This is based on the fact Henry & even Frank go home only a couple months into the war in later seasons, but in late '52 or (for Frank) early '53 earlier. It's kind of how I picture the earlier characters all going home at once. It's dedicated to my grandfather.
A/N: Forgive me if the characters aren't totally in sync, I haven't watched the show for ages, but it was my favorite growing up in the '70s/early '80s. I wanted to explain the double timeline of M*A*S*H. See, the date of Sept., 1952 is given as when Col. Potter takes command. But, in later episodes, not only B.J. & Potter but Charles have been there since Jan. 1, 1951! Therefore, almost all of seasons 1-5 must take place between Sept. 1952 and at latest May of 1953, possibly earlier. This gives enough time for Radar to leave, too, and for Klinger to be promoted. And, yes, Radar must go home in the "Blake till '52" timeline b/c Mulcahy tells Potter how it took Radar months to become a good company clerk. Somehow, Radar just transitions Klinger well enough in the "Winchester by '50" timeline. Perhaps because his Uncle Ed gets really sick but doesn't die right away then, but he knows he should get home soon, so helps Klinger get used to his job. Then, seasons 6-11 almost all (except for a few eps needed for continuity) take place between late Dec. 1950 and July, 1953, when the war ends.
So, there's little chance for Potter to be there with Frank. 1-2 episodes are possible, w/"Abyssinia, Henry" in both timelines. This, however, is equally plausible. Episode 67, "Aid Station." provides a convenient place for the "point of departure" for "Winchester by '50", as the 2-parter with Hawkeye and Margaret trapped together most likely takes place in the "Blake till '52" timeline, and so can some where she and Klinger gain more respect for each other. Whereas this is "Winchester by '50" and Hawkeye, Margaret, and Klinger are trapped in the aid station a little bit longer. You might have a better idea, though.
Finally, James Daniels is modeled after my grandfather, who caught pleurisy 2 weeks before his first training flight in 1943, and...I'll stop blabbering so you can read....
by Doug Fowler
James Daniels felt like his insides were about to burst. "What's wrong?" Colonel Henry Blake asked as he helped the young man out of the back of the ambulance.
"My stomach - I think it's about to explode!" They could tell he was in a great deal of pain.
Captain Trapper John McIntyre looked at the man and quipped, "My goodness, he must be pregnant! How far apart are the contractions!"
"Oh, don't be silly, he probably just has kidney stones. He'll be back on his feet in no time."
Blake sighed. "Frank, how can you diagnose a man after just glancing at him?"
"Well, he did it, too," Major Frank Burns grumbled. "Of course, he did it facetiously, but still..." Wishing to change the subject, he added, "We're lucky we haven't had that many wounded; they're still trapped at that aid station. But, that Klinger would try to pretend he was pregnant," he complained to both doctors. The 4077th M*A*S*H was one of the best army hospitals in Korea, at the beginning of the Korean War in 1950. Klinger was a company clown who dressed as a woman - and did other odd things - to try to get a section 8 discharge for insanity. He was at an aid station helping care for wounded along with Doctor (and captain, though he preferred to ignore any military title) Hawkeye Pierce and Major Margaret Houlihan, the chief doctor and nurse.
"Even Klinger's not crazy enough to pretend he's pregnant," Blake said.
After examining the man and asking questions for a while once inside, he determined, "Well, my good man, I believe you have pleurisy."
"Pleurisy? But, Doc, I'm supposed to be flying in a few days. My country needs me."
"That's right, his country needs him, let him go," Frank complained. He tended to be a weasel and was far too military for Hawkeye's and Trapper's tastes, though they shared the same mess tent. However, he was so outspoken about military protocol that some wondered if he wasn't the most scared of them all, and acting like that to hide it.
"Attention all personnel, I've got good news and bad news," Corporal Walter "Radar" O'Reilly said over the PA for all to hear. "First, the bad news - incoming wounded." Groans were emitted from the recovery room, where Henry and the other doctors were examining several patients, including Daniels. "And now the good news - we have another doctor coming in because Captain Pierce, Major Houlihan, and Corporal Klinger are still at the front in the aid station." Only then did they hear the choppers bringing wounded in; Radar seemed to have a sixth sense about such things.
