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Charles Emerson Winchester III

Major Charles Emerson Winchester III is a fictional character, a principal on the television series, M*A*S*H, played by David Ogden Stiers.

Background

Charles Emerson Winchester III was born in Boston, Massachusetts, a third generation of a very wealthy family of Boston Brahmins who are anti-Franklin D. Roosevelt Republicans. After finishing his secondary studies at Choate, he graduated summa cum laude class of '43 from Harvard College (where he lettered in Crew and Polo), completed his MD at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge in 1943, and worked at Boston General Hospital. Before he was drafted to join the US Army at the start of the Korean War, he was on track to become Chief of Thoracic Surgery. Although he shows apparent interest in heart surgery, he claims to be an expert in pediatrics.

Winchester had a sister named Honoria (pronounced ah-NOR-ee-uh), and a brother named Timmy who died when Charles was very young. In another episode, it was revealed he had a nephew named Felix, although it is not made clear if this is Honoria's son or another sibling's. In another episode, he made a tape-recorded message in which he mentioned a cousin, Alfred, making two provisions to his will: that his mother not use his shares to vote for Alfred and that Honoria receive his butterfly collection instead of "cousin Alfred".

As presented in the series, he is tall, stocky, and losing his hair, and speaks in a Boston Brahmin accent. He also suffers from a bad back.

Joining the 4077th MASH

While Major Frank Burns was AWOL following a trip to Seoul after the marriage of Major Margaret Houlihan to Lieutenant Colonel Donald Penobscot, the staff at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) desperately needed a replacement surgeon to fill in. Colonel Sherman T. Potter placed a call to Tokyo General Hospital in search of a surgeon. Winchester's commanding officer was Colonel Horace Baldwin, an old friend of Potter's, who owed Winchester more than $600 after being beaten at cribbage. Irritated at the loss, Baldwin volunteered Winchester for duty at the 4077th, reassuring him the assignment would only be for forty-eight hours.

Once Winchester arrived, he found the conditions appalling compared to the comfortable life he enjoyed at Tokyo General. Although his arrogance made a poor first impression, Winchester proved his surgical expertise when he performed a delicate heart operation on a ventricular aneurysm which the other doctors were unfamiliar with.

When it was learned that Major Burns would not be returning to the 4077th, Colonel Potter asked to have Winchester permanently assigned to the unit. This granted, first Radar O'Reilly, then Potter, broke the news to Winchester. He was shocked at first, and attempted to bribe and threaten Potter, but his pleas fell on deaf ears from Potter who threatened to have him arrested for insubordination. Very reluctantly, he moved into Burns' former quarters with Pierce and Hunnicutt, declaring his plans to use family influence to transfer back out.

When the first major rush of wounded arrived, Winchester found himself in over his head once he began operating, taking three or four times as long to finish his operations as his fellow surgeons. He learned that his slow, methodical surgery was unsuited to the gross number of patients he had to operate on, as well as the long hours into the early morning. As a result, he was forced to learn to perform "meatball surgery" from his new colleagues in order to be efficient. (He eventually made an effective transition, even criticizing other visiting surgeons if they operated slowly.)

Winchester felt humiliated at any assistance to improve his efficiency and alienated himself from the rest of the camp with his arrogant, self-centered, and at times, cold persona. He did, however, prove to have a sense of humor and a clever wit, which were not above pranks.

Winchester was the final new regular character added to the show, and the resultant ensemble remained intact for the remaining six seasons of the show's run.

Through the rest of the series

Charles at first continually fought his position with the 4077th, especially when he realized that he lost his candidacy for Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Boston General, but as time passed he accepted his situation and settled in with the 4077th. Although initially thought of as tremendously selfish and uncaring, as evidenced by his disconnected attitude towards his patients in contrast to the "bleeding heart" cynicism of Pierce and Hunnicutt, Charles softened somewhat as he acclimated to his new life. This was strengthened by a Christmas present arranged by Radar O'Reilly and Father Mulcahy; his old tobogganing cap, sent by his mother at their request, which he wore frequently. Another time he reveals his homesickness when a schoolgirl sends him a New England leaf {see below}. However, he still distanced himself from the rest of the camp to some degree, and regularly retreated to his classical music as a refuge.

