M*A*S*H: Season 3, Episode 1

The General Flipped at Dawn (10 Sep. 1974)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War
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A visiting general, appearing to be more eccentric than the usual army brass and a stickler for regulations, tries to move the camp closer to the front and court martial Hawkeye before they discover that he's completely loony.



(as Jim Fritzell) , , 2 more credits »
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Episode cast overview:
Lynette Mettey ...
Nurse Baker (as Lynnette Mettey)
Teddy Wilson ...
Warrent Officer Martin 'Marty' Williams (as Theodore Wilson)
Brad Trumbull ...
Colonel Atkins
Dennis Erdman ...


Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele (the incomparable Harry Morgan) is one of three Steele brothers from West Point, all generals. As Trapper aptly observes: 'Hey, the word's out that general's a little bit "el wacko."' Gen. Barton certainly has a bee in his bonnet regarding military uniforms, protocol, waste and (dubiously) quoting great warriors of history, like Hannibal (He was a darky, you know.) When the black chopper pilot, WO Martin Williams, gives Steele the stats on his daily chopper runs, Steele wants to move the 4077 closer to the action...just to conserve fuel. The officers are aghast: such a move will get them all killed. An order is an order, but although Steele is a 2-star general, he is a 3-star loony, a fruitcake with raisins for eyes. Practical Hawkeye suggests they disobey him and Henry looks at Hawkeye like HE is crazy. Henry cannot disobey a general unless he gets an order to do so. But when an order of Steele threatens the life of one of his patients, Hawkeye ... Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | War





Release Date:

10 September 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is based on the movie The General Died at Dawn (1936). See more »


As the unexpected chopper is landing, there is a Caucasian chopper pilot in a long shot, but when it cuts to a closer shot, African American actor Theodore (Teddy) Wilson is playing the part of Marty the chopper pilot. See more »


Maj. Gen. Bartford Hamilton Steele: [off camera; probably pointing to the Swamp] What's that over there Colonel?
Lt. Col. Henry Blake: Officer's quarters, sir.
Maj. Gen. Bartford Hamilton Steele: And there?
Lt. Col. Henry Blake: [proudly] That's our four-place latrine, sir.
Maj. Gen. Bartford Hamilton Steele: Good thinking. The men can encourage each other.
Lt. Col. Henry Blake: Camaraderie.
Maj. Gen. Bartford Hamilton Steele: Precisely!
See more »


References The General Died at Dawn (1936) See more »


I Love a Parade
Written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler
Portion sung by Harry Morgan
See more »

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User Reviews

The Appearance of Harry Morgan
4 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

General Bartford Hamilton Steele arrives. He is played by Harry Morgan who will later return as Colonel Potter. He is a gung-ho character with a couple of screws loose who begins to terrorize the entire camp. He is a racist. Unfortunately, the antics that usually go over well are circumvented, and soon Hawkeye has gotten himself in trouble. One day the General decides the entire MASH unit has to move so they can be closer to the front. Of course, Hawkeye and Trapper put it upon themselves to get rid of the guy. Hawkeye is charged with insubordination and put before a tribunal. A black helicopter pilot becomes a key witness. This is the first episode of the third season but it comes up a bit short.

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