Blake breathed a sigh of relief. "Good ol' Radar - he sure is good at finding us medics."
"Ow, ow, ow," came a sophisticated-sounding voice coming from in front of them. It belonged to a major who had been trying to put his shoe back on and had accidentally kicked Henry's heavy metal box of fishing lures that was sitting in the corner of the room. He hopped, barely able to put pressure on his left foot. "Is there a doctor in the house?"
"Hey, what gives, you couldn't get out of the chopper that fast, they haven't even landed," Trapper cracked as they ran into the compound
The major hobbled after them. "I did not come by helicopter, I came via ambulance, only I got dirt in my shoe. Then when I tried to get my shoe back on after getting it off, I managed to wind up in the corner and kicked that box."
"Dirt in your shoe," Burns sneered. "What kind of a soldier are you?"
"I am not a solder, I am Major Charles Emerson Winchester the Third," he said, getting more agitated, "chief of thoracic surgery at Boston General, and right now...a man with a broken toe."
"All right. Radar..." Blake nearly bumped into the corporal. "Major Winchester will be assisting us in the operating room, get him some ice and find a way to elevate his foot while he operates." Radar saluted and left.
"Perhaps I did not make myself clear; I appear to have broken my toe. and right now, I am in excruciating pain. While I will assist you as best I can...it may be hard to concentrate," Winchester explained.
"Oh, don't worry, Charles," Trapper consoled him, "we don't do lots of fancy stuff here.
We do our best to sew 'em up, then ship 'em off to Tokyo for the real medics."
Charles was flabbergasted as Radar brought him some ice and placed his foot in it. "I see. Well, while I appreciate...thank you, soldier...while I appreciate being called a 'real medic,' my Hippocratic oath requires me to perform my best at all times."
Blake looked up from another patient. "Look, I hate to break it to you, but the first rule is 'do no harm,' and that's basically what we're here to do. Trapper, why don't you help him get his feet wet."
"They're already wet, Sir; at least the one. It's packed in ice." Trapper caught the look. "Sorry, just keeping the mood up till Hawkeye comes back."
Hours later, Winchester had been fitted with a cast and crutches. He complained to Trapper of feeling like an intern after that round of surgery, as the men gathered in the mess tent. He also demanded that he be allowed to leave as soon as possible.
"I understand, we'd all like to leave," Blake said. "Especially Daniels, he's so eager. He wasn't even drafted, he volunteered."
"Volunteered? I fail to see why anyone would volunteer to come here. When I received my draft notice, I, of course, was shocked, but I also was able to procure a post performing surgeries in Tokyo, where it's nice and safe. I probably performed some surgeries on the men you 'patched up' in fact," Winchester declared, still a little taken aback at the patching up jobs they'd done. "But, as for coming here, I would never dream of entering such a pig sty."
"How'd you get him, Radar?" Trapper wanted to know. "And, more importantly, where - you call Harvard or something?"
"Well, Sir, Sparky got in touch with someone in Tokyo, and the first words were we needed someone who was the best. After all, Hawkeye is our chief surgeon."
Trapper nodded. "It's going to be an interesting couple of days in the Swamp with you there, Charles."
He was shocked. "Me, inhabit a place called the 'Swamp'? I will have you know that my family goes back many generations. Only the best will do for a Winchester."
"Fine, we'll pull out the vintage October wine," Trapper chided.
"Well, you're stuck here now," Burns said, obviously trying to rub it in a little. "Come on, I'll take you back and show you just what kind of lowlifes I have to put up with."
Major Winchester thought with Frank's attitude, using the word "lowlifes," he might have found an ally. He would soon find that that was very wrong, though.
Early the next morning, a week before Thanksgiving, Radar walked up to Colonel Blake after roll call. "I just heard from that aid station. The shelling and mortar attacks finally let up, and we should get our people back later today."