A hidden side

As time went on, he seemed to maintain his arrogant, dignified attitude as a kind of caricature of itself, using it to hide his genuine feelings. Charles is usually warm toward the patients he speaks with, and indulges in acts of kindness that Major Burns would never have even considered.

  • Charles convinces a drafted concert pianist, who had given up on the future after losing dexterity in his right hand, that his musical gift did not lie in the stilled hand, but rather within him. He gave the wounded man the famous left-handed pieces by Maurice Ravel (Piano Concerto for the Left Hand which had been written for Paul Wittgenstein) and restored the wounded man's pride and hope, telling him, "I can play the notes, but I cannot make the music." (This did not stop the M*A*S*H writers from writing a comic relief episode 6/16 when Winchester's French Horn playing drives Hawkeye and BJ to go on a "bath strike"! In real life David Ogden Stiers has been a conductor-including the Boston Pops orchestras.)
  • He followed his family's tradition by giving the local orphanage a large supply of candy for Christmas, insisting that the orphanage director not tell anyone who donated it. Upon learning that the director had sold the candy instead of distributing it among the kids, Charles was at first outraged, but the director explained that the candy would have only given the children pleasure for a day; the real value was the month's supply of staple foods it could pay for. Charles, ashamed at his nearsightedness, acknowledged that it was "sadly inappropriate to offer dessert to a child who has had no meal". Klinger, overhearing the exchange, saved for Charles the last of the camp's holiday fare, and told Charles warmly "the source of this food must remain anonymous."
  • He befriended a wounded soldier who stuttered. When Charles saw him ridiculed by his commanding officer and platoon mates, he took their CO to one side and thoroughly chastised him. He then counselled the stuttering soldier, who believed himself stupid ("I can't even t-t-talk") and read only comic books. Charles encouraged the soldier to pursue his natural intelligence (pointing out high test scores in the young man's personnel file, and that many great people were stutterers, such as Thomas Jefferson). Charles gave the soldier his treasured, leather-bound copy of Moby-Dick. (The soldier already knew the story - from the Classics Illustrated comic-book adaptation.) At the end of the episode, Charles listened to a taped letter sent by his sister, Honoria, revealing that she too, was a repetitious stutterer.
  • When Colonel Baldwin visited the 4077th on business, Winchester swallowed his pride and anger to convince Baldwin to return him to Tokyo General Hospital, even deliberately losing at cribbage to erase Baldwin's debt and promising to find Baldwin an escort. When Baldwin mistook Houlihan for a prostitute and nearly succeeded in assaulting her, he told Winchester to lie and tell Potter that she had made improper advances on him, using Tokyo as an incentive. When confronted by Potter, he revealed the truth that Baldwin was "lying through his teeth", stating he refused to smear the name of a friend and colleague by bearing false witness against her. It earned him a round of applause from Col. Potter and all gathered in the Officer's Club.
  • When a Congressional investigator with the House Un-American Activities Committee falsely smeared Houlihan as a Communist, Winchester chastised the official. When the investigator attempted to suggest Winchester was a fellow traveler, Winchester smugly stated that his family was so Conservative that they made the investigator look like a Roosevelt New Dealer. Furthermore, Winchester participated in a trap to force the hypocrite into leaving Houlihan alone.
  • When Colonel Flagg visited the 4077th (for what appeared to be the final time) to investigate and accuse Hawkeye of being a Communist for operating on a critically-wounded North Korean soldier, he tried to offer Winchester the opportunity to be transferred back home to Boston if he would gather any information on Hawkeye for his case. Winchester shrewdly led Flagg to the site of a bridge game between Hawkeye, Colonel Potter, the mayor of Uijeongbu, and his brother, Uijeongbu's chief of police. Winchester tricked Flagg into thinking that the game was a meeting of Communist conspirators. Flagg tried to arrest the four, but turned out to be wrong, and the two Korean gentlemen vowed to report Flagg to their American contacts at I Corps.
  • When the people at the 4077th answered letters from the children in Hawkeye's home town of Crabapple Cove, Charles picked up a letter that made him pause. It was from a little girl who had included a birch leaf, it being autumn in New England. The child had written, "I hope you like it." The simple gift struck a tender chord in Charles, and, unwilling to share this with Hawkeye and Hunnicutt, he used pen and paper instead of his usual tape recorder, and composed a heartfelt reply to the child's letter.
  • During the next-to-last episode of the 11th season, the staff began putting together a time capsule of mementos from their time in Korea. Winchester donated a bottle of his favorite brandy, arguing that when the capsule was opened, it would be over 100 years old and provide a magnificent treat for whoever found it.

