A hospital uses up a lot of linen, with lots of bedsheets, surgical gowns and towels needing constant washing, not to mention the personal laundry needs of the hundred or so camp personnel. So it is no surprise that the 4077th has its own laundry tent. This is located along the northern side of the camp, along the line of buildings going westwards from the hospital building, after the shower tent and the latrine.

Laundry tent location

The arrow shows the location of the laundry tent. Next to it is a corrugated iron structure which is the camp latrine, then below it the shower tent and finally the hospital building.

It seems that the personnel of the 4077th MASH have a range of options when it comes to their laundry arrangements:

  • From episodes like "The Price" (Season 7) and "Private Finance" we know that much of the personal laundry of the camp personnel is done off-site by the Korean villagers who live nearby.
  • At the same time, the camp seems to have a centralised laundry service which makes use of the laundry tent--in "The Life You Save" (Season 9), B.J. is put in charge of the camp laundry and we know this service includes personal clothing items because Potter ends up getting Margaret's underwear. In "The Yalu Brick Road" (Season 8), with most of the camp sick from a bad turkey dinner, Margaret makes Mulcahy and Winchester wash the hospital bedsheets in the laundry tent.
  • Finally, we sometimes see camp personnel do their own laundry whether because this saves money or it is for small batches of items not worth sending out to the laundry service. For example, in many episodes of the first season Leslie Scorch seems to have an open invitation to hang her laundry in Henry Blake's tent. In "Depressing News" (Season 9), both Mulcahy and Margaret do their own laundry in the laundry tent. Margaret also does her laundry herself in "The Merchant of Korea" (Season 6) because she can't afford a dollar and a half to send it out.
Laundry tent-yalu brick road

The interior of the laundry tent as seen in "The Yalu Brick Road". It has a couple of large sinks made from barrels, much like in the scrub room. There are wash boards, and hanging on the wall can be seen various wash basins.

Laundry tent-depressing news

Margaret doing her personal laundry in one of the wash basins. Another one is hanging on the wall. Scene from "Depressing News".

Laundry tent-the life you save

B.J. with a soldier who has been assigned laundry duties in "The Life You Save". There are hospital sheets or gowns and uniform fatigues among the laundry items seen.

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