Home Television Comedy Wackiest Ship In The Army, The

Wackiest Ship In The Army, The

1 9 6 5 – 1 9 6 6 (USA)
29 x 60 minute episodes

This NBC comedy series (based on the 1960 movie of the same name) was set in the South Pacific during World War II aboard a commandeered 70-year-old two-masted 1871 schooner (the Kiwi).

Obsolete and badly in need of repairs, the ship was staffed with a token crew while the US Navy tried to figure out what to do with it. They soon discovered that it possessed certain unique qualities that made it a useful espionage weapon . . .

Its wooden hull did not show up on radar, its sailing power did not register on sonar, and its shallow draft allowed it to travel in waters not deep enough for larger ships. And so the Kiwi went to war.

Tough veteran Army Intelligence Major Simon Butcher (Jack Warden) was put in charge of the operation while Navy lieutenant Richard ‘Rip’ Riddle (Gary Collins) skippered the boat.

The crew posed as neutral Swedish sailors thus allowing them to sail into enemy waters and observe Japanese movements, assist allies and inform US officials of enemy strategy.

While Butcher was Riddle’s superior, onboard the vessel he was subordinate to the skipper – yielding to the younger man’s orders with a dry sarcasm.

Major Simon Butcher
Jack Warden
Lt Richard ‘Rip’ Riddle

Gary Collins
CPO Willie Miller

Mike Kellin
Gunners Mate Sherman Nagurski
Rudy Solari
Ship’s Cook Charles Tyler

Don Penny
Radioman Patrick Hollis

Mark Slade
Machinist’s Mate Seymour Trivers
Fred Smoot
General Cross

William Zuckert
Admiral Vincent Beckett

Charles Irving