Close-up of Dog Tags

Is anyone aware of episodes which include close-ups of a character’s dog tags? Any character. I’m interested in seeing if the dog tags have a notch in them or not. Based on some images I’ve just looked at there don’t appear to be any notches but I haven’t been able to find any close-ups. Dog tags used by the Army during World War II had notches and there are several stories about why the notch exists (see snopes.com, DogTagsRUs.com and ArmyDogTags.com for more information).

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 Update: After looking at a few more episodes I’ve come to the conclusion that the dog tags in M*A*S*H — or at least some of them — did have notches. Here’s a shot of Radar’s dog tags from “Check-Up” and you can definitely see a notch in the tag to the right that is turned toward the camera.

Radar's Dog Tags in Check-Up
Radar’s Dog Tags in “Check-Up”

And here’s a shot of Hawkeye’s dog tags from “Requiem For A Lightweight.” The tag on the bottom has a notch.

Hawkeye's Dog Tags in Requiem for a Lightweight
Hawkeye’s Dog Tags in “Requiem for a Lightweight”

11 Comments

  • chuckles says:

    I’m not sure if klinger’s have a notch or not but the dog tags he wears are the actual ones amie Farr wore when he was in Korea in 1955?

  • PinkPagoda says:

    These are great images. But a little off the subject, Gary seems to have a tumor or something on his body below his left pectoral. Is that just a glitch in the camera?

  • RJ says:

    I think that’s McLean Stevenson’s finger.

  • PinkPagoda says:

    ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    I think it is too!

    That made me laugh out loud

  • Steve New says:

    Radar is actually missing digits. If you notice he always hides is bad hand with a rag or clipboard or something. Once in a while you will catch a glimpse of his hand.

  • Kat Karns says:

    Gary Burghoff “Radar” isn’t missing fingers. He suffers from a congenital deformity that affected the development of his left hand.

  • r rich says:

    in the episode “Edwina” When they draw straws and Haweye loses, his dog tags are very close up. However I do be leave they have to much information on them.

  • futurenurse says:

    Another example of a close up where you can see the notches in the dog tags is in Movie Tonight. When Margaret is singing during the episode, there is a close-up where you can see the notches in her dog tags.

  • J. B. says:

    Notched dog tags were still standard issue in the Korean war.

    The formatting during the Korean war was as follows(using a MASH character as reference):

    BURNS, FRANCIS M.
    ER61109398
    T51 AB

    P

    But in reality, the dog tags all the characters wear, have the formatting from the second world war, as follows:

    BURNS, FRANCIS M.
    ER61109398 T51 AB
    LOUISE BURNS
    123 SOME STREET
    FORT WAYNE, IN P

    The dog tags they wear on the show are probably WW2 issue surplus, as evidenced from the formatting of information on them.

  • Rachael Rabbit says:

    I was given a set of American-type dog tags,as a gift, a few years ago. I still wear them. Yeah Im that nerdy. But they are customised with my real name,blood type etc. Ive still never seen a decent close up of a MASH tag.

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