McHale's Navy

Season 1 Episode 14

Send Us a Hero

Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Jan 17, 1963 on ABC

Episode Recap

At the Base Hospital, Nurse Molly, while adjusting McHale's injured shoulder – Which he got while playing volleyball with the guys – Tries to torture McHale into agreeing to a date with her. But, despite the pain she inflicts on him, it doesn't work. McHale gets away with the excuse that he has a meeting with Binghamton, but before releasing him, Molly puts McHale's right arm in a sling.

McHale reports to Binghamton's office, where Binghamton informs McHale that a certain Congresswoman is due, soon, to pay a visit to Taratupa, and he makes it clear that McHale is to make himself scarce, and to confine his normal social activities to his own base, during her visit.

"When that Congresswoman is here…" states Binghamton, firmly, "…I want you to turn yourself into the invisible man."

Scuttlebutt has it that this Congresswoman is looking for a War Hero to take on a War Bond-selling tour of The States, and Binghamton is relieved, when McHale turns down the chance to go on the tour, for the thought of his being presented as an example to American youth disgusts him.

Later, on McHale's island, The Boys – Having heard the rumor – Are discussing this Congresswoman's visit, and how nice it would be to go on this tour. Gruber relates a story of how a Bomber Pilot, in North Africa, had been chosen by this Congresswoman for a bond tour, and that he and his entire Crew had been taken on an all-expense-paid tour of The States, with all the related perks.

Parker reminds the guys that Binghamton had strictly ordered The Skipper to confine himself to his base, during the Congresswoman's visit, but Gruber adds that his Crew wasn't issued that order, leaving them open for a scheme to get The Skipper chosen for the job.

Later, as Congresswoman Clara Carter Clarke (Jean Willes) arrives at Binghamton's office, Virgil and Tinker 'happen' by, making sure that Clarke overhears their talk about Commander McHale's having captured an entire Japanese patrol, single-handedly.

Binghamton tries to ignore the exchange, and suggests that Clarke get to her quarters, to rest up from her long flight. But Clarke tells The Captain that she would rather get right down to business, and start meeting some of the heroic Sailors that she feels are qualified for the tour. Binghamton assures her, as he leads her toward his office, that any of the men under his command "Would be splendid examples to the people on the home front".

Inside the office, Happy has been watching the two, and rushes to Gruber, with word of their approach. As Binghamton and Clarke enter, Happy and Gruber go on about how amazing this Commander McHale is, most recently having destroyed a Japanese landing craft. Binghamton orders the two on their way, but not before they've accomplished their mission, for Clarke immediately asks The Captain about this Commander McHale she's heard so much about, recently. But, as Binghamton ushers Clarke into his office, he assures her that McHale isn't someone she should consider for the War Bond tour.

As they enter the office, Carpenter is waiting, at attention, and Binghamton proudly introduces him to Clark. Clarke immediately asks Carpenter what state he's from, and seems a bit disappointed, when Carpenter tell her that he's from Illinois.

Meanwhile, outside the Captain's open window, Parker and The Boys have organized a little singing group, and begin to belt out a very impressive tune about 'The Tiger Of The Pacific' – Quinton McHale. Clarke steps to the window, to listen, and, when The Boys are done, Clarke asks who they are.

"I would say that they are prisoners…" answers Binghamton, angrily. "…On their way to the brig."

Carpenter tries to pass off the incident as something that Sailors do while they're marching, but Clarke quickly points out that they're not marching. The Boys begin singing again, but Binghamton quickly calls a halt to it.

Meanwhile, in McHale's hut, McHale is taking it easy, when he asks Fuji where The Boys are. Fuji covers for them, by telling McHale that they've gone to the main base, to pick up supplies.

Later, after a tour of Carpenter's boat, Binghamton asks Clarke what she thinks of Carpenter.

"He's got a lot of polish, doesn't he?" adds Binghamton.

"Well, Frankly, Captain," returns Clark, "A little bit too much polish. I was really looking for someone a bit more rugged."

Just then, The Crew of the nearby 73 boat, cuts loose with another song, about their glorious Commander, 'The Tiger Of The Pacific'. Binghamton angrily orders them to "Stop that blasted singing", but Congresswoman Clarke wants to know why she hasn't met this Commander McHale, who seems to be held in such high regard by his Crew. Before Binghamton can stutter out an explanation, Clarke insists on meeting McHale.

Later, on McHale's island, Clarke arrives with Parker and The Boys, and McHale steps over to greet her. Parker introduces him as "Our legendary leader… Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale".

McHale politely greets the Congresswoman, and relates his orders from Captain Binghamton, that he is to show her around the compound, then see that she's ferried back to the main base. But Clark, just as politely, tells McHale that she takes her orders from the people of the United States, and that she'll stay as long as she deems it necessary.

After a quick look around McHale's hut, Clarke comments that this "Unorthodox Naval base" "Seems more like a rest center". Parker then explains that their Skipper leads them on such "hair-raising" missions that they need all the rest they can get. But McHale counters with the fact that they don't see any more action than any other PT Crew on the base, and that they shouldn't be giving The Congresswoman any wrong ideas.

Clarke, noticing McHale's arm-sling, asks how long it might be before his "wound" heals, and seems a bit shocked when McHale's tells her that his injury was sustained during a volleyball game. McHale then asks Clarke what else she may have heard from his Crew, and, when Clarke tells him of how Parker had told her of the entire Jap patrol he'd wiped out, in Boora Boora, McHale angrily excuses himself, to have a word with Parker, and tells The Congresswoman that his Crew will show her around the island.

