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Ensign O'Toole

Ensign O'Toole

NBC, ABC Network
1962-64
Comedy
30 Minutes
Navy

Roaming the peacetime waters of the Pacific Ocean was the naval destroyer USS Appleby. The crew aboard included a very clever, know-it-all named Ensign O'Toole who was an expert at avoiding work; the very ambitious, but vain Lt. (j.g.) Rex St. John, the ship's supply officer; the cantankerous Chief Petty Officer Homer Nelson, the ship's executive officer Lt. Cmdr Virgil Stone who delivered orders from the ship's unseen Captain (only heard over speakers), and a trio of Seamen - Gabby DiJulio, Howard Spicer and Claude White.

During its tour of duty, the USS Appleby found its way to such exotic locations as Hong Kong, Korea, the Arctic, San Diego, and, of course, the South Pacific.

On one such South Pacific Island, the crew of the Appleby found four stranded soldiers (two American, two Japanese) who were still fighting World War II.

While in Korea, Ensign O'Toole and the crew put on the "Foster Father's Follies" to raise money to adopt Korean orphans. The Singing Kim Sisters provided the entertainment.

And when in Hong Kong, Ensign O'Toole volunteered to help Scotland Yard find a jewel thief by going undercover.

One of O'Toole's best shenanigans dealt with an antique Model T automobile found on a French island in the South Pacific. Looking to make a quick profit, O'Toole disassembled the car and smuggled it onboard ship with the help of his crew. Unfortunately, just about the time O'Toole was to connect with a car collector in California, an Admiral with a love for old cars foils his plan.

On a day-to-day basis, O'Toole's duties onboard ship might entail forging leave papers for a crewman so he could travel to see his pregnant wife; learning there was a young girl stowed away on onboard; nursing crewman Seaman DiJulio when he got the measles; helping Seaman Mason control his weight before he gets shipped out of the navy; taking bets on the outcome of a mystery film when the last reel of the film turned up missing; or taking orders from a visiting dignitary like Prince Pussik of Tiboria, a pushy, 12 year old who turns out to be the Grand Admiral of the Tiborian Navy.

On the lighter side, O'Toole tried to solve the mystery of why somebody would send him a dress while in port in Washington, DC. The unsolicited gift inspired lots of ribbing from his fellow crew members. Eventually, O'Toole learned the dress was actually for a female naval officer with the same name assigned to the same installation.

TRIVIA NOTE: Produced by Four Star Productions, the series was based on books All the Ships at Sea, and Ensign O'Toole and Me written by Bill Lederer (who served as consultant on the series). The ABC Network aired reruns of the series during their 1963-64 season.

The ship used as the USS Appleby was, in reality, the USS Frank E. Evans (DD754). It was launched October 3 1944 and commissioned February 3 1945. The USS Evans was cut in half June 3, 1969 in a collision with the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne. The ship's bow and stern sections were sunk as targets in Subic Bay on October 10 1969.


ENSIGN O'TOOLE/NBC/ABC/1962-64

Dean Jones as Ensign O'Toole
Jack Albertson as Lt. Cmdr. Virgil Stoner
Jay C. Flippen as CPO Homer Nelson
Jack Mullaney as  Lt. Rex St. John
Harvey Lembeck as Seaman Gabby Di Julio
Beau Bridges as Seaman Howard Spicer
Robert Sorrells as Seaman Claude White
John McGiver as Arthur Ainsley, Stoner's brother-in-law

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