M*A*S*H timeline

Talk about all things M*A*S*H -- the novel, the film, the television series, even the play. Not to mention the spin-offs, merchandise, cast, crew and anything else you can think of to talk about.
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RJ
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M*A*S*H timeline

Post by RJ » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:32 pm

Years ago, I had a M*A*S*H timeline at my site. I cannot remember when I took it down (or why, exactly) but I have been considering bringing it back. Here is the most recent incarnation:
It's hard to believe that eleven years worth of stories were supposed to have taken place in the three years of the Korean War. To get around this time problem, the writers of M*A*S*H decided not to worry about it and concentrate instead on telling quality stories. Still, it is interesting to try to piece together a timeline for the series using dates mentioned in a variety of episodes.

Perhaps the most confusing issue involves when Colonel Potter and B.J. arrived at the 4077th. During the teaser at the end of "Welcome To Korea" (Season Four), Colonel Potter's arrival is said to take place on September 19th, 1952. However, in the episode "A War For All Seasons" (Season Nine), we see Colonel Potter and B.J. at the camp on New Years' Eve 1951, and in "Death Takes A Holiday" (Season Nine) Potter and B.J. are there for Christmas 1951. April Fools' Day 1951 finds Colonel Potter and B.J. there as well, seen in "April Fools" (Season Eight).

Also, the episode "'Twas the Day After Christmas" (Season Ten), should be set the day after Christmas 1952, seeing as Christmas 1951 was "Death Takes A Holiday." Christmas 1952 would be the last Christmas of the war, since it ended in September 1953. However, in "Trick or Treatment," which takes place after "Death Takes A Holiday," we see a Halloween party, meaning it is October 31st, and apparently 1953.

How is all this possible? The most likely solution is that the writers realized after "Welcome To Korea" that they had made Colonel Potter and B.J. arrive too late in the war, that Trapper and Blake shouldn't have been there for a year. That explains how Potter arrives in 1952 but is shown in 1951. It doesn't explain Halloween of 1953, which can't be explained as anything more than a simple mistake.

1950

June 25th, 1950
The North Koreans cross the 38th Parallel and start the Korean Conflict.

July 1950
The 4077th sets up near the front (in "Welcome To Korea," Hawkeye states that he had lived with Trapper for over a year and the day Trapper left was somewhere around September 12th so this does equal over a year).

September 10th, 1950
Margaret tells Klinger it is Independence day and he replies that it is September 10th ("Lil").

September 19th, 1950
Colonel Potter's last stint in surgery before coming to the 4077th (in "Welcome To Korea" it is stated twice that Colonel Potter hadn't been in surgery in two years, this could be a rough estimate).

1951

September 19th, 1951
Hawkeye stole a steamshovel from the Tokyo Provost Martial (according to his record in "Change of Command", Colonel Potter said that "a year ago..." which could be a rough estimate).

April 1st, 1951
Colonel Potter tries to keep the camp from playing any practical jokes during April Fools' Day, as a stiff-nosed Colonel is coming for a visit ("April Fools").

December 25th, 1951
B.J. works to keep a dying man alive until December 26th so that his children don't have to remember Christmas as the day their daddy died ("Death Takes A Holiday").

December 31st, 1951
On New Year's Eve, the 4077th looks back on 1951 ("A War For All Seasons").

1952

September 9th, 1952
Trapper receives his orders to be shipped stateside (this occurred 3 days before he left, as stated in "Welcome To Korea").

September 9th - 10th, 1952
Trapper got drunk (stated in "Welcome To Korea" that he was drunk for two days before ).

September 12th, 1952
Trapper John leaves the 4077th, B.J. Hunnicut arrives at the 4077th (if the next episode took place a week from this one).

September 19th, 1952
Colonel Potter arrives at the 4077th to take command from Frank Burns, replacing the late Henry Blake as commanding officer ("Welcome To Korea").

December 26th, 1952
Colonel Potter has the enlisted men and the officers switch places for a day ("'Twas the Day After Christmas").
1953

July 4th, 1953
Members of the camp hold a party on a beach in Inchon, on the way back they are almost spotted by North Koreans, in order to keep from being heard a Korean mother smothers her baby, which causes Hawkeye to become mentally unstable ("Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen").

July 11th, 1953
Hawkeye returns to the 4077th after being treated by Sidney (if he was gone for a week after July 4th).

July 27th, 1953
The Korean War ends when the cease-fire goes into effect 12 hours after the armistice was signed.

September 26th, 1953
In the first episode of AfterMASH, Sherman Potter writes a letter to Klinger informing him of his reconciliation with his wife after returning from Korea.