"Wonderful, Radar. Thanks. I'll tell Major Winchester in a little bit. You know, I like him; he's kind of laid back, just wants to listen to Mozart and relax. We could use someone like him here," he remarked as they walked toward post-op.
He quickly inspected all the wounded, and found everyone was doing well, though Daniels was still in a good deal of pain as he lamented his condition. "I heard I might get sent home now., because I've had this. I mean, I like that and all, I've got a wife back home in Ohio who I'm really anxious to see. But, still...I really feel for my men."
"I know the feeling. Well, maybe it happened for a reason." He couldn't help but laugh. "Listen to me, I'm starting to sound like Father Mulcahy. Look, why don't I go get him. He's really a great guy to talk to."
"Okay, thanks, Doc."
Once Blake had gone to get the Father, he heard planes buzzing. At first, he thought it might be more wounded - until he realized Radar would have heard the sound before anyone else.
Then, the bombs began falling.
It was only a few, and an American plane quickly shot down the enemy. But, several buildings were damaged, and Colonel Blake was hit hard by shrapnel.
The men in the Swamp had been enjoying a lively argument. "I fail to see how you can call yourself civilized when you seem to know nothing of classical music. For your information..."
"I don't want to hear about Wagner, he was a dirty, filthy German, and we just finished beating them in a war five years ago!"
"You never know, Frank, maybe he was a West German," Trapper countered.
They heard the bombing, and ducked. Quickly, they rushed outside once it stopped, only to find Colonel Blake badly hurt. "Oh, no! Frank, get the room ready and a stretcher. Charles." Trapper smiled as he knelt beside the body and Radar came rushing out. "Glad you're here; we might need your skill."
"I should say so. Help me bind up his arm, quickly," Charles said before even getting there on his crutches.
"Two more wounded in the mess tent," Igor shouted. "Not too badly, though." Several others in the camp had also been hurt.
"Now I know why the bombing stopped over there, it was coming here," Trapper complained.
"Sir, are you okay?" Radar asked, very nervous. He pleaded with the Lieutenant Colonel. "Please don't die."
"I'm gonna try not to," Blake said weakly through clenched teeth as he was lifted onto a stretcher. The doctors continued to operate as he was wheeled into the O.R.."
Oblivious to what had been going on in the 4077th, Hawkeye and Margaret looked lovingly into each others' eyes and smiled. "Well, the truck's here. Guess we better go," Hawkeye muttered.
"I wonder what Frank will think?"
"Do you care?" Margaret wasn't sure. Hawkeye said softly, "It was a great time - just a man, a woman, and a Viking."
"Hey, everyone," Klinger said as he entered the tent wearing a Viking helmet fashioned from tin plates used by the soldiers, complete with horns. He'd also found a way to drape cloth around him to make it look like a Viking's robe. Another tin serving plate was his shield. "I hail from the year 950 A.D.. What is this place? Where am I? Could this get me a Section 8?"
Margaret shook her head. "Klinger, look, you provided some great comedy relief, we got to know you a little better, and I'm starting to actually understand you. How you used to tease other kids, how you really are a little scared or whatever, and you're just like Hawkeye in a way."
"Only a small way. I wouldn't wear dresses," Hawkeye noted.
"No, but still, you both use humor to really relieve your tension - and I appreciate that."
Hawkeye smiled. "I still remember how you said you always smiled at my jabs at Frank under your mask."
"Yes, but...look, we're going back to the 4077th now, let's not get carried away, okay. And, not a word about what Hawkeye and I did to Frank, understand?" she scolded Klinger. He saluted and agreed. "I'll get him alone in my tent after supper, and sit down and just, well, try to explain my feelings."
As they drove into the compound, Hawkeye saw a balding doctor and Major Burns arguing right in the middle. "Hey, look, Major, they're fighting already; maybe it doesn't matter what we did. Maybe that guy found a woman and Frank's jealous."
"Oh, knock it off," Houlihan said as they drove the jeep into the storage place.
"I don't care what you say, whether or not you are the ranking military man, I am the ranking medical expert."
"Medical expertise doesn't mean a thing out here, we're almost on the front," Frank shouted.