Comparison with Frank Burns

Like Burns, Winchester was prone to being a chauvinist, though Winchester's bias was more towards socioeconomic status than race. (He did, however, denigrate Italians, Arabs and the Irish, offending Zale, Klinger, and Mulcahy, respectively, in the process.) He mocked Radar O'Reilly's rural life and values, though he praised Radar's strong family relationships. He also sometimes made remarks about Catholics, Buddhists, and revival tent-style religion, preferring the services at his Presbyterian church in Boston.

Another similarity between the two characters was their tendency to venture into the occasional get-rich-quick scheme, with disastrous results. Burns fell victim to phony stock tips, rumors of a gold strike near the camp, and a fraudulent betting pool he set up for a baseball game he had already heard on the radio. Winchester tried to make some fast money by buying up Army scrip at a discount, intending to trade it in and keep the difference as his profit, but was outwitted by Pierce and Hunnicutt. He also rigged a mouse race by feeding amphetamines to Radar's pet mouse so that the 4077th staff members could win the bets they had placed, but the truth was exposed and everyone had to pay back their winnings.

Unlike Burns, Winchester was a superior surgeon whose obvious, natural skills indicated earlier on that his intelligence was superior to that of his predecessor, giving Winchester an advantage in his clashes with Hawkeye and B.J. that Burns had lacked - they could not seriously criticize him as a doctor, and he was quite capable of being as sneaky and underhanded as they were, at times even more so.

In stark contrast to Burns, Winchester did not feign adherence to military regulations. He didn't pull rank with the other camp members nearly as often as Burns did, nor did make any effort to force Hawkeye or B.J. to conform to proper military behavior. He never tried to get his colleagues in trouble by reporting their antics to General Clayton or General Mitchell, and even took offense once when Hawkeye and B.J. wrongly suspected that Winchester was secretly sending damaging reports about Potter to his superiors, saying that were no spies in his family (though they would, on occasion, hire them).

Winchester was usually unimpressed by the authority of superior officers, with the exception of Potter. Whereas Burns would shamelessly suck up to them, Winchester would not. He was not scared of Col. Flagg, in contrast to Burns. He even risked an insubordination charge once when a visiting Colonel unfairly berated Hawkeye, B.J. and Margaret for their nonmilitary behavior, Winchester stood up for his colleagues, explaining to one of them in front of the Colonel that it's against protocol that a superior officer be told he was inferior. Burns would never have behaved in such a manner in defense of the others, especially for Hawkeye and BJ.

One final difference between the two was their attitudes towards alcohol. Where as Burns was a teetotaler who chastised his colleagues for their drinking, Winchester would often drink regularly with the other officers in the Officers Club, and would even imbibe some of Hawkeye's moonshine on occasion. He also had a fondness for fine wines and brandies, and would sometimes take advantage of circumstances to procure a supply for himself.

