“McHale’s Navy” …. They Don’t Make Them Like This Anymore!

By | September 5, 2018

test article image
Ernest Borgnine And Jean Willie In 'McHale's Navy 'Claudine Longet, Ernest Borgnine and Jean Willie all close for a photograph in a scene from the television series 'McHale's Navy', 1962. (Photo by ABC/Getty Images)

McHale’s Navy is one of those television sitcoms that was popular in the '60s in the U.S. While the show was filmed and aired in the '60s, it was set in the '40s during World War II. It was a lighthearted distraction for viewers amid the growing cultural unrest at the time.

Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale was portrayed by the Oscar Award and Academy Awarding winning, Ernest Borgnine.

McHale was the Commanding Officer of the fictional U.S. Navy PT-73. He and his men were stationed in the Pacific on an island they refer to as McHale’s Island. It is directly across from another South Pacific island called Taratupa, which is where the main Naval Base is located.

Joe Flynn portrayed Captain Binghampton on the hit television sitcom, McHale’s Navy.

As the story went, McHale and his men were a group of misfits that used any advantage they could to get one over on Captain Binghampton. If you remember watching McHale’s Navy, you will remember that although they were technically on the same side, McHale and his men were always at odds with their Captain. The Captain’s name was Wallace B. Binghampton but McHale and his men often referred to him as, “Wally” or “Captain Leadbottom.” Binghampton spent most of his waking hours trying to figure out a way to expose McHale and his men for the many antics they pulled. He dreamt of having the whole bunch court-martialed. 

test article image

“Knock it off, you eight balls!”

The men who served under McHale, much like McHale himself, were always scheming. Just about the only thing military about them was their uniforms. Most of their antics involved pranks, money, gambling and womanizing. McHale, as Commanding Officer, often tried to put his foot down on some of the stunts his men pulled. He was known to call them goofballs and/or eight balls. More often than not, however, he usually followed suit and got involved in the craziness.