Hawkeye walked up to them after another moment. "I see you've met old ferret face."
"That's Major Ferret Face to y..." He stared at Hawkeye, incensed that he'd made him slip up like that.
Hawkeye turned toward Winchester. "I don't know who you are or what you're arguing about, but whatever it is, you're right and he's wrong," he informed Charles. "Around this place, that's like saying the sun rises in the east though."
"Thank you, whoever you are, for giving me some support." Charles gave a look of supremacy as he explained. "I was just telling the major that proper medical protocol requires us to consider that there is a great possibility that our patient could recuperate very easily and be back on duty within several months. I am well versed on the latest prosthetics, and I believe such a course of action is quite plausible."
"For your information, the quicker he's shipped home, the better," Frank declared. Totally baffling Hawkeye, he argued, "No man is fit to return to active duty with only three limbs."
Hawkeye shook his head. "What's going on here, Frank? Usually you'd be the one arguing that we need all the soldiers we can get. You'd draft a dead man if you thought it would help you win. Which means you should go to work for the Chicago board of elections after the war." It hadn't quite attained the national notoriety it would in later years, but Hawkeye had attended medical school there.
"Your attitude amuses me," Winchester said with a smile, thinking of the Chicago joke. "However, I believe I've deduced this man's rationale; knowing quite a few Harvard graduates who were quite skilled at oratory, and being quite the logician myself. I daresay it is quite plausible that his vehemence is motivated by a desire to attain command of this unit."
"I'm sorry - you lost me after 'I believe,'" Hawkeye admitted. "You can't use those big words here, most of the patients can't lift objects that heavy."
Charles appraised Hawkeye. "I see. Well, perhaps you can give me your unbiased opinion; would a person with a prosthetic arm be a viable medical officer and/or commanding officer?"
"I don't see why not, with practice, why?"
It clearly hadn't hit Hawkeye yet. It did like a bombshell when Radar came out and shouted, "Captain Pierce, you're back. Colonel Blake's in recovery room, he lost an arm in a bombing run."
He turned toward Radar, then back toward the majors. "What? You expect my unbiased opinion about that? Why..." Hawkeye struggled for words. He loved Blake like a father - or at least a brother. Probably Radar was more like a son to Henry, but still, how could he decide what to do? How could he let him go - then again, how could he let Blake stay, knowing he could go home so soon and stay home? "Radar, where is he?"
"Right this way, Sir." Hawkeye followed him quickly.
"Henry, Henry, are you okay?" Hawkeye asked. Trapper was minding the wounded, with Margaret now assisting. "Say something."
"Oh...Pierce, is that you? Listen...tell Lorraine...I'll be home for Christmas."
"Henry, you really want to leave Frank in charge?"
"No...what about that new guy, Winchester?"
"I don't think so, Henry, nobody would be able to understand his orders, if what little I've seen is any indication."
Trapper, meanwhile, left once Hawkeye had relieved him. Seeing Henry Blake almost killed like that had led him to do some serious thinking. He went to see Father Mulcahy, but he wasn't in. So, he returned back to the bedside of Airman Daniels. "Hey, how are you feeling?"
"Fine; guess I'll be going out with your CO."
"Hey, I can tell you're a little disappointed yet. I've been doing some thinking myself."
"Really makes you wonder, doesn't it?"
Trapper nodded. "Yeah, I know. I mean, what are we doing here?"
Daniels closed his eyes for a second. "I left the Catholic Church, I became a Protestant, and I'll never go back." He smiled warmly. "The Father understood He said he's done Methodist services in fact."
"Father Mulcahy's a good man. Whatever problems you had with Catholics, they're not all like that."
"I know. He says he would have given our baby - our stillborn baby - a proper burial, even though it hadn't lived long enough to be baptized. Even if the Church told him not to. He said it's what God commands."
"I know." Trapper smiled. He supposed he started drinking so much, and acted unfaithful, because he didn't believe in all that the Church taught. He believed in freedom. Like Father Mulcahy believed.