Relationship with others in and around the camp

While Winchester's faults caused irritation, Charles eventually made partial peace with his comrades, and they counted him as one of their friends. When Hawkeye was anxiously awaiting word about his father, who had undergone surgery for a life-threatening condition (Hawkeye was fearing his father had cancer), Charles kept a vigil with him. He revealed to Hawkeye his envy of the close relationship Hawkeye and his father shared in stark contrast to that with his own father, stating, "Whereas I have a father, you have a dad," and "My father and I have been ten thousand miles apart in the same room," helping lessen the distance and anxiety Hawkeye felt. It was also the first and only time Winchester ever addressed Pierce as "Hawkeye."

Another incident where Winchester was happy to have Hawkeye around was after a staff switch where he and Nurse Bigelow went to the 8063rd for a week, Winchester absolutely loathed Pierce's replacement, Captain Roy Dupree (George Lindsey), so much so that when he returned to the Swamp, Winchester was absolutely overjoyed to see him, and welcomed him back with open arms. Winchester and B. J. hated him so much that the two swampmates tricked Dupree into riding Col. Potter's horse, Sophie. Potter, who had been considering having Dupree transferred (because 'we can always use an extra chest cutter'), angrily rescinded the offer of transfer. Winchester did, however, enjoy the company of Major Houlihan's old friend and classmate, Captain Lorraine Anderson (Marcia Rodd) who had come along for the week.

He often displayed his fear of war and the question of life after death, and in one poignant episode, Winchester deliberately set himself at the front line after finding a bullet hole in his hat, meaning he had missed death by inches. Ignoring an order by Col. Potter to return to the camp, he desperately questioned a patient who was mortally injured in a fruitless attempt to discover what might await anyone close to death. Winchester asked what the patient was experiencing, but the patient's only semi-comatose response was that he could smell bread.

Winchester took his nominal second-in-command position far less seriously than Frank Burns ever had; on the rare occasions when Potter left him in charge, Charles usually let the camp go through its paces and everyone have what they wanted as long as Charles in turn got what he wanted (usually a personal favor, or simply time alone). In addition, on occasions when Hawkeye was left in charge for varying reasons (once including Winchester's own insistence that he was not up to the task), he did not take offense. (However, the first time he was camp CO, though, he went overboard on ordering creature comforts, only to be put in his place by a returning Col. Potter.)

Winchester always took his personal standard as a physician very seriously, even egotistically painting himself to be the best surgeon in the room, setting himself up for humiliation, throwing a temper tantrum twice: once, when a female surgeon (played by Mariette Hartley) proved herself his equal, and when a younger surgeon taught Winchester a new surgical technique. In one episode he derided local Buddhist Korean physicians who had come to see the methods used by the 4077th, making snide comments on their traditional methods and calling them Moe, Larry and Curly, thinking only one spoke English (he tells them these are respected wise men in America). After one practitioner cured Winchester of a back injury using acupuncture, he apologized deeply, whereupon one quipped, "Not bad for Three Stooges, eh?" Bemused by his experience, Winchester said he felt "knitted and purled". Winchester was often stubborn, once when he had a severe toothache, he refused to admit his tooth hurt. He continued drinking pain killer medication even in plain view of Major Houlihan. Finally, Colonel Potter ordered him to eat a spoonfull of ice cream in the mess tent. Potter shouted, "present spoon!!" Winchester managed to hold his scream until he left the tent.

His medical high standards came into play when he had to make an inspection of a neighboring Army unit in a poor mood and unwilling to concede the realities of life at the front. Its standards of cleanliness were so low that he gave it an approval rating of "zero" on the grounds he couldn't give it anything lower.

Winchester got a dose of humility when he became addicted to amphetamines to compensate for being tired all the time. He suffered a meltdown during a race between one of Radar's pet mice (named Daisy) and a mouse owned by some wounded Marines (Radar's mouse won because Charles fed it some amphetamines, which came out along with his secret). Pierce and Hunnicutt examined him and his locker and realized what he was doing and gave him a stern talking-to. Literally sick and embarrassed at his failing, Charles ended the episode rather cold, sharp and snippy, or as Hunnicutt put it, "perfectly fine."

