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1960s / Vanishing TV Character - Sgt Kinchloe
Ivan Dixon played prisoner of war Sgt. James Kinchloe on the CBS sitcom Hogan's Heroes from 1965 to 1970. By rank, Sgt. Kinchloe (nicknamed "Kinch") was third in command of the prisoners who stealthily engaged in sabotage and espionage capers to thwart the German war machine. Sgt. Kinchloe was a "communicatins specialist" whose typical job was to send and decode radio messages. After five seasons, Dixon grew tired of the role and sought more challenging TV and movie assignments, including directing. He once complained to the producers of Hogan's Heroes that only a few of the episodes centered around Kinch and that his most common line was "Message from London, Colonel." He left the show after season five concluded in 1970. For the final season, a new black prisoner, Cpl. Richard Baker (played by Kenneth Washington), replaced Kinch and took over his position as the Heroes' communications specialist. Kinch's absence from the cast was never explained. Based on the show's premise and ongoing plot, Sgt. Kinchloe's total disappearance is hard to accept. The prisoners made certain that Stalag 13 was supposedly "escape-proof" to ensure that the easily manipulated Colonel Klink would appear efficient and remain as the camp's commander. Thus one would think that Kinchloe did not escape. So what the heck happened to him?