"The Father told me something yesterday, Doc, about how God speaks to us. And, we just need to be willing to listen. He says I listened when they wouldn't bury our stillborn baby. A priest says I was right to leave the Church and become a Presbyterian." he couldn't help but laugh. "Ain't that the darnedest thing?"
Trapped laughed with him. "But, so like Father Mulcahy. It's not the Church with him - it's your faith."
"I sit here and wonder, what is God saying by me having pleurisy? Will I know now, or won't I know for many years? But, I know one thing."
"My wife's too upset about what happened; she doesn't even mention the stillbirth. But, if that baby ever gets a proper burial, we're naming her Grace."
"Grace? As in Gracie Allen?"
"As in God's Riches At Christ's Expense. He became man, was God in flesh. And, then He died on the cross for each of us, and rose from the dead. All we have to do is put our faith in His death and resurrection as being for our sins. That's what grace is - His riches, because of His suffering. God's Riches At Christ's Expense."
"What did Father Mulcahy say to that?"
"He loved it - he said my faith was beautiful, because it was like a little child's. That's what's important to the Father - it's not the Church's rules, so much as each person's faith." Indeed, when a man had fled the front and sought the Father's help to confess later, Mulcahy wouldn't feel capable of rendering such help because he'd never experienced what that man had; though he'd know God could hear it, he'd wanted to honor that soldier's faith in him and in the confessional.
Trapper thought for a second. "So, I should try to figure out what the meaning is, and do according to what it's telling me?" Daniels nodded. "Thanks." He knew from that moment he wanted a transfer to a closer hospital if another doctor could be found - even if it was Tokyo. He wanted out of the temptations to drink and womanize. He wanted to get back to what was right in life, to what was important. And, he supposed, to tell his family what he was thinking, and to find a church that let them live in faith and freedom without so many rules. He even thought about moving to Mulcahy's parish when the war finally ended.
Trapper met Father Mulcahy on the way out the door. "Oh, I heard you wanted to see me. Is now a good time?"
"Actually, Airman Daniels was able to solve it. Thanks anyway," Trapper said happily.
Later that evening, Charles appeared in Radar's office as he was preparing to close up. "Good evening, Sir. What can I do for you?"
"I've come to understand you are quite the whiz when it comes to communications in general. I want you to get on the telephone to your Sparky, and since you helped get me into this mess, I am going to ask you to get me out of it."
At that moment, Trapper entered. "Radar, I talked to Colonel Blake, and he said it would be okay. I want you to get me a transfer, so I can be closer to home. I've been doing a lot of thinking, and..."
"That does it!" they heard from just outside the office. Frank stormed in. "I want Hawkeye Pierce transferred!"
"Frank, wait..." Margaret said as she raced in, following him. "It's not that I don't love you..."
"I don't care, with Colonel Blake incapacitated I'm in charge, and I demand Hawkeye be transferred..."
"Get me out of this hole in the ground first...!
"Hey, I wanna go home and start my new life..."
"Not before he answers my orders first..."
"No, my orders, he got me into this mess..."
Radar put his hands to his ears, and finally yelled, "Hold it! One at a time, please. Now, who am I calling?"
"My lawyer if you don't hurry up," Winchester complained.
"Get another doctor in here in place of Hawkeye.."
"No, to replace me, to work with Hawkeye..."
"You're staying and that's final!"
"While those two miscreants argue about who you're going to call, you could have my call done!" Winchester complained.
As if Radar didn't have enough problems, Colonel Blake tried to walk out into the office, as weak as he was. "Sir, you can't be out in your condition," Winchester said, rushing toward him. "While I admire your fortitude, it is simply not safe after you've lost an arm and so much blood..."
"That's right, I'm perfectly capable of acting as commanding officer. Get Pierce out of here!"
"Did I hear someone use my name in vain?" Hawkeye looked at Frank. "Oh, so Margaret told you about last night? Come on, Colonel, back to bed."
"No, I want to see what the commotion is..."