October 31st, 1953
The 4077th has a Halloween party, and Father Mulcahy performs a "miracle" ("Trick or Treatment").
Thoughts? One episode not included in the timeline is "The Incubator" in which Hawkeye states "the war’s been running for two years."

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:22 pm

You took down the series timeline? I had no idea! :o

I see a few of the additions I contributed to the timeline aren't listed, so off the top of my head, here is what I can remember...

1951
September 10, 1951
During mortar fire, Private Rich receives a throat injury, is airlifted to the 4077th, and is operated on.

September 11, 1951
Rich observes what a typical day is like at the 4077th, and concludes the day with writing a letter to his parents, only to suddenly have breathing trouble due to complications from a fractured laranyx.

September 12, 1951
Rich awakes in Post-Op again, after a successful surgery to repair his laranyx.

1952
June 13, 1952
Radar takes a correspondance course through the Las Vegas writer's school. It is also Frank's birthday, which contradicts "For Want of a Boot" from Season Two, where Frank's birthday was in the middle of winter (unless it was his half birthday).

1953
April 22, 1953
In "Fade Out, Fade In", Klinger tells "Captain" Schaffer that he will have been wearing dresses for two years come April 22, which means Klinger would have been drafted and shipped out to Korea shortly before April 22, 1951.

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by Eric » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:51 pm

The dates look good. The only issue I see is the October 31, 1953 for Halloween. They should not have been in Korea in Oct. 1953 since the war ended in July. Please repost this RJ!

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by Chuck » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:33 pm

I look for clues to things mentioned on the show. Credit cards are mentioned a few times. I thought to myself, were credit cards were around then. I had to look it up. I've also looked up various models of Jeeps they've had on the show. Some of them weren't around 'til after the Korean war. In "The Incubator", the Colonel mentions he can get them a B-52. The B-52 was around, but wasn't operational until after the Korean Conflict had ended. I can't think of anything else specific right now, but I know there are more.

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by RJ » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:19 pm

Big Daddy O'Reilly wrote:You took down the series timeline? I had no idea! :o

I see a few of the additions I contributed to the timeline aren't listed, so off the top of my head, here is what I can remember...
I could have sworn this was the most recent version of the timeline. I will dig through my files to see if I have a newer one. I did find a few notes I made about additions.

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:04 pm

It's fun trying to piece together a timeline of the series, THEN, seeing how the episodes would play out if they were played in chronological order according to dates and events.

1. "Pilot Episode" (1x01)
2. "Lil" (7x03)
3. "April Fools" (8x25)
4. "Point of View" (7x11)
5. "Death Takes a Holiday" (9x05)
6. "A War for All Seasons" (9x06)
7. "The Most Unforgettable Characters" (5x15)
8. "Welcome to Korea, Part 1" (4x01)
9. "Welcome to Korea, Part 2" (4x02)
10. "A Change of Command" (4x03)
11. "Twas the Day After Christmas" (10x10)
12. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 1" (6x01)
13. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 2" (6x02)
14. "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" (11x16)
15. "Trick or Treatment" (11x02)

So far. I wonder if it would be possible to put all 256 episodes in order according to historical dates and events?

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:49 pm

I just remembered another one:

October 9, 1952
Clete Roberts returns to interview the staff of the 4077th a second time.

So, the historically chronological order for episodes at the moment is:
1. "Pilot Episode" (1x01)
2. "Lil" (7x03)
3. "April Fools" (8x25)
4. "Point of View" (7x11)
5. "Death Takes a Holiday" (9x05)
6. "A War for All Seasons" (9x06)
7. "The Most Unforgettable Characters" (5x15)
8. "Welcome to Korea, Part 1" (4x01)
9. "Welcome to Korea, Part 2" (4x02)
10. "A Change of Command" (4x03)
11. "Our Finest Hour, Part 1" (7x04)
12. "Our Finest Hour, Part 2" (7x05)
13. "Twas the Day After Christmas" (10x10)
14. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 1" (6x01)
15. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 2" (6x02)
16. "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" (11x16)
17. "Trick or Treatment" (11x02)

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:05 pm

Here's a little tidbit I've figured out based on information from "Showtime" (1x24):

Season One has to take place in less than nine months of the war breaking out, since Henry's wife is delivering a baby back home, and like Radar joked, he had to be, "There for the important part".

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:10 pm

An observation turns up that "Hot Lips is Back in Town" takes place in the month of December, as a calendar in the Nurses' Tent indicates; the year is hard to make out, but it looks like it might be 1952.

