M*A*S*H episode
“Dear Dad...Again”
Dear dad again
Captain Casey confesses to Father Mulcahy that he isn't really a doctor.
Season 1, Episode # 18
Number (#18) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Alex Henteloff
William Christopher
Jamie Farr
Odessa Cleveland
Gail Bowman
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: J-317
Writer(s) Sheldon Keller & Larry Gelbart
Director Jackie Cooper
Original airdate February 4, 1973
IMDb logo IMDB Dear Dad...Again
Episode chronology
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"Sometimes You Hear the Bullet" (J‑318) "The Longjohn Flap" (J‑319)

(broadcast order)

(broadcast order)

"The Ringbanger" (J‑316) "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet" (J‑318)

(production order)

(production order)

Season 1 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes

Dear Dad...Again, the 18th episode of Season 1 of the M*A*S*H TV series, was also the 18th overall series episode in broadcast order. In terms of production order, it was the 17th episode. Written by Sheldon Keller and Larry Gelbart, it was directed by Jackie Cooper, and originally aired on CBS-TV on February 4, 1973.


Hawkeye again writes his father about the happenings at the 4077th, including Frank getting drunk, and the discovery of a fraud passing himself off as a doctor.

Full episode summaryEdit

In Hawkeye's latest letter to this father, the following happens: there's a new doctor, Captain Adam Casey (Alex Henteloff), who's very helpful. Klinger's attempts to get out have led him to mail order a new wedding dress, which Hawkeye says is tasteful without being gaudy (but needs a slip). Father Mulcahy is planting a garden when his back starts to hurt, and after fixing it, Captain Casey admits to the Father that he's not really a doctor. Hawkeye and Trapper have a bet that results in Hawkeye walking into the mess tent naked. It nearly works - nobody notices til one guy does and drops his tray, leading to a large round of applause for Hawkeye.

Meanwhile, Radar takes a correspondence high school diploma course (and cheats, although Henry can't be bothered making him go through it properly). Burns and Hot Lips have had a fight and are temporarily no longer dating; Burns gets drunk and hangs out with Hawkeye and Trapper instead, driving them crazy. Eventually Casey is caught; it appears that he's an unqualified sergeant called Schwartz, who has also been a teacher, a lawyer, an engineer, and several other professions, all unqualified--he has the talent for anything but doesn't have the patience to pursue a formal qualification. Hawkeye tells Casey he will not report him if he promises not to touch a patient again without a license, but to call Hawkeye the moment he gets one. He tells Casey to try for a formal qualification as he has a genuine talent.

Finally, Hawkeye thanks his dad for the loan of his tuxedo - he wore it at the camp's No-Talent night, a fundraiser for the Korean refugee fund. At the end of the episode, Casey comes to say goodbye just as Hawkeye finishes his letter; this time, Casey has become a priest.

Research notes/Fun factsEdit

  • The character of Captain Casey was inspired by the life of Ferdinand Waldo Demara[1] who impersonated a ship's doctor on board a Canadian destroyer during the Korean War. In 1951 He performed surgery successfully on a number of casualties, including one with a serious chest wound. But he was exposed when his life-saving exploit was published in the Canadian newspapers. His life story was fictionalized in the Tony Curtis Movie "The Great Impostor".
  • You can clearly see Hawkeye is wearing GI issue underwear in several shots during the scene where he goes to lunch nude. In some shots, you can even see he is wearing trousers with a belt if his lower legs didn't need to be seen.
  • Hawkeye ends his letter to his dad with "Kiss Mom and Sis". In later episodes, his mother had died when he was a child, and he never mentioned siblings again. However, it's possible that he had a sister who was stillborn and that Hawkeye could telling his father to kiss the tombstones of their graves in Maine as he cannot being there to visit his deceased mother and sister. Anytime in future episodes if he ever mentions being an only child, he may not mention his sister as she could have been stillborn and is mentioning that he grew up without any siblings. In another episode during poker he mentions that if he won money from the game that he'd send another trust to his sister. In series 4 Hawkeye mentions that he has a nephew, that he drove, thus he probably has at least one sibling.
  • Although not listed in the closing credits, series regular Roy Goldman is the corpsman who drops the tray in the Mess Tent when Hawkeye walks in naked.

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

Memorable quotesEdit

(Radar getting Henry to sign some forms)

  • Radar: You can sign here, and initial the carbon copies. Or initial here, and sign the carbon copies, and then sign this form that says you initialed what you should have signed.

(Hawkeye describing the 4077th MASH)

  • Hawkeye: I don't want you to think this is a madhouse, Dad. We're nowhere near that organized. 

(In the O.R.)

  • Trapper: Oh, wow, what a mess. Stomach, kidney, liver...

  • Hawkeye: What is this, an organ recital?

(Henry is testing Radar for a high school certificate)

  • Henry: What is a three-sided object with two equal sides?

  • Radar: The Gettysburg Address.
  • Henry: For what speech is Abraham Lincoln most remembered?

  • Radar: The isosceles triangle. (Henry turns and looks at him) Something wrong?
  • Henry: No, no, no. No, your answers are right.
  • Radar: Oh.

  • Henry: You just memorized them in the wrong order.