Home Television Comedy Ensign O’Toole

Ensign O’Toole

1 9 6 2 (USA)
26 x 25 minute episodes

Mindless services comedy from NBC revolving around the predicaments of a young naval officer and his shipmates.

31-year-old Disney darling Dean Jones played the titular Navy Ensign, who served in the Pacific aboard the USS Appleby, a peacetime US Navy destroyer patrolling the South Pacific.

O’Toole kept things lively instigating pranks while avoiding any work and trying to show up his nemesis, rich but befuddled Lt. Rex St. John (Jack Mullaney). He also could answer almost any trivia question and spoke several languages.

O’Toole always seemed to be butting heads with Chief Petty Officer Homer Nelson (Jay C. Flippen), who was always in search of a poker game.

Jack Albertson played Lieutenant Commander Virgil Stoner, who was usually addressed as Mr Stoner by the crew. Appearing occasionally were Beau Bridges as Seaman Howard Spicer; Bob Sorrels as Seaman Claude White; Stuart Margolin as Lieutenant Miller; and Ken Berry as Lieutenant Melton.

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Future M*A*S*H star Harry Morgan popped up as a guest star as Charlie the cook, whose food was practically inedible, in “Operation: Mess”.

The 26 episodes – which aired on NBC at 7:00 pm on Sunday nights – were all very predictable but occasionally funny.

The fictitious USS Appleby was portrayed by the real-life US Navy destroyer USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754), which was commissioned in 1945. Tragically, a few years after Ensign O’Toole, the ship was cut in half in a collision with the Royal Australian Navy aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne on 3 June 1969. 74 of the crew perished.

Ensign O’Toole
Dean Jones
Chief Petty Officer Homer Nelson
Jay C Flippen
Seaman Gabby DiJulio 
Harvey Lembeck
Lt. Rex St. John
Jack Mullaney
Lt. Cmdr. Virgil Stoner
Jack Albertson
Seaman Howard Spicer
Beau Bridges
Seaman Claude White 
Robert Sorrells