All the officers started arguing at once, until Margaret whistled very loudly. "Now wait a minute, Colonel Blake is here, I think it's only fair, before he goes back to bed, to let him decide who's in charge." She figured he'd say Frank, who she deemed to be most fit to command, since Frank was the major with the longest tenure and highest ranking of all the other officers. Though she was warming to Hawkeye, she saw him more as a great doctor - and was getting used to him as a human being.
"Okay, that sounds fair," Frank agreed, beaming with pride - he believed with Margaret that he'd be placed in charge.
All eyes were on Blake, and they closed in, hoping to hear for themselves what he said. However, in his weakened state, he was starting slip into unconsciousness again. And so, as he muttered things, he would say part of what he wanted, then only think the rest.
So it was that "Radar" came out of his mouth. After everyone shouted "Radar!" Blake simply looked at the boyish corporal and said, "do it" before collapsing.
"He put Radar in charge?" Trapper said with disbelief.
"Well, he probably wasn't thinking clearly, and that was the first person he noticed," Frank tried to argue.
At that moment, Klinger burst into the room dressed entirely like a Viking now, complete with fake red hair and beard. "I am Klingersen, the great Viking warrior. What is this place? Where am I? What year is it - you have things I do not recognize from my native Norway, where it is 950 A.D.."
"What is that?!" Winchester shouted. "And, Heaven help us if he had come in moments before, or Colonel Blake might have placed him in charge."
"Huh? In charge of what?" Klinger asked as Pierce returned from getting Henry back to bed.
"Nothing, nothing. Okay, Radar, you heard the Colonel, what'll it be?"
Radar stared blankly at Hawkeye. "Huh? Oh, oh yeah. I guess I'm in charge for the moment. I think they call it a field commission. Uh, Klinger, how about getting me some grape nehi, please."
"Sure, how much? A bottle?"
"Better make it a case," Radar said dryly. Klinger left.
"Well, Radar, who are you going to call first?" Winchester asked.
"Hmmm, let's see. First of all, how many want Dr. Pierce to leave?" Only Frank raised his hand. "How many want him to stay?" Hawkeye, Trapper, and Houlihan raised their hands.
"I am abstaining," Winchester explained, "as I do not know the man well enough yet to make a good value judgment."
"Okay. So, that means Major Burns' call is out. Unless you'd like to leave if Hawkeye's staying?" he asked.
"Oh, never mind," Frank sneered as he stormed out of the office, slamming the door.
"Let's see, that leaves us needing replacement doctors, and a replacement commander for Colonel Blake, if they'll let us have one. Okay, everyone out so I can start checking around," Radar suggested.
Colonel Blake needed to rest the next day. However, he finally came to well enough early the following morning to start conversing again. "How are things going?" he asked Winchester, managing to smile for the first time.
"Very, well, that young corporal, Radar, has done a fine job running the camp."
Blake grinned proudly. "He's a fine young man. He can take any orders any officer gives and find a way to get it done."
"Yes, well; it seems you placed him in charge of the whole camp."
"I did what?!" Blake stared blankly ahead for a second. "Boy, I must have been really out of it; all I can remember is a bunch of the doctors screaming and..." He sighed. "Oh, well, I must have had some wits about me; at least I didn't put Klinger in charge."
"Ah, yes, the visitor from a thousand years ago. I dare say that would have been a frightening proposition." As Blake began to ask what Winchester was talking about, Klinger entered the room in his Viking garb. "Not now, Sir, you need to rest," the doctor said lowly.
Radar entered and reported, "The new CO and another replacement doctor are here, Sirs."
"Ah, charming, well, I suppose I shall have to bid you all adieu, then."
"Well, actually, Major..."
"I shall gather my things, and prepare to terminate my stay in this lice-infested mess. Ah, Tokyo never looked better."
"Well, actually, Sir..."
"I shall be back to see you before I depart," Winchester said as he jogged out of post-op and into the compound. "Ah, Colonel Sherman T. Potter, is it?" he said warmly. And Dr. B.J. Hunnicutt. I remember Radar said the Army was sending someone yesterday, and you must be the other replacement, Dr. Hunnicutt."
"That's right, I look forward to working with you," Potter said.
