1952 XX XX 00:00:00



The tent occupied by the three surgeons, known as The Swamp, becomes a popular hang-out, serving cocktails at 4. One of the regulars is Father Mulcahy, the Catholic chaplain. The boys aren’t religious, but they like the Father, calling him “Dago Red” because of his red hair. However, as Duke is an avowed Protestant, he requests a Protestant chaplain. The nearest Protestant chaplain is Shaking Sammy, who lives in an engineering outfit, and is so named because he loves to shake hands. The Swampmen come to dislike him because he tends to send letters to the families of fatally wounded soldiers saying all is well. After one too many of these letters, they lash him to a wooden cross and make him believe they intend to burn him alive.

Tent Number Six, the home of Forrest, Pierce and McIntyre, became a center of social activity. It also became known as The Swamp, partly because it looked like the kind of haunt one might come across in a bog and partly because Hawkeye Pierce, while in college and unable to afford a dormitory room, had lived just off the campus in a shanty that his classmates had called The Swamp. The words, in big capital letters—THE SWAMP—were painted in red on the door of Number Six.

“This is going to mean trouble,” said Trapper John. “Nobody will put up with that kind of crap.”

“Not ordinarily,” said Hawkeye, “but we’ll get away with it.”

“Why?” asked Duke.

“Because at seven o’clock tonight three companies of Canadians are going for Hill 55. When they do, this place will be flooded with casualties. Personally, I don’t plan to work if I’m under arrest.”

Duke Forrest
Captain Hawkeye Pierce
Captain Trapper John Francis Xavier McIntyre
Father John Patrick “Dago Red” Mulcahy
Shaking Sammy
Ugly John Black
Colonel Henry Blake

4077th M.A.S.H.
The Swamp
Engineering outfit


Father Mulcahy reports to Colonel Wattingham’s office to recieve his assignment to MASH 4077, where he meets the 4077th’s former chaplain, Samuel J. Abbott. Captain Abbott is filing charges against Hawkeye and Trapper for tying him to a cross and attempting to burn him alive. Colonel Wattingham believes that Captain Abbott is suffering from paranoia and sends him to a rest home. Father Mulcahy is sent to the 4077th.

The father observes Hawkeye and Trapper in surgery and afterwards tries to befriend them. The next morning he discovers that after he passed out from a night of drinking with the Swampmen that they have tied him to a cot and put him on display. When the father refuses to press charges, he is welcomed to the 4077th as one of the family.

A short, balding soldier, a corporal, wearing an army knit cap and GI wire-rimmed glasses, ducked beneath the rotor arc and opened the helicopter’s door.

“Welcome to the 4077th MASH.” He said. “Everybody but me’s in surgery, so this is all the welcoming committee you get.”

“Thank you for meeting me,” Father Mulcahy said. “About that cross, young man...”

“Oh,” the corporal said, “that’s where Hawkeye and Trapper John were going to burn Shaking Sammy, our last chaplain. Colonel Blake wouldn’t let them.” His disappointment was obvious.

Mulcahy recognized the symptoms of fatigue and depression and wasn’t at all surprised when Mclntyre finally looked up at him and snarled, “What the hell do you want, Holy Joe?”

“Is there anything I can do for you?” Father Mulcahy asked.

“Not unless you’ve got a quart of gin in your little black bag,” Hawkeye said. “Don’t let the doorknob hit you on the ass on your way out.”

“We have an arrangement around here, pal,” Trapper said. “We don’t take up collections, and the religious fraternity stays out of the Swamp.”

Chaplain (Captain) Mulcahy, John Patrick “Dago Red”
Chaplain (Captain) Abbott, Samuel J. “Shaking Sammy”
Chaplain (Colonel) Wattingham, Charles Frederick
Corporal Radar O’Reilly
Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce
Captain “Trapper” John Francis Xavier Mclntyre
Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake
Major Frank Burns
Major Margaret Houlihan
“Painless” Waldowski

Wattingham’s office
4077th MASH
The Swamp


DELETED SCENES: Dago Red administers the Last Rites to a dying patient, and the patient suddenly recovers. Afterward, Dago joins the Swampmen for a few drinks.


A few lines from this chapter appeared in the pilot episode of the television series.

“Hey, Red, give us a little cross action here. Put in a fix, will ya?”
“My spies tell me three companies of Canadians attacked Hill 55 about an hour ago. By midnight, this place’ll be flooded with casualties. Personally, I don’t plan to work if I’m busted.”

see also: Dear Peggy


Donnie Love
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