Show Type: War / Adventure
First Telecast: September 19, 1965
Last Telecast: September 4, 1966
Major Simon Butcher..... Jack Warden
Lieutenant Richard "Rip" Riddle..... Gary Collins
Chief Petty Officer Willie Miller..... Mike Kellin
Gunner's Mate Sherman Nagurski..... Rudy Solari
Ship's Cook Charles Tyler..... Don Penny
Radioman Patrick Hollis..... Mark Slade
Machinist's Mate Seymour Trivers..... Fred Smoot
General Cross..... William Zuckert
Admiral Vincent Beckett..... Charles Irving
In the spring of 1942, just a few months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the governor of New Zealand presented the Kiwi to the United States - a 70-year-old twin-masted schooner. Obsolete and badly in need of repairs, the ship was staffed with a crew while the U.S. Navy tried to figure out what to do with it. The Navy soon discovered that it possessed certain unique qualities that made it a useful espioinage weapon. Its wooden hull did not show up on radar, its sailing power did not register on sonar and its shallow draft allowed it to travel in waters not deep enough for larger ships.
And so the Kiwi went to war. It was commanded by young Lt. Rip Riddle when at sea and by Major Simon Butcher of the Army when in port, a situation which caused many problems because Rip and Simon had very different views on war strategy, women, protocol and their respective roles on the ship. Making things worse, Major Butcher, although higher in rank than Lt. Riddle, had to report to the younger man whenever the Kiwi was at sea, while their roles were reversed whenever it made port.
The adventures of the crew in the South Pacific during the early days of the war constituted the stories, which were based on the real-life exploits of the Echo, a leaky two-masted schooner which New Zealand's government gave to the U.S. in 1942.
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