Episodes: 138 (half-hour)
TV show dates: September 11, 1962 – August 20, 1966
Series status: Cancelled/ended
Performers include: Ernest Borgnine, Joe Flynn, Tim Conway, Carl Ballantine, Gary Vinson, Billy Sands, Edson Stroll, John Wright, Yoshio Yoda, Bob Hastings, Gavin MacLeod, and Roy Roberts.
TV show description:
Set in the Pacific theatre during World War II, Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale (Ernest Borgnine) is the commanding officer of the U.S. Navy’s PT boat-73. McHale is easy-going and a con-artist extraordinaire. He does his best to bend Navy regulations to ensure that he and his men have a good time, even his naive and inept second-in-command, Ensign Chuck Parker (Tim Conway).
McHale’s gung-ho crew includes overly-zealous schemer Lester Gruber (Carl Ballantine), electrician’s mate Harrison “Tinker” Bell (Billy Sands), loverboy Virgil Edwards (Edson Stroll), enthusiastic Joseph “Happy” Haines (Gavin MacLeod). Their helpful but secret stowaway is Japanese POW Fuji (Yoshio Yoda).
McHale and his men are under the command of Captain Wallace B. Binghamton (Joe Flynn) – nicknamed “Old Leadbottom.” Binghamton and his enthusiastic assistant, Lieutenant Elroy Carpenter (Bob Hastings), would love to court martial the whole bunch but their exemplary performance in battle consistently saves them.
Later in the series, the characters are transferred to Italy where they maintain the occupation of a small town, Voltaire, against the Germans. In addition to McHale and his men, Binghamton must then put up with the money-making schemes of local Mayor Mario Lugatto (Jay Novello).