|Sergeant Billy Tyler|
Sergent Billy Tyler seen here sheltering from a mortar attack in "End Run".
|Rank:||Sergeant (E-5), U.S. Army|
|Job/Role in Unit:||wounded soldier who arrives at the 4077th|
|Height:||unable to estimate|
|Weight:||unable to estimate|
|First appeared in:||"End Run" (Season 5)|
|Last appeared in:||N/A, one-time appearance|
|Appeared on/or in:||M*A*S*H|
|Played by:||Henry Brown|
Sergeant Billy Tyler is leading a patrol when they come under mortar attack. One of his men is wounded and Billy runs to help him but he himself is then hit by another exploding shell. At the battalion aid station, the battalion surgeon decides to call in an immediate heli-medevac for Tyler because he thinks he won't survive a road journey to the MASH.
On arrival at pre-op at the 4077th MASH, Radar is elated as he recognizes Tyler as the All-American running back from Iowa. Just as Tyler is being sedated for his operation, he asks the doctors what they intend to do. B.J. replies, "Our very best." But Tyler is only concerned about his leg. He tells the doctors, "If you can't save the leg, don't save me."
It is a difficult operation, involving Potter, B.J., Hawkeye and Margaret. They save his life, but Hawkeye has the difficult task of telling Tyler that they had to amputate his leg as the injuries were just too severe. Tyler is upset and nothing the doctors say can console him. As Radar tells Hawkeye and B.J. later, "He wants out." Tyler tells Hawkeye there is no point living as the only thing he knows how to do is to run. But Hawkeye tells him that he is still running, only he is running away.
Later, Radar visits Tyler in post op with a copy of Life Magazine. He shows Tyler a story about the Iowa-Minnesota game the year before and points to a picture of Tyler being tackled. This gets Tyler talking and he recounts the moments of the game and how his team went "for the short pass", making progress a little at a time and finally scored the winner in the last 20 seconds of the game. He tells Radar, "There's always a way to beat 'em. You just have to keep trying till you find it." Just then he pauses, as he realizes what he just heard himself say, and what Radar has been trying to draw out of him.
As Tyler is leaving the MASH on an ambulance, he says one last goodbye to Radar and Hawkeye. Radar proudly tells Hawkeye that he and Tyler are on first name terms. Asked what decisions he has made, Tyler says he has decided "to go for the short pass". This response, meaning that he is going to keep trying, delights Radar but puzzles Hawkeye.