During World War II, Ira Hogeboom operated a flamethrower in Cole Phelps' squad. One day, Phelps ordered Hogeboom to burn out a cave. The cave was full of women and children. The devastation caused Hogeboom to become mentally unstable.
After returning to the States, Hogeboom is convinced by Courtney Sheldon to get treatment from renowned psychiatrist, Harlan Fontaine. Hogeboom is used by Harlan Fontaine to assist the Suburban Redevelopment Fund in burning houses.
Hogeboom kills Harlan Fontaine and then kidnaps Elsa Lichtman. Afterwards, Jack Kelso and Phelps track him down. Hogeboom asks Kelso to shoot him and put him out of his misery, which he does.