Tour of Duty (season 3)

This is a list of episodes from the third and final season of Tour of Duty, along with episode summaries.

Tour of Duty
Season 3
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes21
Original networkCBS
Original releaseSeptember 23, 1989 (1989-09-23) –
April 28, 1990 (1990-04-28)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2






  • L. Travis Clark (21 episodes)
  • Steve Duncan (21 episodes)
  • Robert Bielak (4 episodes)
  • Brian Herskowitz (1 episode)



No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
381"The Luck"Stephen L. PoseyJerry Patrick BrownSeptember 23, 1989 (1989-09-23)16.4[1]10.2/18[1]
Anderson and Goldman are listed as MIA in the aftermath of an artillery strike. The platoon, McKay, and Alex Devlin deal with the loss in different ways. Johnson gets promoted to sergeant and has to fill in the shoes of Anderson. Alex Devlin wants to put Vietnam and Goldman behind her and accepts a position as correspondent in Paris. Anderson and Goldman in fact have been taken POW. In a stopover village, they figure out where they are and realize that they are being ferried northwards. They need to escape, because their chances to make it back to their own lines are dwindling.
392"Doc Hock"Randy RobertsRobert BielakSeptember 30, 1989 (1989-09-30)13.3[2]8.1/15[2]
With Goldman recovering and transferring to Intelligence, Anderson meets the replacement Lieutenant Miller, who is keen on appearance by the book, which is something the new medic, Francis Hockenbury, takes lightly. Alex Devlin gets the rare opportunity to interview NVA General Thoc in a tunnel complex. After surviving a B-52 strike on the complex, she is happy to be back in Saigon and spend her last night with Goldman.
403"The Ties that Bind"Stephen L. PoseyCarol MendelsohnOctober 7, 1989 (1989-10-07)15.0[3]9.3/17[3]
The platoon is transferred to Camp Barnett MACV-SOG from where they will conduct unconventional warfare and counter-insurgency operations. Anderson is not extending his tour and uses his saved up free time to return to the US earlier to go see his daughter Katie for the first time in two years. The squads' first assignment is to snatch a VC tax collector. Goldman, mourning the loss of Alex Devlin, is distracted, and Johnson is trying to adjust to his role as the new "sarge".
414"Lonely at the Top"Edwin SherinDavid KemperOctober 14, 1989 (1989-10-14)10.9[4]6.9/12[4]
The platoon is searching for a recon-squad that disappeared. During the various patrols, Johnson's leadership abilities are severely put to the test, and he has doubts whether he still has the edge. Anderson meets up with Jennifer Seymour and proposes to marry her. She says yes to share her life with him, but she also senses that Anderson isn't ready yet to end the life he shared with his men in Vietnam.
425"A Bodyguard of Lies"Jim JohnstonBrian HerskowitzOctober 28, 1989 (1989-10-28)12.4[5]7.5/13[5]
Lt. Beller, a close friend of Goldman, and his platoon will function as a blocking force, while Goldman's squad searches for weapon caches and flushes out the enemy in several villages. Beller is disillusioned, and his platoon is war weary, due to prolonged time in combat, suffering casualties, and not getting results. During a search, Anderson and Goldman hear gunfire, and they shortly after run into Beller, followed by a gruesome discovery in the nearby village of Phu An. Purcell is strung out from the war, and the upper- and downer-pills he is taking affects his performance and his mood.
436"A Necessary End"Stephen L. PoseyJerry Patrick BrownNovember 4, 1989 (1989-11-04)12.5[6]7.7/13[6]
The squad is deep in enemy territory, kidnapping a high-ranking NVA officer. Purcell is not with them, after spending the night in jail. He is fed up with the military and, despite Ruiz's efforts, deserts. McKay helps out an orphanage run by nuns. He is happy being useful in a different way for a change, until he witnesses a Buddhist commit suicide in the streets. The Army wants to keep the Phu An massacre quiet; Beller's platoon is dissolved, and Beller and his men are transferred to other units.
447"Cloud Nine"George KaczenderRobert BielakNovember 11, 1989 (1989-11-11)13.5[7]7.9/14[7]
