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Title: Operation Petticoat

Operation Petticoat

Network: ABC
On-Air: 1977-79
Genre: Comedy
Length: 30 Minutes

The Navy needed every vessel they could get during World War II and that included the USS Sea Tiger, a broken-down pink submarine said to be held together with "a couple of half hitches and a Band-Aid."

The Sea Tiger with its crew of officers and seamen were stationed in the South Pacific and assigned to patrol the region for downed airmen and sailors (or perchance sink a Jap sub or shot down enemy aircraft).

The submarine's unique pink color was the result of having to set to sea with only a primer coat on its hull after a Japanese air attack destroyed the stockpile of gray paint to be used for the final exterior coat.

 Nurse Barbara Duran, Lt. Nick Holden and Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Sherman
 Duran, Holden, and Sherman

The submarine's color seemed appropriate because soon into the mission, the USS Sea Tiger rescued a group of Army nurses from a Pacific Island who became unwilling guests onboard the roaming submarine filled with 35 really lonely men.

The sub's initial command staff included Lt. Cdr. Matthew Sherman; Lt. Nick Holden (supply officer); and Army Major Edna Howard, the head of the nurses.

The original command staff was later replaced by Lt. Cmdr. Haller as the new skipper, Lt. Mike Bender as supply officer and Army Lt. Katherine O'Hara as the leader of a bunch of new nurses.

Promotional Ad for the Show


"Take five really lovely Army nurses. Ship them out on a real navy sub with 35 really lonely men. And a Lt. that's a real operator and you've got a Captain with a real headache...It's the only co-ed sub in the Navy. John Astin speeds through World War II in OPERATION PETTICOAT."

Capt. Sherman: I think you should assemble the crew and instruct them to ignore completely the fact that our passengers are women.
Lt. Holden: I'll do that immediately, Sir
Capt. Sherman: Not soon enough, Mr. Holden

TRIVIA NOTE: The TV series was based on the motion picture Operation Petticoat (1959) starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of Tony Curtis was cast as Army nurse Lt. Barbara Duran during the 1977-78 season.  The second season was called The New Operation Petticoat due to major cast changes.

First Season Cast
First Season Cast

Second Season Cast
Second Season Cast



The Navy Crew    
John Astin as Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Sherman
Richard Gilliland as Lt. Nick Holden
Robert Hogan as Lt. Cmdr. Haller (Sherman's replacement)
Randolph Manthooth as Lt. Mike Bender (Holden's replacement)
Raymond Singer as Lt. Watson
Richard Brestoff as Yeoman Hunkle
Christopher J. Brown as Ensign Stovall
Kraig Cassity as Seaman Dooley
Scott McGinnis as Seaman Dixon
Don Sparks as Seaman Horner
Jim Varney as Seaman Broom
Peter Schuck as Seaman Horwich
Wayne Long as Chief Herbert Molumphrey
Richard Marion as Pharmacist's Mate Williams
Michael Mazes as Radioman Gossett
Jack Murdock as Chief Machinist's Mate Tostin
Warren Berlinger as Chief Engineer Dobrich
Jesse Dizon as Ramon Gallardo
Doplos as Fred Kareman
The Army Nurses
Yvonne Wilder as Major Edna Howard
Jo Ann Pflug as Lt. Katherine O'Hara (Howard's replacement)
Melinda Naud as Lt. Dolores Crandell
Jamie Lee Curtis as Lt. Barbara Duran
Dorrie Thomson as Lt. Ruth Colfax
Bond Gideon as Lt. Claire Reid
Hilary Thompson as Lt. Betty Wheeler

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