So, let's see what we got now:

1. "Pilot Episode" (1x01)
2. "Lil" (7x03)
3. "April Fools" (8x25)
4. "Point of View" (7x11)
5. "Death Takes a Holiday" (9x05)
6. "A War for All Seasons" (9x06)
7. "The Most Unforgettable Characters" (5x15)
8. "Welcome to Korea, Part 1" (4x01)
9. "Welcome to Korea, Part 2" (4x02)
10. "A Change of Command" (4x03)
11. "Our Finest Hour, Part 1" (7x04)
12. "Our Finest Hour, Part 2" (7x05)
13. "Hot Lips is Back in Town" (7x20)
14. "Twas the Day After Christmas" (10x10)
15. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 1" (6x01)
16. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 2" (6x02)
17. "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" (11x16)
18. "Trick or Treatment" (11x02)

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:30 pm

Here's another new one: "Bug Out" takes place during the month of September, as per this exchange:

HAWKEYE: Is today the 4th of July?
MARGARET: It's September.
HAWKEYE: Just a wild hope.

Later, Hawkeye observes the date on Radar's bottle of grape nehi as 1951.

So, somehow, this episode takes place around the same time as "Point of View", which takes place the same month and same year. I'd venture to say "Bug Out" must take place September 21, 1951 as a reference to the episode's original airdate, since Potter's initially arrived at the 4077th on September 19, 1952 and "Change of Command" originally aired September 19, 1975.

With that in mind, here's the current episode timeline:
1. "Pilot Episode" (1x01) -- Summer 1950
2. "Lil" (7x03) -- 9-10-1950
3. "April Fools" (8x25) -- 4-1-1951
4. "A Night at Rosie's" (7x24) -- 8-9-10-1951
5. "Point of View" (7x11) -- 9-11-13-1951
6. "Bug Out, Part 1" (5x01) -- 9-21-1951 (possibly)
7. "Bug Out, Part 2" (5x02) -- 9-21-1951 (possibly)
8. "Radar's Report" (2x03) -- 10-17-22-1951
7. "Death Takes a Holiday" (9x05) -- 12-25-1951
8. "A War for All Seasons" (9x06) -- 12-31-1951
9. "The Most Unforgettable Characters" (5x15) -- 6-13-1952
10. "Welcome to Korea, Part 1" (4x01) -- 9-12-1952
11. "Welcome to Korea, Part 2" (4x02) -- 9-12-1952
12. "A Change of Command" (4x03) -- 9-19-1952
13. "Our Finest Hour, Part 1" (7x04) -- 10-9-1952
14. "Our Finest Hour, Part 2" (7x05) -- 10-9-1952
15. "The Novocaine Mutiny" (4x21) -- After 10-5-11-1952
16. "Hot Lips is Back in Town" (7x20) -- 12-1952 (possibly)
17. "Twas the Day After Christmas" (10x10) -- 12-25-26-1952
18. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 1" (6x01) -- At or around 4-22-1953
19. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 2" (6x02) -- At or around 4-22-1953
20. "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" (11x16) -- 7-4-28-1953
21. "Trick or Treatment" (11x02) -- 10-31-1953

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:11 pm

I got to thinking about the other Christmas episodes. Since Season One seems to take place mostly from the beginning of the war in the summer of 1950 up till early 1951, I guess it's safe to assume "Dear Dad" takes place during December 1950. "Point of View" took place in September 1951, and was just a few episodes before "Dear Sis", so I guess "Dear Sis" must take place December 1951.

Also, does anyone remember the timespan between "Abysinnia, Henry!" and "Welcome to Korea"? Hawkeye returned from a week of R&R? But how after Henry's death did Hawkeye's R&R come up? Either way, we know "Abysinnia, Henry" took place in 1952, because the keychain Radar gave Henry was inscribed, "To Colonel H.B. From Corp. O'R. Korea, 1952." I can't imagine it was much time, I'm guessing I-Corps realized Frank wasn't the best man to be in charge of the 4077th and sent Potter as soon as they could. I'm going to guess that maybe "Abysinnia, Henry" maybe took place August 1952? Just a wild guess.

