Monday, December 13, 2010

Hans William Vogel of North Tustin was born in Cologne, Germany on March 14, 1922. He was the only child of Elsie F. and J. Jean Vogel who emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1929 via the Panama Canal disembarking in San Pedro Harbor, California. He lived and attended public schools in Long Beach, graduating from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in February 1940.

On September 2, 1942 Hans married Barbara (Bobbie) Bogart, also of Long Beach. As of Thursday, May 20, 2010, they have three children, 17 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

Hans entered into Army Service on October 16, 1942. After a brief period of orientation at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, he was transferred to the Infantry at Camp Roberts, California - first as a trainee (Private) and then as a Drill Instructor (Corporal.)

In late 1943 Hans was reassigned to the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) at the City College of New York (CCNY) in New York City, New York for in-depth studies in German language and culture, after which he received Interrogation and Counter-Intelligence training at the Military Intelligence Training Center (MITC) at Camp (now Fort) Ritchie Maryland.

In June 1944 Hans was shipped overseas as a Staff Sergeant, Military Intelligence to the Military Intelligence Pool in Broadway, England. After receiving additional training at the Order of Battle School in London, he was assigned to the Interrogation of Prisoners of War (IPW) Team 98 at Headquarters, G-2, 94th Infantry Division - a part of Patton's Third Army - as an Interrogation and Counter-Intelligence specialist.

For 'Actions Above and Beyond the Call of Duty' in February 1945 during combat at the Siegfried Line in Alsace-Lorraine, which involved going behind enemy lines in the company accompaning patrols on several occasions and talking 82 German soldiers into surrendering, Hans received a Battlefield Commission, two Bronze Star Medals and the Combat Infantryman's Badge as a special award - his branch of service was Military Intelligence. Other awards included the World War II Victory Medal, American Theater Service Medal and the European African Middle Eastern Theater Medal. He participated in all five European Theater of Operations (ETO) campaigns - Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Central Europe and Rhineland. He was honorably separated from active duty in November 1945.

Hans served in the U.S. Army Reserve and the California State Military Reserve attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Judge Advocate General Corps. He retired from military service in May 1987.  Throughout his military career both while on active and reserve duty, he had attained every rank from Private through Lieutenant Colonel except Private First Class and Buck Sergeant.

After returning to Long Beach from active military service in Europe, Hans attended the University of Southern California and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from USC in 1947. He entered the USC graduate program and joined the German Department at USC as Instructor of German for two years from 1947 through 1949. Beginning in the Fall of 1949 he was Instructor of Scientific German at the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) for one year.

To earn extra money, Hans also translated Top Secret captured German Rocket Science documents for the Office of Naval Intelligence located on the USC campus. In 1947 he was interviewed and invited to become an agent for the newly-created Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - an offer he did not accept.

In 1948 he organized, recruited and coached USC's first men's volleyball team. In May 1949 Los Angeles hosted the United States Volleyball Association's (USVBA's) first ever National Men's Collegiate Volleyball Championship Tournament at the Naval Reserve Armory in Chavez Ravine (now the site of Dodger Stadium.)

USC won that tournament, placing five players on the first or second All American team. A USC team member, Richard Archer, was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament. In May of the following year (1950) Hans took the USC team to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to make it back-to-back championships by successfully defending its title and placing four players on the first or second All American team. Again, the Most Valuable Player of the tournament was a USC team member, Robert Duron.

In 1948, Vogel - USC '47, Emil Breitkreutz - USC '06 (a 1904 Olympic track Bronze Medalist) and Dr. Leonard Stallcup - USC '28 (USC Welter-weight boxing champion) co-founded the Southern California Collegiate Volleyball Association which sponsored the first Southern California intercollegiate men's volleyball tournaments.

After leaving the education field in 1951, Hans spent the next 25 years as an entrepreneur in the construction industry, which he continued concurrently with a return to education in 1968. He served as an administrator with the former Tustin Union High School District (25% of Orange County.) When the high school district was restructured by state mandate into three unified school districts in 1973, he opted to join the Tustin Unified School District administration in various as-needed capacities, including handling employee relations and legal affairs until his retirement in 1984.

In 1971 he received a Master of Arts degree in European History from Chapman College (now University) in Orange, California by writing a Master's Thesis - An Inquiry into Violations of Dualan Treaty Rights in German Kamerun, 1884-1914 (Kamerun is German for Cameroon.) The majority of the research was performed in the U.C.L.A. Library using primary source material written in German.

In 1976 he received his Juris Doctor degree from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California.

From 1984 through 1990 Hans consulted in employee relations, labor contract negotiations and other matters with various school districts in Southern California, including the Tustin Unified School District. He also taught School Law for Public School Administrators (a California administrative credential requirement) at Pepperdine University, California Lutheran University and California State University in Fullerton.

In 1967 Hans was one of the five individuals elected to the founding Board of Trustees of the Saddleback Community College District, whose jurisdiction is the southern 48% of Orange County. In recent years it has been renamed the South Orange County Community College District. He was the founding Board's first president and held that position a total of four times during his nearly eight years in office. Hans resigned in 1974 after temporarily taking up residence outside his trustee area while building a new residence within his former trustee area, which he has occupied since 1976.

In the early 1970's Hans was appointed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to a Blue-ribbon Commission on Voting Systems. The Commission visited various jurisdictions throughout the United States to study and evaluate the voting systems they were using. Based on their findings, the Commission made recommendations for a new voting system to the Board of Supervisors of Orange County.