He once found himself at war with the whole camp in one episode, when his family was sending newspapers from back home, and the isolated camp personnel were anxious to read his papers. When he noticed one missing, he accused someone in the camp of stealing it over the PA system, thereby insulting the whole camp. The pranks grew steadily out of hand and Winchester was on the verge of dropping the whole mess tent on the lunching camp when Col. Potter stopped him, pointing out that there had not been a newspaper that day due to a wildcat strike. Potter forced a humiliated Winchester to apologize over the PA, just as he had insulted them.

Though nowhere near as flirtatious and lustful as Hawkeye Pierce, Winchester, being unmarried, was not immune to desire for female companionship. His surgical knowledge and gentlemanly demeanor initially attracted Margaret Houlihan, and several overtures were attempted for the two to end up in at least a dating relationship. However, the chemistry between the two was not there, and Charles and Margaret maintained a platonic relationship for the remainder of the series. On occasions when Charles did date, the following occurred:

  • As mentioned above, flirted with Capt. Lorraine Anderson (Marcia Rodd) during her visit to the 4077th.
  • Hawkeye read aloud to BJ a love note from Winchester to a woman in Tokyo while a hung over Winchester listened in horror.
  • Went out on a "date" with Nurse Kellye to the mess tent while Private Paul Conway (played by Ed Begley, Jr), a recovering injured soldier, worked as a cook making gourmet delights for the 4077th. In fact, he was seen as Kellye's platonic escort more than once, and even danced the polka with her when a visitor began playing one on the officers' club's piano.
  • Was attracted to a "working girl" at Rosie's Bar, but gave it up when he realized she was not interested in him nor his attempts to class her up. When he expressed his feelings of failure and shame over this relationship, Hawkeye eased his pain by simply stating, "You needed somebody."
  • Was "married" while drunk in Tokyo. When his new "wife," an Army nurse who at first called herself "Mrs. Chuck Winchester," came to the 4077th, Winchester couldn't even remember the details of what had happened in Tokyo. ("May I ask you a deeply personal question? What is your name?") The nurse, Donna Marie Parker, then revealed that they had been "married" by a Druid bartender at a Tokyo hotel, and that their marriage was a sham. The camp held an anti-marriage for the two, with B.J. officiating the ceremony. (B.J.: "Do you take this lady to be your unlawfully unwedded un-wife?" Charles: "I un-do.")
  • Came very close to making a commitment to a French Red Cross representative, but he reluctantly gave it up when he realized his family would never approve of her Bohemian lifestyle. She was equally disappointed at his overly traditional ways, telling him Pierce was too much of a little boy, but he was not enough of one.

Once during the series, Winchester found a British officer who had similar Blue Blood taste, even becoming envious that the man had more experience and loftier standards and experiences than him. At the end, Winchester was taught a lesson when the man smugly told him that he had those experiences as a butler's son on a wealthy English estate, and insinuated that Winchester's repeated attempts to try to one-up him were ego and masochism (all to Hawkeye's delight, who bursts out laughing.) Winchester was initially offended but attempted the lesson in humility with some self-deprecation.

When Hawkeye was writing his last will and testament while trapped at a Battalion Aid Station, he wrote:

Sense of humor

In contrast to his normally posh tastes, Charles enjoyed occasional Tom and Jerry cartoons, The Three Stooges shorts (which he regarded as surrealistic), and Captain Marvel comics. In fact, in his first appearance, Charles was relaxing in the Swamp listening to Mozart as Hawkeye and B.J. came in. Hawkeye laid down on his cot and screamed, finding the rubber snake he had initially planted in Charles' cot, while B.J. splashed himself with his own prank that had been aimed at Charles. Hawkeye turned to Charles and smirkingly said, "Clever! Very clever!" Charles replied with dignity, "Please -- Mozart."

