After his South Pacific PT Boat Base is destroyed in a Japanese raid, a Navy Commander is reluctant to risk the lives of a handful of survivors, when a Navy Lieutenant is sent to make the base operational again.
Ensign Charles Parker reports for duty as the new Executive Officer of the PT 73, to a not-so-warm welcome from McHale and The Crew. But McHale is soon impressed by the Ensign, and persuades the boys to shape up, so that Parker can stay on as XO.
Lester Gruber has been given the job of laundering Captain Binghamton's uniforms. When a Japanese sub fires on the PT 73, the uniforms are destroyed, and Lester's finger is scratched, prompting him to put in for a Purple Heart.
McHale decides that what Ensign Parker really needs is a girl friend. He convinces Parker that he is suffering from an advanced case of battle fatigue so that he can be sent to the hospital, where McHale hopes that he will find Nurse Casey Brown to his liking.
When McHale and his men are assigned the duty of averting a Japanese attack on a US convoy, they use the soundtracks of movies starring John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, and Errol Flynn to confuse the enemy.
McHale tries to figure out a way for Christy and his true love, Lt. Gloria Winters, to get married, even though it is against regulations for an officer to marry an enlisted man. But the lovebirds have even more problems: Binghamton schedules maneuvers on the evening of the wedding, and the Japanese schedule an all-out battle.moreless
A plane with the Singing Tyler Sisters aboard is forced down with engine trouble on a deserted island. McHale and The 73 Crew are sent to pick them up, with more than their rescue on their minds, but wind up being quite disappointed.
Binghamton sends McHale and The 73 Crew on a recon mission to a supposedly deserted island, where they make a ‘Home away from home' to enjoy themselves, away from the base. But, the U.S. Navy, as well as the Japanese, become suspicious, when they observe unusual activity on the island.
A Photo Journalist for the Office of War Information – An extremely unpleasant person, with whom McHale is familiar – Is sent to Taratupa to do a story on PT Boats and their Crews. Through a case of mistaken identity, McHale and the boys are stuck with her, and must scheme to try to get rid of her.moreless
Binghamton's reputation as a ‘desk jockey' brings on a desire for some real combat experience, so, while McHale is away at New Caledonia, he assumes command of the 73, and goes out looking for action, with disappointing results.
Some local natives – Who depend on McHale and his men for their income – Are up in arms over Binghamton's having made their village off-limits to McHale and his Crew. But Binghamton must re-establish good relations with them, for the upcoming inspection tour of The Undersecretary Of The Navy.
The Navy has issued a directive stating that all overweight Combat Officers will be shipped out, and, when Binghamton goes all out to see that McHale goes over the weight limit, the boys cook up a plan to keep him with them.
A pesky Japanese Pilot – Whom the base personnel have dubbed ‘Washing Machine Charlie' – Is wreaking havoc, with his daily strafing runs on Taratupa, and McHale and the 73 Crew have an incentive to bring him down.
When a Japanese radio announcer broadcasts details about Captain Binghamton that only someone close to him would know, Binghamton immediately suspects McHale and The 73 Crew, and enlists Parker's aid in nailing the traitor.
Lovely Yvette Gerard has invited Parker to join her for a weekend at her island home. When Binghamton denies him leave, McHale works up a plan for Parker to have a ‘working vacation' on the island, which winds up with an unexpected bonus.
Binghamton schemes to get McHale chosen for a Liaison Officer's position, in Sydney, Austrailia. But, when McHale finds out that he will be going alone, and for the duration, he and his crew cook up a plan to get him off the hook.
A Naval Personnel Officer is coming to check out McHale for a stateside training position. Binghamton leads McHale and his crew to believe that the Officer is coming to check out Binghamton for a promotion, and transfer, so they shape up, so that Leadbottom will ship out. But, when McHale finds out the real reason for the Officer's visit, he and his crew cook up a plan, to get him off the hook.moreless
Gruber does some shady trading with Chief Urulu involving Navy property, and McHale is arrested, and threatened with court martial. But Binghamton drops the charges, when he finds he needs help from Urulu and his tribe.
A Combat Photographer comes to Taratupa, to film a P.T. crew in action. But trouble erupts, when Gruber swipes the Photographer's movie camera, for a little private enterprise. McHale and the 73 crew then have to scheme, to cover their own behinds, as well as the Photographer's.
The 73 gets a new crew member, who turns out to be a trouble-maker. McHale and the 73 crew cook up a wild plan to get rid of him, but, when their plan backfires, they find themselves in hot water again. So, they turn to their new Crewman, and use his special physical qualities to their advantage.moreless
McHale and the 73 crew return from a mission, to find that a young Asian orphan girl has taken up residence on their island. They decide to keep her on the island, and go all out to make a happy home for her, and to keep her a secret from Binghamton. But Binghamton becomes suspicious, when he observes the crew's unusual behavior.moreless
The 73 Crew investigates the crash site of a Japanese transport plane, which is loaded with 4 million dollars' worth of American currency. McHale convinces the boys that the bills are counterfeit, and, later, Gruber trades the supposedly phony money to Urulu, for some island trinkets. But when they find out that the money is real, McHale and The Crew must scheme to get it back.moreless
Willy is devastated when he gets a letter from his best girl – Back home, in the hills of Tennessee – Informing him that she's marrying another man. So, McHale and the 73 Crew go all out to pick up his spirits. But Captain Binghamton wants everyone on their best behavior for the upcoming inspection tour of a certain budget-conscious V.I.P.moreless
An Admiral from Naval Operations – Who just happens to be a ranking member of the Promotions Board – Is stopping in, briefly, at Taratupa, and Captain Binghamton dreams of Admiral's stars, especially when he learns that the Admiral has a very close relative stationed on Taratupa.
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