The guys yank Purcell out of Cholon. Although safe from being branded a deserter, he now has to face drug withdrawal symptoms for the next few days. The platoon is tasked with finding out how the NVA is getting truckloads of supplies into an area without roads. Colonel Brewster learns that the Army isn't doing anything regarding the massacre at Phu An and has no other option than to go to the press.
458"Thanks for the Memories"Paul LynchCarol MendelsohnNovember 18, 1989 (1989-11-18)14.1[8]8.5/15[8]
With Thanksgiving as a backdrop; Colonel Brewster's decision to go to the press about the Phu An massacre lands him a lot of trouble with the higher echelon, especially when he goes on the record with journalist Sid Boyle. Purcell, after his cold turkey, is physically fine but psychologically still shaken. Goldman, Anderson, and the squad are gathering evidence for Colonel Brewster's theory that the NVA must have fuel storage dumps at regular intervals along the Ho Chi Minh trail.
469"I Am What I Am"Bradford MayDavid KemperDecember 2, 1989 (1989-12-02)11.2[9]7.1/12[9]
Myron Goldman's father shows up, telling him he doesn't have long to live. After getting over the initial tension, they start talking and actually get to know each other for the first time in years. Johnson becomes a short-timer, and his friends in the platoon want to know his plans. Ruiz gets acquainted with Susana Lozada, an OR-assistant. The squad is preparing to get their hands on an enemy helicopter. Their orders are to destroy it, or if possible, fly it back, as McKay is joining the team. Purcell is also coming and keeps a low profile, but, after a little encouragement by "Doc" Hockenbury, he proves he hasn't lost his edge.
4710"World in Changes"Helaine HeadJames KearnsDecember 9, 1989 (1989-12-09)11.7[10]7.3/13[10]
An elusive NVA sniper makes life hard for everybody, but particularly for McKay, as the sniper targets helicopters. The squad assists ruthless CIA-operative Duke Fontaine in removing an important VC official from the ranks. The mission becomes complicated when Taylor and Johnson, the latter three days short, are captured by the VC.
4811"Green Christmas"James A. ContnerSteven Phillip SmithDecember 23, 1989 (1989-12-23)14.4[11]8.2/14[11]
It's Christmas time, and the squad is making ready to celebrate and hand out presents to the children at the nearby orphanage. Johnson has returned home to his parents in Mississippi. His plan to study at a local university is not met with the favorable response he was hoping for.
4912"Odd Man Out"James A. ContnerDavid EhrmanJanuary 6, 1990 (1990-01-06)12.7[12]7.6/13[12]
Taylor gets passed up for promotion to sergeant and, with Johnson back in the United States, he feels outnumbered and starts to associates himself with more radical Afro-Americans. However, the squads' latest mission, the liberation and safe return of the wife of a high ranking ARVN officer, puts things in perspective.
5013"And Make Death Proud to Take Us"George KaczenderJerry Patrick BrownJanuary 20, 1990 (1990-01-20)13.2[13]7.9/13[13]
When the team returns from a five-day jungle mission, they find the camp packed with newbies. Tet is approaching and Goldman's SOG-team is ordered to work with regular army units to eradicate the jungles around Saigon of enemy personnel. The team is charged with reconnoitering the jungles for NVA, based on Duke Fontaine's intelligence. Goldman's squad is to install sensors along trails, while Anderson's squad will use an abandoned outpost to monitor the area. Many kilometers away from support and each other, both Anderson and Goldman have their hands full in accomplishing their assignment and on-the-job-training of the new recruits.
5114"Dead Man Tales"Bradford MayRobert BielakFebruary 3, 1990 (1990-02-03)12.8[14]7.7/13[14]
Taylor gets his long awaited sergeant's stripes. The NVA sniper is still targeting Camp Barnett. Colonel Stringer launches a full scale attack after Major Duncan gets sniped. During the operation, several men of Goldman's platoon get killed by friendly fire from McKay's chopper. McKay feels immensely responsible and takes off by himself in the boonies to track and kill the sniper once and for all.
5215"Road to Long Binh"Steve DubinDavid Kemper & Carol MendelsohnFebruary 10, 1990 (1990-02-10)11.7[15]7.4/13[15]
When food poisoning effectively puts the entire camp sick in their bunks, it is up to Anderson and Goldman to escort Staff Sergeant Jonathan Digby to Long Binh, where he will be court martialled for desertion. The long road trip allows everybody to get to know each other better, including that Sergeant Digby's reasons for desertion are not as straightforward as his military record says.