After Clarke and The Boys are away, McHale presses Parker for an explanation. Parker explains that they were trying to build him up in the eyes of The Congresswoman, so that he'd be chosen for the tour, and that himself and the rest of the Crew could go along.

McHale angrily puts down the plan, expressing his disgust with this "Hero malarkey".

"Puttin' on stiff collars…" McHale adds, disgustedly, "…And makin' speeches!"

But McHale softens when he suddenly realizes just how much it means to his boys to go on the tour, and gives his OK, but makes it clear, that – If they get picked for the tour – He wants everything on the up-and-up.

Parker happily rushes out to tell the guys, and catches them in the middle of their little tour of the facilities with Clark. When McHale steps in, Clarke asks him what state he's from, and, when McHale tells her he's from Michigan, again, she seems disappointed that he's not from her home state of Massachusetts. Clarke then asks to see McHale alone, and, as they step away, the guys belt out another stanza of 'Tiger Of The Pacific'.

Later, the guys are all excitedly preparing for their trip to The States, when Parker rushes in with the news that The Skipper is back from Mainside. They all rush out to meet him, but McHale quickly informs them that the trip is off.

Disappointed, the guys all follow McHale into his hut, where McHale explains that only he was chosen for the tour, but adds that he has no intention of leaving without them. Parker offers to take over, during his absence, but McHale quickly informs him that Binghamton has a Lieutenant Sidney Reznick in mind as McHale's replacement.

"Sidney 'suicide' Reznick?!" asks Parker.

"Yeah…" returns McHale, "The old kamikaze kid, himself, boy."

"You mean the guy who had seven PT boats shot out from under him?", asks Tinker.

"Seven and a half, my friend," answers McHale, "Seven and a half."

All the guys agree that they now have to get McHale off the hook, with Clark, but are at a loss, at first, as to how they can do it. Then, Parker suggests that McHale could suddenly become a 'wolf', and scare Clarke into changing her mind – An idea which McHale likes.

That night, McHale visits Congresswoman Clarke at her quarters, arriving just as Binghamton is leaving. When they are alone, Clarke informs McHale that Binghamton had tried to talk her out of taking McHale on the tour, but assures him that she intends to stick with her decision. McHale tells Clarke that he supports Binghamton's actions, adding that, sometimes, The Captain makes a lot of sense. But Clarke will have none of it, and claims that McHale is just being modest.

Clarke tells McHale that they are to leave, the first thing in the morning, and, when she sits down to go over their itinerary, McHale goes to work, suggesting, in his 'wolf-like' way, that they could keep one another warm, during those long, cold Massachusetts nights. Clarke resists, breaks away from McHale, and sternly orders him to act his age, as she sits down, to continue her schedule for the trip.

Meanwhile, outside, The Boys have gathered for another singing concert. They sing the same tune, but this time, the lyrics are much different.

"He's the coward of the Pacific…" sing The Boys, led by Parker. "Stinky McHale!"

Inside, after Clarke tells McHale that one of their stops will be Washington, DC, McHale goes on about how he intends to wear his grass skirt, and put on quite a show, for Congress. But Clarke sees right through his little scheme, and makes it quite clear to McHale, that it won't work, and that at 0700 hours (7 a.m.), the following morning, they are leaving for The States.

Outside, The Boys start singing again, and, when McHale goes to the window, to tell them to knock it off, he is quite surprised to see that Binghamton is there, singing right along with them.

"He's a chicken-livered sissy!" they all sing. "Stinky McHale!"

The next morning, The Boys have gathered to see their beloved Commander off for his 6-week tour of The States. None of them are happy about the situation, and McHale says he'll see them, after the tour.

"If we're still here!" says Tinker.

"Whaddaya mean, if you're still here?!" asks McHale.

"You're forgettin' 'Suicide Reznick' " reminds Parker.

McHale makes it clear that he's just as miserable about this situation as they are, and is about to tell them to just make the best of it, when Willy sees The Congresswoman on her way. McHale turns to greet her, as she approaches, and she gets right to the 'bad' news. It seems that another PT Boat had pulled in late the previous night, and she'd found out that it's Skipper was from Massachusetts. This young Lieutenant had quite a war record, himself, so Clarke had chosen him to go on the War Bond tour, rather than McHale.

The news is met with a big cheer from the 73 Crew, and McHale thanks The Congresswoman, then asks what boat this Officer had come in on. Clarke points it out, and the guys all look to see that it is the PT 109.

Congresswoman Clarke says her farewells, and wishes McHale and his Crew good luck, before leaving. After she's away, McHale comments that he doesn't envy "That poor Skipper on the PT one-oh-nine, makin' all those speeches!" Parker, having heard this Officer speak, comments that his thick Massachusetts accent is hard to understand, then gives an example of how the man speaks, doing quite well, with the Massachusetts accent.

The Boys then break into song again, singing:

"We got our Skipper back again… Quinton McHale!"

Christy then takes McHale by his right arm, to help him aboard the boat, and McHale wails in pain, with the strain on his injured shoulder.

The next day, Nurse Molly is re-adjusting McHale's shoulder, and trying, again, to get a date with him, going on about all the lovely romantic things they can do together. But McHale resists.

"Ohh, come on!" says Molly. "I hear you're 'The Tiger Of The Pacific'! Now's your chance to prove it."

"You got it all wrong, honey." Returns McHale, then, on his way to the door, he sings: "I'm just a chicken-livered sissy! Stinky McHale! Bye-bye, baby!"

After McHale leaves, Molly says, frustratedly:

"I could just scream."
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