Episodes: 65 (half-hour)
TV show dates: September 14, 1965 — April 6, 1967
Series status: Cancelled
Performers include: Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch, Ken Berry, Melody Patterson, James Hampton, Frank DeKova, Bob Steele, Ben Frommer, Don Diamond, Joe Brooks, Ivan Bell, John Mitchum, and Edward Everett Horton.
TV show description:
This sitcom is set at Fort Courage, a fictional US Army outpost in Kansas. It takes place shortly after the end of the Civil War in 1865. The troops are commanded by Captain Wilton Parmenter (Ken Berry), a good-natured but ultimately clumsy and clueless soldier. As the theme song tells us, he was awarded the Medal of Honor after accidentally instigating the final charge at the Battle of Appomattox. His commanding officers wanted to reward his action but were well aware of his ineptitude so they gave him command of Fort Courage, a dumping ground for the army’s least useful soldiers and misfits.
Helping Captain Parmenter are his crooked but amiable non-commissioned officers, Sergeant Morgan O’Rourke (Forrest Tucker) and Corporal Randolph Agarn (Larry Storch). They are alternately seeking to expand and conceal their illicit businesses, referred to as “O’Rourke Enterprises”. They bargain extensively with the local Native American Hekawi tribe, led by cranky Chief Wild Eagle (Frank DeKova) and his flamboyant assistant, Crazy Cat (Don Diamond).
Although O’Rourke and Agarn take full advantage of Captain Parmenter’s naivete, they’re also fond of and fiercely protective of him, if for no other reason than they know a good set-up when they have it.
Other misfit soldiers under Parmenter’s command include inept bugler Private First Class Hannibal Shirley Dobbs (James Hampton), legally-blind lookout Private Vanderbilt (Joe Brooks), elderly Private Duffy (Bob Steele), overweight Private Duddleson (Ivan Bell), .
Parmenter also struggles to exert his authority outside the ranks and that includes trying to escape the matrimonial plans of his shopkeeper–postmistress girlfriend, Jane Angelica Thrift (Melody Patterson) — a strong-willed tomboy beauty known locally as “Wrangler Jane.”
Episode 65 — Is This Fort Really Necessary?
An officer in charge of closing down unnecessary forts arrives at Fort Courage. Everyone believes he’s there to shut it down but he formerly stationed there and returns to get married.
First aired: April 6, 1967.