Ep.1 - The Home Front

  Original Airdate: September 20, 1979 - Two hour episode
Writers: Rod Peterson & Claire Whittaker
Director: Harry Harris



John is on the local draft board and feels responsible when a neighbor’s son is killed that he drafted into the war. Erin is frustrated that J.D. won’t consider her for the Assistant Plant Manager position. Aimee Godsey has eyes for Jim-Bob which frustrates Elizabeth.


  "It was one spring day during the war that our mother came back to us and with her arrival it seemed that everything began to look brighter. In Europe and North Africa the Allied forces were gaining strength giving new hope to those of us on the home front. There were dark days still ahead, but for now it was peaceful on the mountain and my family rejoiced in being together again."



John brings Olivia home from the Sanatorium. The family is excited to see her again and she meets Cindy, Ben’s wife, for the first time. At dinner, Daddy admits that he was so excited that they were almost half way home when he realized he left her luggage on Aunt Kate’s porch and they had to go back to fetch it. Ben says they had to save up their ration points for the roast they are eating for dinner. They update their Mama on all the changes on the mountain. Elizabeth is excited that Aimee Godsey will be returning from boarding school. Sheriff Bridges stops by tell John that Tommy Satterfield has gone AWOL. He asks John if he can locate him as he will be in big trouble if he doesn’t report to Norfolk the following day..

Jason puts a few troops through marching practice. One of the men, Lipinsky, can’t keep his left and right side straight and keeps bumping into the other men. A commanding officer watches frustration and then chastises Jason for not being tough enough on “The Goon Squad” who have fallen behind the rest of the new recruits.

John stops by the Satterfield home and talks to Calvin the father of the young AWOL recruit. Calvin comes out with his rifle and tells John he is wasting his time looking for his son. John says that the army doesn’t take kindly to deserters. He calls out to Tommy and tells him that he is alone. Tommy comes outside from the safety of his house. He says that there is not enough breathing room for him in the army. Tommy doesn’t think he will come back. John says that he didn’t want to go 25 years ago himself. He was just married and had a son but he felt he owed something to his country and himself. John says that he won’t report that he saw him but Tommy has a change of heart and says that he will put on his uniform and come with him to the reporting station. During the drive Tommy feels that the war has nothing to do with him. John says that most men feel that way in the beginning but that he will feel different as time moves on. Tommy asks John to look in on his parents from time to time while he is away.

Cindy joins Olivia out in the garden. She asks Olivia about her first pregnancy. Cindy is not sure that she is ready for a child but she wants whatever Ben wants. Ben talks to his Daddy about the same topic while they prep lumber for their orders at he mill. Ben says that it is taking a long time for Cindy to become pregnant. John says that it will happen when the time is right and looks forward to the birth of a grandson.

Jim-Bob drops off some scrap metal at Ike’s for the war effort. He sees Elizabeth hanging a welcome home sign for Aimee’s return from finishing school. Jim-Bob gives her a hand just as the Godsey’s arrive with Aimee. Aimee enters the store with an air of refinement and superiority. She speaks French with he mother and has no interest in seeing any of her old school friends. She agrees to go on a picnic with Elizabeth and Jim-Bob. She leaves with her mother to unpack. Jim-Bob says that Aimee is much different now. Ike says that Corabeth and Aimee spoke French all the way home. You can see a troubled look on his face.

At Pickett’s Defense Plant Erin is becoming frustrated with al the work she has to do because J.D. won’t focus long enough to do his share of the managing.

At the training barracks Jason plays his guitar and sings. Lipinsky hears him and comes in. He didn’t join the other men on their night out. He tells Jason about his family near Chicago. He thanks Jason for not being so hard on him during training. He then joins in with Jason as he finishes the song Jason started.

John stops by Ike’s store and learns that Tommy was killed by a German torpedo while en route to Europe. The next morning John and Olivia visit the Satterfield’s and find that Calvin has gone off after taking the news hard. His wife and her oldest married daughter talk to the Waltons. The daughter says that she will hide her husband high in the mountains if they come looking to draft him.

Erin is frustrated at work. She is tired of doing all the office management without even a rise. Mary Ellen who has been employed as the company nurse overhears her and tells her to ask J.D. for the Assistant Manager position and a raise. J.D. come out just as Erin is all fired up and takes him off guard. He says that he will consider a raise but won’t let her have the job.

Corabeth has sneaks a look at Aimee’s diary while she is away on a picnic with Elizabeth and Jim-Bob. It seems that she is quite smitten with Jim-Bob. Ike says that it is wrong to be looking at her private thoughts.

Elizabeth becomes frustrated with Aimee who appears to be interested in Jim-Bob and other boys that spending time with her.

Jason comes home for the weekend and practices his skills at being a sergeant with his brothers which results in them all horse fighting in their bedroom. After dinner the family enjoy’s dessert in the living room. Calvin Satterfield shouts from outside. John says that it sounds like he’s had too much Mountain Dew. John goes outside to talk to him. Calvin threatens to take the life on one of his son’s in exchange for he life of the son he lost. He shoots his rifle into the air and scares the family inside. Olivia runs out to check on John as Calvin disappears into the night.

Part 2

Elizabeth comes down in the morning and is worried about her Daddy. She heard her parents arguing late into the night about Calvin Satterfield. Her Mama comes down and tells her the bathroom is free so she can get ready for church. Olivia is worried about Calvin but John doesn’t want to start a war with him unless absolutely necessary. He thinks Calvin will be embarrassed by his actions after he sobers up.