Furthermore, he engaged in a few pranks, including one episode where Colonel Flagg invaded the camp and Charles planted 'evidence' to lead him on a wild goose chase, wherein Flagg became convinced that conspirators were meeting in the guise of a bridge game. "The 'conspirators' included Hawkeye, Colonel Potter, the Mayor of Uijeongbu, and the chief of police, who were not amused at Flagg's accusations. When Hawkeye questioned Charles, Charles demurely stated that he wasn't the type to pull pranks, unless it was good for a laugh. He also once used a dummy grenade to clear out the Officer's Club so he, Hawkeye, B.J., Klinger, and Soo Lee could get a table. In practical jokes, Winchester was a master manipulator.

Despite Winchester stating that he didn't care about the Red Sox - he considered baseball a "lower-class sport" - he became a baseball expert when he placed a huge bet on the Brooklyn Dodgers not blowing their 13-1/2 game lead during the 1951 season, only to lose all his money during the three-game playoff, when Bobby Thomson hit his famous pennant-winning home run.

In another episode, Hawkeye and B.J. tried to get the Otto Preminger film The Moon is Blue which, because of its supposed "lurid content", had been banned in Boston. Winchester chuckled at this notion and tries to give them a discreet warning to keep their expectations in check by telling them Boston would ban Pinocchio.

Finale

In the series finale, Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, Winchester encountered a group of five Chinese soldier-musicians, the equivalent of a small unit band. They eagerly surrendered to him as prisoners of war, and were held at a makeshift POW camp at the 4077th. When they played traditional music, Winchester furiously confronted them, explaining that he was trying to listen to Mozart on his phonograph. Recognizing the composer's name, they then began to play a crude rendition of Mozart's Quintet for Clarinet and Strings. Winchester, delighted at the idea of being able to listen to a live rendition of classical music, began to spend considerable time trying to improve their performance. However, Charles learned that the musicians have to be transferred in a POW exchange with the Chinese Red Army along with the rest of the captives at the 4077th, and pleaded the military officer coordinating the effort to allow them to stay; the officer refused. As they departed, the musicians played the piece of Mozart that Charles had taught them as they were driven away from the back of the truck.

Several hours later, Charles was devastated to discover one of the final patients in triage was one of the musicians. Charles asked the corpsman if any other prisoners had survived, but was informed that the dying man was "the only one that made it this far." Charles, sadly and bitterly, remarked, "He wasn't a soldier. He was a musician."

Retreating to his tent, Charles attempted to find solace in a record of Quintet for Clarinet and Strings but after only a few moments of listening, he wordlessly yanked the record off the phonograph and smashed it. The armistice to end the Korean War was signed soon after, and at the 4077's last supper, Charles announced: "I will be head of Thoracic Surgery at Boston Mercy Hospital, so my life will go on pretty much as I expected... with one exception. For me, music has always been a refuge from this miserable experience... now, it will always be a reminder."

Margaret had used her connections to arrange Charles' position at Boston Mercy. At first, Charles refused the help, expressing that he wanted a position based on his own merits. His confession, at the supper, that he would accept the position was a pleasant surprise to Margaret, whom he thanked just before leaving, giving her a book she treasured that he'd initially refused to let her take back to the States with her, as it was part of a collection of books.

With the 4077th packing up and the personnel moving out to return home, Charles left the camp with Rizzo in the last remaining vehicle: a garbage truck. When Rizzo pulled up in the truck, he apologized, "I hope you don't mind riding in a garbage truck, but it's the last vehicle I got", to which Winchester replied, "Not at all. What better way to leave a garbage dump!" Charles bade Hawkeye and B.J. farewell, bowing and uttering his trademark, "Gentlemen", in his typical Boston drawl, retaining his dignity to the end. Yet Winchester emerged from his experiences as a surgeon at the 4077th a changed man, and returned home a more caring, open-minded human being despite his upper class facade. Before climbing aboard the garbage truck, Charles uttered these words of farewell to Hawkeye and BJ: "I want to thank you both. You've... made me realize what going home is all about."

