Louise Harper in "Yessir, That’s Our Baby" in Season 8 of the M*A*S*H TV series.
|Job/Role in Unit:||Officer of the American Red Cross|
|First appeared in:||"Yessir, That's Our Baby" (Season 8)|
|Last appeared in:||N/A, one time appearance|
|Appeared on/or in:||M*A*S*H|
|Played by:||Elizabeth Farley|
About Louise HarperEdit
Louise Harper is an officer of the American Red Cross. When a baby fathered by an American G.I. is abandoned by her Korean mother at the 4077th MASH, B.J. and Hawkeye meet with Louise in the hope of resettling the baby in the United States. Although the Red Cross had field officers present in many military installations and hospitals (as part of their Serivce to Military Hospitals) program, the furnishings in Harper's office suggests that the meeting takes place somewhere in Seoul.
Harper is courteous enough (she serves Hawkeye and B.J. plenty of doughnuts), but she tells them that there is nothing the Red Cross can do. Their areas of responsibility are very specific and they already have enough trouble dealing with the what they are responsible for. Hawkeye tells her that they do appreciate the work of the Red Cross in helping American soldiers, Korean refugees, and of course, the Red Cross supplies of blood and plasma but he pleads for the Red Cross to become involved with Amerasian babies. "There are more of them everyday," he says, but to no avail. As Hawkeye and B.J. prepare to leave, she tells them that she thinks their efforts are "admirable. Naive but admirable." She reiterates that while she would like to help, there is nothing the Red Cross can do and suggests that they go next to the US Army authorities.
The character of Louise Harper provides a counterpoint to those of the MASH officers and represents the enduring dilemmas faced by relief organizations. While not necessarily indifferent to or uncaring about what goes on around them, the officers of these organizations cannot allow themselves to become personally involved. They feel constrained and obliged to manage the limited resources of their organization against infinite demands. Although Harper may not tell Hawkeye and B.J., she probably listens to hundreds of such requests every day.