5316"Acceptable Losses"Bradford MayDavid Kemper & Carol MendelsohnFebruary 17, 1990 (1990-02-17)13.2[16]7.9/14[16]
Taylor & Ruiz get trapped behind enemy lines. Escaping and evading the enemy for days, they make their way to a suitable rendezvous point, only to find it crawling with NVA. Army life goes on for the rest of the team: Anderson receives his DSC, new recruits, including lifer Scarlet, come in, and sabotage missions are conducted. Duke Fontaine is thrilled when he learns he is "wanted dead or alive" by the NVA.
5417"Vietnam Rag"George KaczenderRobert BielakFebruary 24, 1990 (1990-02-24)12.6[17]7.7/13[17]
Taylor and Ruiz have been missing for three weeks. The Army might have forgotten about them, but the team has not. The influx of new recruits, the return to "Search and Destroy" type patrols, makes the men wonder what it is all about. The patrol is an accumulation of one accident after another: with newbies getting medevac-ed on a regular basis and the veterans grinding their teeth over the pointlessness. The situation is aggravated by the presence of photographer documenting every step and mishap.
5518"War is a Contact Sport"Stephen CaffreyDavid KemperMarch 24, 1990 (1990-03-24)13.8[18]7.9/14[18]
After an incident in the boonies, which leaves a GI dead, Hockenbury gets shunned by the others, and he gets transferred by Goldman. Hockenbury has got to come to terms with the fact that his ideals are not compatible with reality. Colonel Brewster has returned, leading the investigations into the Phu An massacre by Lt. Beller and his platoon. General Higgins is less than pleased by his presence. After three weeks of being listed as MIA: Taylor and Ruiz are united with their buddies. The platoon is tracking an NVA motorised supply column, but they find themselves scrambling for cover when an enemy tank enters the scene.
5619"Three Cheers for the Orange, White & Blue"Stephen L. PoseyCarol MendelsohnApril 14, 1990 (1990-04-14)11.4[19]7.4/14[19]
Goldman, Brewster, Beller, and other soldiers are questioned during an official inquiry into the Phu An massacre. Anderson is leading the team in the field, where they assist another SOG team. Robbie, the son of "Pop" Scarlet, is a member of the other team. The reunion is friendly, but Scarlet Senior is not happy with his son's aggressive attitude and trophy collecting. McKay is advising Hockenbury to make amends with others, because you need your buddies to make it through the war.
5720"The Raid"Jim JohnstonJim JohnstonApril 28, 1990 (1990-04-28)12.7[20]8.1/15[20]
(This episode was originally aired as a two-hour episode with "Payback" below) Colonel Brewster is putting together a POW rescue operation into North Vietnam. The training is intense. Former prisoner of the camp, Air Force Major Chapman, explains the layout of the facility and the horrifying details of the treatment by the prison guards. The execution of the operation is not exactly a success, with only one casualty, although "Pop" Scarlet and McKay do get seriously injured and Griner loses his eyesight. Unfortunately, the camp is empty, frustrating Duke Fontaine, who was very excited about this mission based on his intelligence gathering. Despite this, Major Chapman thanks the men, saying that other POWs will hear about this and draw strength from knowing that they are not forgotten. Danny Purcell and Alberto Ruiz have completed their tour of duty and fly home.
5821"Payback"Jim JohnstonJerry Patrick BrownApril 28, 1990 (1990-04-28)12.7[20]8.1/15[20]
(This episode was originally aired as a two-hour episode with "The Raid" above) Back in the USA, Ruiz, Purcell, McKay, and Griner are adapting to civilian life, which is not easy. They all run into people who, in one way or another, do not want to know about the war or anybody involved with it. Hockenbury, while working in the dispensary, is shocked when he is told to give morphine to badly injured soldiers, effectively euthanizing them. Supply Sgt. Hannegan gets into an argument with a vengeful soldier. Goldman, Anderson, and Taylor have to deal with soldiers who either don't understand or don't care anymore.


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External linksEdit