Quotes/Plot Holes/Interests

(Upon arriving at the camp) "An inflamed boil on the buttocks of the world"

"Gentlemen."
(often used as acknowledgement to others when departing the room, but he always added "Corporal" when referring to either Radar or Klinger.)

(arguing with Col. Potter) "Know this. You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer!"

(to Col. Baldwin) "I've groveled! I have endured your insufferable cribbage playing! I have kissed your brass! But I WILL NOT, even for a return to that pearl of the orient Tokyo, lie to protect you while destroying a friend's career!"

"I do one thing, I do it very well, and then I move on."

"Thank you, no"

(Acknowledging Klinger's dedication) "He is the Michelangelo of deviants!"

"I have no friends in Asia, only in Newport. A few in Martha's Vineyard."

(explaining how he stays dry, during a heat wave) "First of all, I don't sweat, I perspire... and second of all, I don't perspire."

"Pierce, you remind me of a Cocker Spaniel I once had. He, too, was cheerful in the mornings. So I gave him to a family of immigrant Japanese, and they ate him."

"I've heard snappier comebacks from a bowl of Rice Krispies."

(to Col. Flagg) "I will criticize Pierce, I will ridicule him, I will even humiliate him. But I will not spy on him!"

"Mr. Williamson - there is no life after Boston!"

(returning from a night treating wounded soldiers, in an overturned truck) "Be it ever so crumbled, there is no place like home."

(to a raving AWOL Italian soldier) "My good man, I have better things to do than to stand here and listen to someone make no sense in two languages!....(after being told their next meeting won't be as pleasant) "Well, this one has been enchanting, let me assure you. I can hardly wait for the next one. I shall be anxiously counting the decades!"(after which Charles, without thinking, walks onto a floor of wet cement in the O.R.)

(taping a message home to his parents) "Father, you must know someone influential who can get me out of this cesspool. Talk to Senator Griswold. After all, you paid good money for him!"

"Finally, a peaceful moment to conclude this tape. The would-be lothario Pierce is fast asleep, and the 38-hour day is done. Now, Mother and Father, I will put this as eloquently, and succinctly, as possible....(attempts to pour a cup of tea, but finds a rubber chicken in the pot instead) Get me the hell out of here!!"

On screen Plot Holes:

  • During his first appearances on M*A*S*H, on his dress uniform are three Army ribbons: the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal with an arrowhead device, and National Defense Service Medal. This would indicate Winchester had been in the front lines before, although in his initial appearance it's stated he had been at Tokyo General Hospital during the whole of his Korean War Service.
  • Despite Winchester's sincere desire to return to Massachusetts General Hospital and no other hospital, in the final episode he plans to go to Boston Mercy, saying there is no other hospital in Boston.
  • Although first introduced in the sixth season of the series as Charles Emerson Winchester, the suffix "The Third" (III) was not used as part of the character's name until episode 18 of the seventh season.
  • In another episode, Winchester claimed he last saw a dentist "seven" years ago, contradicting a previous episode where he suffered a broken tooth after being hit in the jaw by a drunken C.O.
  • In an eighth season episode, Potter smashed Winchester's phonograph and opera records. We must assume that Winchester ordered replacements from home, since he played similar records on what looked like the same phonograph in succeeding episodes throughout the series to the last episode.
  • Winchester had a fear of handguns, yet he did not mind hunting and brought a sporting shotgun with him to Korea.
  • Winchester had some similar traits with Major Frank Burns: both have bad backs {which should have disqualified both of them from military service}; and both are Presbyterians-although in Winchester's case that would be an anachronism; a "Boston Blueblood" would have belonged to an "established church" such as Congregationalist.
  • In one episode Winchester claims to have been at Battalion Aid Station at Battle of Pork Chop Hill-which occurred from March to July 1953.

Winchester's other interests include:

External links

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