|Captain Arnold Chandler|
|Rank||Captain (O-3), U.S. Army|
|Job/Role in unit:||Bomber pilot who has flown 26 missions over Korea|
|Hair Color:||Sandy Brown|
|First appeared in:||"Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler" (Season 4)|
|Last appeared in:||N/A, one time guest appearance|
| Series/Film |
|Played by:||Alan Fudge|
Captain Arnold Chandler, a bomber pilot, who, after his bomber crashed, suffers from amnesia, where he also psychologically blots out all memory of himself and his bombing Korean villages, also claiming to be Jesus Christ in the Season 4 M*A*S*H episode "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler".
Before Hawkeye operates on the wounded Chandler, he alerts Father Mulcahy he has a friend in surgery. The patient has only a superficial head wound, but in post-op, he calmly repeats that he is the Lord. Father Mulcahy is brought in to speak to him, but he finds himself speechless.
Frank and Margaret aren’t amused by this “blasphemy” and seek out Colonel Potter for a solution. They want the soldier court-martialed for dereliction of duty, but the compassionate Colonel turns the other cheek and refuses, stating the man isn't hurting anyone, and if he claims to be Christ, what’s the harm?
Undeterred, Frank and Margaret call in Col. Flagg from CID, who arrives with a file on the soldier. Frank thinks the soldier is a "communist and trying to get out of duty". Flagg insists he he knows who the “friend with the messiah complex” is and intends to get him back to work.
When Colonel Potter and Flagg discuss the issue in Chandler in Potter's office, Potter won’t take Flagg’s verbal blather and puts him in his place, much to the delight of Hawkeye and BJ. Potter agrees to release Chandler in two days, but agrees with Hawkeye that psychiatric therapy is needed and Sidney Freedman is the man. In an epic meeting of the minds, Major Sidney Freedman arrives in camp and meets with Flagg, who asks the doc to go along with him on Chandler. Sidney demurs, stating Chandler needs his kind of help. When Flagg brings up certain “subversive” groups Sidney belongs to and threatens to expose him as a communist, Sidney ignores him and excuses himself, remarking he’s already kept Jesus waiting five minutes.
Sidney has a talk with Chandler, who claims no knowledge of this former life and army responsibilities. He claims he is Christ, has no enemies, and loves all his children. Sidney says he belongs in a B-29 bomber, dropping bombs on the enemy. Chandler again denies his identity and tellingly informs Sidney he hopes he can find and help this Chandler. Sidney wraps up the talk by asking if God answers all prayers. A tear rolls down Chandler’s face as he responds in the affirmative, but adds, “sometimes the answer is no.”
Later, Sidney tells Flagg, Potter, Hawkeye, and BJ it’s his professional opinion Chandler has lost himself. Something inside him snapped and he decided he will be Jesus Christ instead of a bomber. He feels Chandler will never be an effective soldier again, but with proper care, he can find himself. Flagg, furious with this “psychoanalytical double-talk”, threatens to have Sidney thrown out of the army for not signing a loyalty oath. After Hawkeye and BJ congratulate Sidney on his shrewdness, Flagg reverses course and thinks Sidney is playing him.
Chandler leaves on the next bus, but is stopped by Radar who asks for a blessing on his teddy bear. In a tender scene, Chandler blesses the bear, then Radar, who professes his Christian name is Walter.