follows Quinton McHale (Ernest Borgnine
), the Lieutenant Commander of the U.S. Navy Reserve as he journeys through the Pacific during World War II on Torpedo Patrol Boat #73 and the zany crew that mans it. The crew includes Ensign Charles Parker (Tim Conway
), Lester Gruber (Carl Ballantine
), and Joseph "Happy" Haines (Gavin MacLeod
), each having their own quirks but all meaning well. McHale is overseen by Base Commander Captain Wallace B. Binghamton (Joe Flynn
) who sees McHale and his men as a constant problem, often hearing of the oddball situations in which the men of the PT73 find themselves.
The popularity of the series led to the production of two movies based on the series: McHale's Navy
in 1964 and McHale's Navy Joins The Air Force
in 1965. A 1997 film was also produced based on the TV series which starred Tom Arnold, Debra Messing, Dean Stockwell, Tim Curry, and original cast member Borgnine.