Wackiest Ship in the Army was a 60 minute war comedy series on NBC about a 70-year-old, twin-masted, wooden schooner that was used by the U.S. Navy during World War II to sneak spies behind the Japanese lines.
Wackiest Ship in the Army CastJack Warden ............... Major Simon Butcher
Gary Collins .............. Lieutenant Richard P. "Rip" Riddle
Mike Kellin ............... Chief Petty Officer William "Willie" Miller
Rudy Solari ............... Gunner's Mate Sherman Nagurski
Don Penny ................. Pharmacist's Mate Charles Tyler, ship's cook
Mark Slade ................ Radioman Patrick Hollis
Fred Smoot ................ Machinist's Mate Seymour Trivers
Charles Irving ............ Admiral Vincent Beckett
Bill Zuckert .............. General Cross
Wackiest Ship in the Army Trivia
There were a few well-known guest stars who appeared on The Wackiest Ship in the Army TV show. Harry Morgan ("M*A*S*H*") was on episode #10, "The Lady and the Luluai". Robert Loggia ("Mancuso, FBI") on episode #17, "What is Honor - A Word?". Jill Ireland ("Shane") episode #19, "Liberty Was a Lady". George Takei (The "Original Star Trek") appeared on both episode #3, "Goldbrickers" and episode #20, "My Father's Keeper".
The Wackiest Ship in the Army had some pretty decent competition in its time slot. ABC was airing the last half of the "ABC Sunday Night Movie" and CBS was broadcasting "Candid Camera" and "What's My Line?".
The ship's name was the "U.S.S. Kiwi". It was based on a real-life ship which was loaned to the U.S. Navy in 1942 by our World War II allies, the citizens of New Zealand. It was named the "U.S.S. Echo" until returned to New Zealand in 1944.
Several of the actors on The Wackiest Ship in the Army had starring roles on other series. Jack Warden played "Harry Fox" on the series, "Crazy Like a Fox". Gary Collins portrayed "Dr. Michael Rhodes" on "The Sixth Sense". Mark Slade appeared as "Billy Blue Cannon" on "The High Chaparral".
One interesting aspect of the Wackiest Ship in the Army was that the U.S.S. Kiwi was under the command of a soon to be retired Army Major while it was in port and under command of a Navy Lieutenant while at sea. The two commanders often had disagreements over how a mission should be conducted and the Army and Navy men under them also had regular conflicts with each other. In the end, however, they would always work things out and do their best to make the mission a success.
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
The First and Only Season
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