During the final season, McHale and his crew, along with Capt. Binghamton and Lt. Carpenter, were shipped from the Pacific theater of operations to the European theater. In reality, transfers of this nature rarely, if ever, occurred.
The entire Pacific Ocean naval base was built on the back lot of Universal Studios. For many years after the show went off the air, the sets were used as an attraction on the studio tour.
The name of the naval base where the show takes place is Taratupa.
Binghamton referred to McHale's men as "his bunch of pirates".
McHale often referred to his men as "8 balls". The men referred to him as "Skipper" or "Skip".
McHale referred to Ensign Parker as "Chuck," while the sailors usually called him "Mr. Parker." In the United States Navy, "Mister" is officially the proper address for a warrant officer, not a commissioned officer. However, tradition allows enlisted personnel to refer to any officer as "Mister" in more casual settings. In formal settings, it is always "Sir"/"Ma'am" or by their specific rank.
This was initially conceived as a straight military action show.
The crew's duties were: - "Christy" Christopher - Quartermaster - "Tinker" Bell - Motor Machinist's Mate - Lester Gruber and "Happy" Haynes -Torpedoman's Mate - Willy Moss - Radioman - Virgil Edwards - Gunner's Mate
The name of the town where McHale and his men were stationed at in Italy was Volta Fiore.
One of the crew's favorite liberty ports when they were in the Pacific was New Caledonia.
Sometimes a character mentioned an unnamed commander of torpedo boat PT-109. PT-109 was the boat commanded by then-President John F. Kennedy during World War Two.
The vessel used for shots of the PT-73 underway was a 72-foot type II Vosper MTB (Motor Torpedo Boat), a British design built under license in the U.S. for export to Russia. The war ended in August 1945 before the boat--the real number of which was PT-694--could be sent to the Soviet Union. The boat was then purchased by billionaire businessman Howard Hughes and used as a chase boat for the one and only flight of his Spruce Goose aircraft. The boat was then sold to Universal Pictures--as there were few other real PT oats left in existence at the time--and some liberties were taken in reconfiguring it to look like a PT Boat. Vosper PTs did not have machine gun turrets on either side of the pilot house (though ironically, the real PT-73--a Higgins design--did) as the PT-73 in the show did. Other irregularities are the main mast aft and a small mast right in front of the cockpit. Shots of the crew aboard the PT-73 were filmed on a full-scale mock-up in a soundstage. "PT-73" was later sold to the mayor of Hawthorne, California, and was converted to a sport fishing boat. It was destroyed when it broke loose of its mooring near Santa Barbara and washed up on the beach during a storm. The real PT-73 was a 78-foot Higgins boat assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 13, which saw service in the Aleutians and in the Southwest Pacific theater. On 15 January 1945 it ran aground and was destroyed to prevent it falling into enemy hands.
Capt. Binghamton's middle name was Burton.
Captain Binghampton's job before the war was running a yacht club on Long Island Sound.
Mister Parker often mentions that he is from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Tim Conway grew up in Chagrin Falls in real life.
During the first season, Ernest Borgnine was the only one of the cast to appear in the opening credits. From the second season on, Tim Conway and Joe Flynn also appeared.
Although they were popular at the time, none of the officers, including McHale, ever wears a garrison cap.
Although all of the officers, including McHale, wore dress khakis, none of them wear ribbons of any kind.
In some early episodes, McHale referred to Ensign Parker as "Charlie".
Happy Haynes (Gavin MacLeod) was the only one of McHale's crew who was non-rated (Seaman). All the rest were first and second class petty officers.
Captain Binghampton got his nickname "Old Leadbottom" from a war wound that he got on his posterior.
Sometimes, Admiral Rodgers' first name is given as John. At other times, he is called Bruce.
According to Ernest Borgnine in an interview with Robert Osborne for Turner Classic Movies, the PT boat used for the series was owned by Howard Hughes.
Throughout the series, whenever something was amiss or trouble was brewing, Fuji would exclaim, "Oy vay!" This is not a Japanese expression; it is a Yiddish one meaning, "Oh woe!" He said it so regularly that in one episode McHale said, "It's just like Fuji would say if he was here.." and the crew said in unison, "OY VAY!!"
Although Joe Flynn's character is listed as "Captain Wallace B. Binghamton", his character's name in this episode is clearly "R.F. Binghamton", as evidenced by the sign at the entrance to his Quonset hut office.
The exact location of the island of Taratupa is never explicitly stated; but during Ensign Parker's first meeting with Captain Binghamton, Binghamton points to a location on a wall map and tells Parker "here is the Navy's real enemy". The location to which Binghamton points is southeast of Stewart Island (Rakiura), New Zealand.
Ensign Parker's middle name was Malcolm. His hometown was Schenectady, New York.
The title is from the TV series "Car 54, Where Are You?" (1961).
Urulu makes fun of Gruber's witch doctor costume, yet Urulu wore it himself in all his subsequent appearances.
The opening title reads, "Somewhere in the South Pacific 1943". This establishes a time reference for the series, thus far.