Letter to the Editor
Thanks to Bobby Sullivan
Bobby Sullivan, a long time Franklin resident who passed away this week, was Camp Hearne’s resident MP—a man who moved to Robertson County because the U. S. Army made him a Military Police Officer.
Bobby, an Oklahoma native, reported to Ft. Sill in January 1943, for MP training. Soon, he found himself bound for North Africa where he guarded prisoners in Casablanca until his company, MPED 420, loaded up prisoners for transport to New York City, then Trinidad, Colorado. After delivery, his entire unit was moved to Camp Hearne.
From June 1943 to January 1944 Bobby’s unit patrolled Camp Hearne. That short six months changed his life forever. He met a local schoolteacher, later married her, and never made it back to Oklahoma.
In December 1943, the most brutal murder in American WWII POW camp history occurred. Hugo Krauss, a German prisoner and Camp translator, was beaten and literally craved to death after he announced he should have never left New York City and that he wanted to change sides. For Bobby, who heard what had happened the next day (Christmas Eve), that was the War’s most memorable event.
During those six months in Hearne, Bobby spent a lot of time in guard towers high above the Camp and some time in Franklin guarding prisoners working on local farms, not realizing he would be a Franklin man himself one day.
Sullivan transferred to flight school but, since the military had enough airmen, he returned to guarding prisoners in Missouri, then guarded prisoners on their way back to Europe in 1946. After his discharge, Bobby came back to Robertson County and to his new family in Franklin.
For many years, Bobby served his community as a dedicated family man and a soft-spoken leader in his church as an elder of the Franklin church of Christ. For Camp Hearne, he was a valuable asset. On several occasions, Bobby returned to point out building locations, he contributed to Dr. Mike Waters’ book, Lone Star Stalog--the Camp Hearne story, and he attended events as an information resource. And sometimes, he just came by to see how things were going—times Melissa particularly enjoyed. Good-bye to our friend Bobby.
and Melissa Freeman
Hearne, Texas 77858
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