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Reserve wing welcomes “Hogan’s Heroes”

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  • 433rd Airlift Wing

A group of former American prisoners of war who were interned in 1943 at the concentration camp known as Stalag 17B in Krems, Austria will visit the 433d Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit located at Lackland AFB, on Monday, May 2, at 10 a.m.  This visit is part of their annual reunion activities, this year celebrating the group’s 67th year of liberation from the German forces during World War II.

The 1950 Broadway play “Stalag 17” was based on the experiences and reminiscences of playwrights Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski, both former Stalag 17B POWs.  The 1951 Hollywood movie was based upon the play that later became the template and inspiration for some of the characters of the 1960s television comedy “Hogan’s Heroes.” 

Following a unit mission briefing, attendees will visit the “Alamo Wing’s” massive C-5A Galaxy, the largest aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory, also as part of the reunion activities.  Wednesday, May 3, marks the actual date of the POWs’ liberation.

Approximately 28 Stalag 17B POWs and 120 family members are expected to visit the wing.  There were more than 1,600 surviving POWs in 1978; only 178 surviving “heroes” remain today.