he used "James".]

• Kinch was born in Detroit, Michigan and worked for the phone company before the war.

• Kinch was a plumber's helper one summer when he went to school in Detroit. (from episode #70, "Nights in Shining Armor" 1967)

• In episode #5, "The Flight of the Valkyrie" (1965), it was stated that "Sgt. Kinch was in charge of operations."

• Kinch fought in the Golden Gloves boxing tournament. (episode #136, "The Softer They Fall" 1970)

• In episode #136, "The Softer They Fall" (1970), it was stated that Sgt. Kinchloe weighed 195 pounds.

• Kinch stated in episode #92, "Drums Along the Dusseldorf" (1968), that he once threw a football 60 yards.

• Kinch played the upright-bass in episode #51, "Praise the F├╝hrer and Pass the Ammunition" (1967).

• Sergeant Kinchloe attended High School in Detroit. (episode #73, "Is General Hammerschlag Burning?" (1967)

[Ivan Dixon did not appear in episode #62, "The Reluctant Target" (1967).]

[Ivan Dixon's final appearance on Hogan's Heroes came in episode #144, "Klink's Escape", which aired on March 27, 1970.]

That's a pretty extensive list. One might think everything about Kinchloe could be found in that last.

But one would be wrong, Buffalo Breath! There's always the conjecture of a Toobworld Theory of Relateeveety!

I may be wrong on this, but the one thing that kept Colonel Wilhelm Klink from getting sent to the Russian Front was the claim that there never was any escape from Stalag 13. To his superiors, who didn't know any better, it meant that as stupid as they may have thought of him, Klink was obviously doing something right.

Because of the Kinchloe situation, I think the correct claim to fame would be that there never was a successful escape from the camp.

It saddens me to think so, but it seems to me that Kinchloe may have been killed while on a mission for the Allies outside of Stalag 13. The SS never figured out the true reason he was outside the fence (or else Hogan's operation would have been shut down), so they assumed that he was trying to escape when he was gunned down.

Seeing the dedication put into this 'Hogan's Heroes' website, I'm certain that everything we may have known about Kinch can be found above and that it is 100% factual. So Ivan James Kinchloe was a Detroit native, born and bred.

However, from that point on in his personal life, we can play with a bit of speculation.

It's possible that Kinch had a family started before he was sent overseas to fight in World War II. And what if he had a daughter who grew up, got married, and moved away from Detroit with her husband to New York City?

It's possible that his daughter married a man named Dawson, and if so, in 1963 she gave birth to a son named Michael.
All supposition, of course, but I don't think 'Lost' is ever going to delve that deeply into Michael's background to find out if he had a grandfather who died trying to escape a prisoner of war camp in World War II. It will be the Toobworld premise that Michael never got to know his grandfather, and Kinchloe never got to meet his great-grandson, Waaaaaaaaaalt!

Toby OB


Brent McKee said...

While I grant you that it is convenient to think that Kinch was killed either on a mission on while "trying to escape" I'm not sure that's an ideal explanation - and certainly not the one we'd like to hear. I would submit that it is just as likely - if not more so - that Kinch was recalled by London. To facilitate his departure, Hogan arranged - either through convincing Klink that it was his idea or just as likely by forging the documents - to transfer him to another camp. Once in that other camp Kinchloe escaped and made his way into the escape network on his way back to England. This would have had the added benefit of enhancing Klink's reputation; a man who had been held securely in Stalag 13 for at least two years escaped from someone else's camp in a matter of days.

Toby said...

That is a preferable theory, Brent. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this meaningful obit... I was just laughing at the show today (Episode #70) where Kinchloe said he was a plumber's helper one summer while going to school... He had some great lines - always had me laughing... Hogan's Heroes is still the best show ever made and Ivan Dixon was certainly a great actor... David