"With me? Oh, no, Sir, you must be mistaken," he said with a nervous laugh, "you are here to replace Colonel Blake, and as I was leaving anyway, with captain Pierce having returned safely, and Captain McIntyre was leaving, Dr. Hunnicutt is replacing him, and my services are no longer required."
Radar didn't know what to say, so Potter said "I'll tell him" in a reassuring voice. "I'm sorry, but Major Burns was reported to be AWOL."
"He was so bummed out that Major Houlihan didn't like him anymore, he just split," B.J. explained. "Now they finally caught him, they're doing some psychiatric evaluations and he'll probably be sent stateside."
"That's what I was trying to tell you in there, Sir," Radar noted.
"Are you mad? You mean to tell me..."
"Hey, don't blame us, it's Frank's fault," Hawkeye said as he approached the group. "Colonel Potter, we spoke earlier today, I invited you both to the Swamp for refreshments, I think we can now extend that invitation to the Major, too."
"Easy, now, I'll get there; there's a time and a place for everything. I want to take my first tour of the hospital facilities here before anything."
"Okay, but ignore the Viking ship, it's not really part of the decor," Hawkeye explained as they passed Klinger acting like a Viking.
They entered the post-op area to see Trapper talking with Colonel Blake. "Thanks so much for signing my transfer. At least I can spend the war closer to stateside now," he told him.
"Good morning, Colonel Blake. Sorry to hear about your arm," B.J. said.
"Oh, that's okay. It's gonna be rough, but...I guess I should count my blessings, huh?"
"I'll say." Daniels hobbled over to the men. "They told me my bomber group tried to fly yesterday; there was a big crash. All of them got killed." He shook his head. "I was spared - even though I was really badly hurt."
"Wow." Radar's eyes were huge. "I wonder if your getting hurt now and going home prevented something like that from happening later, Sir?" he asked Colonel Blake.
"I don't know, Radar. I guess we'll never know."
Winchester spoke up. "Well, while I am happy for all of you, I still find it difficult to count my blessings when I look at the swill I must ingest every day for the remainder of the war now, as well as the conditions under which I must live."
"Hey, things will work out, Charles," Trapper said. "Besides, we both live in the same area, maybe we can plan a reunion for that stately mansion you must live in."
"Sure, and there's plenty of entertainment. We get good movies, after all. Not only that, but I hear there's even live entertainment sometimes."
B.J. proved to be prophetic when Klinger the Viking broke into the room. Brandishing his shield, he spoke to Colonel Potter. "Since Colonel Blake will not give me a way home, I call upon you, s the new commanding officer of this strange place, to restore me to my rightful homeland."
Potter shook his head - he could tell Klinger was bucking for a Section 8. After all, the man was Lebanese, from what he'd heard - Klinger had no Viking in him at all. "Sorry, no can do."
"But, Sir - isn't it obvious to you I'm a stranger in a strange land? I know nothing of this technology, I've tried to call my people via ancient Viking shouts, and I've been sleeping outside in the cold while trying to build a Viking ship from spare pots and pans."
"Klinger, Colonel Blake was able to sign the transfer of a sincere doctor because it was close to his time to go anyway, and a military hospital closer to home could have used him just as well. But what good would it do to send you home, when all you'd go to is 1950 America, not 950 Norway."
"You know, you're right," Klinger said a sigh. "I guess time travel isn't going to be my ticket home."
"Not until someone invents a time machine." Potter confided, "Besides, I think after we've been here a while, we'll all be able to use the laughs." Everyone smiled and agreed wholeheartedly.
A/N: My grandparents didn't name the baby, which would have been an aunt, or get her a proper burial in a cemetery with marker, etc.. My mom thought about it, but was too distraught after her parents died to do anything beyond have me look into how to do it and draw up a now dusty paper that would allow the baby to be exhumed; we wouldn't know if we had the right one anyway, since the grave's unmarked. Well, now Baby Grace has a name, almost 60 years later. And, I know her soul's celebrating with the angels in Heaven right now, anyway - the body doesn't matter, since that's not important.