So, with that in mind, let's see what we got now:
1. "Pilot Episode" (1x01) -- Summer 1950
2. "Lil" (7x03) -- 9-10-1950
3. "Dear Dad" (1x12) -- 12-1950
4. "April Fools" (8x25) -- 4-1-1951
5. "A Night at Rosie's" (7x24) -- 8-9-10-1951
6. "Point of View" (7x11) -- 9-11-13-1951
7. "Bug Out, Part 1" (5x01) -- 9-21-1951 (possibly)
8. "Bug Out, Part 2" (5x02) -- 9-21-1951 (possibly)
9. "Radar's Report" (2x03) -- 10-17-22-1951
10. "Dear Sis" (7x15) -- 12-12-25-1951 (the episode begins with Mulcahy writing to his sister "the week before Christmas.")
11. "Death Takes a Holiday" (9x05) -- 12-25-1951
12. "A War for All Seasons" (9x06) -- 12-31-1951
13. "The Most Unforgettable Characters" (5x15) -- 6-13-1952
14. "Abysinnia, Henry!" (3x24) -- 8-1952 (wild guess)
15. "Welcome to Korea, Part 1" (4x01) -- 9-12-1952
16. "Welcome to Korea, Part 2" (4x02) -- 9-12-1952
17. "A Change of Command" (4x03) -- 9-19-1952
18. "Our Finest Hour, Part 1" (7x04) -- 10-9-1952
19. "Our Finest Hour, Part 2" (7x05) -- 10-9-1952
20. "The Novocaine Mutiny" (4x21) -- After 10-5-11-1952
21. "Hot Lips is Back in Town" (7x20) -- 12-1952 (possibly)
22. "Twas the Day After Christmas" (10x10) -- 12-25-26-1952
23. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 1" (6x01) -- At or around 4-22-1953
24. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 2" (6x02) -- At or around 4-22-1953
25. "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" (11x16) -- 7-4-28-1953
26. "Trick or Treatment" (11x02) -- 10-31-1953

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by kkt » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:30 am

I don't think the time for "Lil" can be right. When Margaret said it's independence day, her divorce was becoming final. But during the war, she had fallen in love, been engaged, married, tried to work out their problems, filed for divorce, waited for their court date, and been granted it. That couldn't all have happened by September 1950.

I think the timeline is just one of those things we're not supposed to worry about. They're telling stories, not doing a historical reenactment.

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:39 pm

I was rewatching "For the Good of the Outfit" tonight (shocking, I know), and I noticed during the tag, the response letter Hawkeye got from his dad was dated May 24, 1951, which is odd, considering the previous episode, Radar's Report, took place in October of that same year. Not sure how long the events of the whole episode took, especially considering there was never a consistency with how long the mail takes, but anyway, I've added the info to our current timeline:

1. "Pilot Episode" (1x01) -- Summer 1950
2. "Lil" (7x03) -- 9-10-1950
3. "Dear Dad" (1x12) -- 12-1950
4. "April Fools" (8x25) -- 4-1-1951
5. "For the Good of the Outfit" (2x04) -- 5-1951
6. "A Night at Rosie's" (7x24) -- 8-9-10-1951
7. "Point of View" (7x11) -- 9-11-13-1951
8. "Bug Out, Part 1" (5x01) -- 9-21-1951 (possibly)
9. "Bug Out, Part 2" (5x02) -- 9-21-1951 (possibly)
10. "Radar's Report" (2x03) -- 10-17-22-1951
11. "Dear Sis" (7x15) -- 12-12-25-1951 (the episode begins with Mulcahy writing to his sister "the week before Christmas.")
12. "Death Takes a Holiday" (9x05) -- 12-25-1951
13. "A War for All Seasons" (9x06) -- 12-31-1951
14. "The Most Unforgettable Characters" (5x15) -- 6-13-1952
15. "Abysinnia, Henry!" (3x24) -- 8-1952 (wild guess)
16. "Welcome to Korea, Part 1" (4x01) -- 9-12-1952
17. "Welcome to Korea, Part 2" (4x02) -- 9-12-1952
18. "A Change of Command" (4x03) -- 9-19-1952
19. "Our Finest Hour, Part 1" (7x04) -- 10-9-1952
20. "Our Finest Hour, Part 2" (7x05) -- 10-9-1952
21. "The Novocaine Mutiny" (4x21) -- After 10-5-11-1952
22. "Hot Lips is Back in Town" (7x20) -- 12-1952 (possibly)
23. "Twas the Day After Christmas" (10x10) -- 12-25-26-1952
24. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 1" (6x01) -- At or around 4-22-1953
25. "Fade Out, Fade In, Part 2" (6x02) -- At or around 4-22-1953
26. "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" (11x16) -- 7-4-28-1953
27. "Trick or Treatment" (11x02) -- 10-31-1953

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:36 pm

Shit. It took me an hour and a half to type up additional, historical information that would added even more episodes to the timeline, but when I tried to post, I apparently got logged out and had to log back in, and my entire post disappeared . . . and I don't feel like typing all of that over again. :evil:

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Re: M*A*S*H timeline

Post by davidrobinson » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:48 am

Not sure if this is relevant but I'm watching a couple of episodes this week.

In Incubator Hawkeye says the wars been going a couple of year.

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