|Gen. Bartford Hamilton Steele|
Harry Morgan as daffy General Steele
|Rank:||Major General (O-8), U.S. Army|
|Job/Role in Unit:||High ranking General who visits the 4077th M*A*S*H|
|Born:||April 10, 1915|
|Relatives/Children:||3 brothers, who are also high ranking Army brass|
|First appeared in:||"The General Flipped at Dawn" (Season 3)|
|Last appeared in:||N/A|
|Appeared on/or in:||M*A*S*H in guest appearance|
|Played by:||Harry Morgan|
About General SteeleEdit
General Steele, as described in the episode "The General Flipped at Dawn", comes from a prestigious military family; he has three brothers, who all are also Army Generals, as all four brothers attended the West Point Military Academy. One brother was also a U.S. Senator, and another, as Colonel Blake describes it upon the news that Steele would be visiting the camp, was the first soldier to volunteer to be part of the building of the Panama Canal, and to be "bitten by a mosquito" there! When the scatterbrained Steele, who's a stickler for regulations, arrives , he appears to be more eccentric than the usual Army brass,as he then attempts to make the 4077th bug out by moving the camp much dangerously closer to the front, about 5 miles from it! When Hawkeye and Trapper object, and try to get Henry to persuade the daffy Steele otherwise, he explains, "What can I do? He's a General! I can't disobey a direct order, unless I get orders from someone else higher ranking to do otherwise!"
Steele has Henry sterilize tongue depressors, and prepares the camp to be "mobile". In preparing to inspect the camp, Steele, thinking that Klinger is his wife says to him "Not now, Marjorie, I'm inspecting the troops!" Steele court-martials Hawkeye for using a chopper which Steele wanted to use to observe the bug out to transport a patient from the camp to the Seoul Army Hospital instead, as well pretending to be a civilian reporter, who Hawkeye says he is, when Steele and Col. Blake catches him in the supply room with Nurse Able.
Unfortunately for Steele, the charges fall apart when he breaks into a negro work song "Mississippi Mud". when he excuses the chopper pilot, Warrant Offficer Williams, played by Theodore Wilson, then asks Williams to perform "a little musical number"! When the head presiding hearing MP, now also convinced of Steele's daffiness, decides to cancel the disciplanary hearing, and then close his briefcase, Hawkeye asks, "I guess this means we don't have to leave?!", Blake responds. "Only the General does.", Hawkeye sarcastially adds "In a rubber truck!",
Days later, Hawkeye and Trapper are both taken aback when Col. Blake reads in the Stars and Stripes newspaper that the U.S. Army, in its infinite wisdom, has not only promoted Steele to a 3-Star General, they also awarded him a meritorious service medal for his duty in Korea, and gave him a new job title working at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. as Commander over military operations in the Asian theater!