Elizabeth and Aimee walk to church as agreed. They make a plan to go see see the movie “Jane Eyre”. Jim-Bob pulls up in his car and offers them a ride. Aimee says her feet hurt and joins him while Elizabeth continues to walk. Jim-Bob asks Aimee out to the movies and Aimee agrees knowing that she has conflicted with her plans with Elizabeth.

At church J.D. Pickett greets Erin and Mary Ellen outside. He says that he prefers seeing the ladies in their pretty dresses over the “Rosie the Riveter” pants he sees at the plant. Mary Ellen comes up with an idea to give J.D. a taste of his own medicine. Corabeth and Ike arrive and see Olivia walking with Jason. They greet her and say how nice it is to see her back at the church again. Jim-Bob and Aimee arrive in his rusty jalopy. Corabeth is quite beside herself and thinks that Jim-Bob shouldn’t be so busy pursuing Aimee who is 3 years younger than him. Olivia says that he isn’t the one doing the pursuing. Ike agrees and thinks that she learned too much adult things at the boarding school. Olivia waits for Elizabeth to arrive who states that she hates Aimee and Jim-Bob, herself and the entire world.

At home Mary Ellen scolds John Curtis who has been getting too close to the hot stove. Jason comes outside to talk with his Daddy and says that maybe he needs to be more strict with his troops. His Daddy agrees. He says that being a little mean now might be the kindest thing he can do he it saves one of their lives.

Ben and Cindy give Jason a ride to Camp Rockfish. Calvin Satterfield almost hits their car when he drunkenly drives past. He stops and backs up when he sees the Walton boys. He gets out with his gun and says he meant every word he said the other night to their Daddy but he won’t act on it now because Cindy is there.

Later at the store Calvin pulls up and asks about the return of his son’s body while John is there getting gas. Calvin won’t agree to settle things with John. He wants the life of one of his sons.

J.D. pulls up to work and is beside himself at the sight of Erin in an 1860’s southern belle hoop skirt. She serves him tea and cookies. Each time she bends over her dress rises and reveals her underpinnings. J.D. is embarrassed at the sight. The stunts results in Erin receiving the Assistant Manager position.

At breakfast Cindy can’t stand to look at her sunny-side up eggs. She becomes nauseous and the family realizes that she has morning sickness and will be expecting a baby. They erupt into celebration.

At the Godsey’s Corabeth and Aimee prepare to go to the Red Cross meeting to wrap bandages for the war effort. Corabeth asks Ike to wash the front windows without leaving any streaks. Aimee then scolds he Daddy for chewing on a toothpick like a commoner. Corabeth corrects her to not to talk to her father that way even if it is true.

Jim-Bob pulls some parts off an old abandoned rusty car in a field. Calvin Satterfield sees him and takes a shot at him as he attempts to drive away. Calvin misses and hits Jim-Bob’s windshield just as Jim-Bob bends over while trying to start his car. The next day his Daddy and Sheriff Bridges go off to talk with Calvin who is busy digging his son’s grave by the lake. John can’t prove anything that Calvin did or said. It’s his word against Calvin. The Sheriff says that he will keep his eye on Calvin.

At Camp Rockfish Jason gets promoted to Sergeant after he whips his men in to shape. They are going out on bivouac.

Mama finds Elizabeth outside sitting at the picnic table. Elizabeth asks about her best friend when she was her age. Mama tells her about her friend Betty Sue Weber. Mama says that

Aimee and Corabeth unpack a box of “leg make-up”. Ike can’t understand what the fuss is about. Jim-Bob arrives at the store and asks to speak with Aimee. He says that he is disappointed that she cancelled her plans with Elizabeth to go out with him. He breaks their date saying that she is too young for him. He says that she is real cute but she has a lot of growing up to do. He says that they can maybe try again in a few years. She goes back inside and apologizes to her parents and hugs her father saying how horrible she was to him and everyone else. He says that is what rowing up is all about, making mistakes and learning from them. Aimee goes over to apologize to Elizabeth. They come to an understanding and go back to Aimee’s to listen to Frank Sinatra’s new album.

The Sheriff drops drop back off at home. He immediately goes upstairs to the attic and fetches his rifle. Olivia and Ben try to stop him but he says this is his situation to fix. He arrives at the Satterfield’s and calls Calvin outside who was about to leave to pick up his son’s body. As the men take position to do battle Olivia arrives with Ben and Jim-Bob and a Telegram reporting that John-Boy has gone missing in action while reporting on assignment for Starts and Stripes. Calvin drops his rifle and fight with John when he learns the news. Calvin’s son Tommy is buried with full military honors.


  There was no Epilogue or "Goodnights" for this episode.

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Actress Eunice Christopher who plays Mrs. Satterfield previously appeared as a librarian in "The Bequest" (s2-ep12)

Additional Cast:



Guest Stars:George Ralph DiCenzo (Calvin Satterfield), Glenn Withrow (Tommy Satterfield), Eunice Christopher (Mrs. Satterfield) with: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Leslie Winston (Cindy), John Crawford (Sheriff Ep Bridges), Lewis Arquette (J.D. Pickett), Don Matheson (Sergeant Barnes), Todd Susman (Ted Lapinsky), Rachel Longaker (Aimee Godsey), Jeanne Campise (Pearl)

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