Combat! Season 1
Combat! Season 2
Combat! Season 3
Combat! Season 4
Combat! Season 5



Season 4
COMBAT! episodes:

[A Day in June]
[Any Second Now]
[Just for the Record]
[The Squad]
[Lost Sheep, Lost Shepherd]
[Forgotten Front]
[Missing In Action]
[Rear Echelon Commandos]
[The Chateau]
[The Prisoner]
[Escape to Nowhere]
[The Celebrity]
[Far from the Brave]
[The Quiet Warrior]
[Cat and Mouse]
[I Swear by Apollo]
[The Walking Wounded]
[The Medal]
[The Volunteer]
[No Time for Pity]
[Next in Command]
[Night Patrol]
[Off Limits]
[No Hallelujahs for Glory]
[Battle of the Roses]
[Hill 256]
[The Sniper]
[One More for the Road]
[High Named Today]
[No Trumpets, No Drums]


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reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer * Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets 

dayinjune_beach.jpg (86270 bytes)(001) A Day in June

* * * *
4 bayonets

Written by Robert Pirosh
Directed by Boris Sagal
First aired 12-18-62(Episode 11 of Season 1)



Rain stalls the American advance through Normandy, allowing Saunders time to reminisce with the squad about the events leading to D-Day. While waiting in England for the assault order, raw nerves among the untried troops leads to fights in the barracks. Braddock is jubilant when he learns he’s won the platoon’s $800 D-Day by drawing the June 6th date. But his happiness is brief, when he learns their platoon is in the first wave in the assault.


The pilot episode, with a new opener tacker on, was recycled as a flashback and originally aired as the eleventh episode. In syndication, it’s always aired first. The new opening features new squad member Kirby, as well as an uncredited appearance by Tom Skerritt. In the opening dialogue, they mention that this happened before Hanley got his battlefield commission, explaining why the Lieutenant is suddenly a Sergeant, but no attempt is made to explain why Caje has a different name.

****REVIEW: 4 bayonets

    Robert Blees derided the pilot as "The Rover Boys in Normandy," but I think "a Day In June" is a perfect pilot for Combat! Yes, the episode shows a side of both Saunders and Hanley little seen elsewhere in the series, but this was dayinjune_saundersandhanley.jpg (18958 bytes)their pre-D-Day personality. As in real-life, the D-Day experience changed them all — Caje more than anyone else, since he had a total name change after that day, from "Caddy" Cadron to Paul "Caje" LeMay.

"A Day In June" offers an incredibly tight script by Academy Award–winning screenwriter Robert Pirosh, great interlacing of original footage with war newsreels, and a beautiful Omaha Beach recreation. The pilot captures the indomitable humor, spirit, and bravery of the American fighting man, along with his fears, failings, and frailty. The scenes in the barracks in England seem to ring particularly true, having been written by a man who also had spent bone-chillingly boring and terrifying weeks waiting for orders that might get everyone killed. Pirosh drew on personal experience in creating the characters of Caddy and Theo, the Cajun soldiers. Pirosh's unit in France had two Cajun soldiers. Quiet men who spoke little and did their jobs well, according to Pierre Jalbert, who played Caddy in the pilot. "I played my character," says Jalbert, "as someone who did not like to kill, but who did his job the best way that he could."


Veteran film director Boris Sagal directed the pilot episode. His extensive list of credits spans three decades. He has directed TV series, TV films, mini-series, and theatrical releases. A short list includes: "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," "Night Gallery," The Thousand Plane Raid, Hauser's Memory, The Omega Man, "Rich Man, Poor Man," and "The Awakening Land."

The pilot took six days to shoot, including one day of location shooting on Zuma Beach, which stood in for Omaha Beach. The stars of the show, Rick Jason and Vic Morrow, met on the second day of filming. Rick Jason recalls the excitement he had from the very first, working with Vic. "We rehearse the scene and this guy gives! I mean, he is playing the scene. He almost leads me. We start soaring on each other’s characters. We’re getting energy from each other. And I realize there’s a chemistry . . . Don’t ask me what it is. Movie makers have been trying to figure it out since the beginning of film. It was the first indication I had that this show might just go."

Pierre Jalbert, too, recalls that Vic’s generous acting style and dedication to his craft was evident from the beginning. "One day we were having lunch during the pilot and Vic said to me, without being facetious, ‘You really aren’t an actor, are you, Pierre?’ I said, ‘We’re all actors.’ But, to be truthful, I understood his question. I wasn’t a professional actor, I was and am a professional editor. I’m a technician." Vic told Pierre that if the series survived, he wanted to direct some episodes. "He said, ‘Why don’t we exchange knowledge?’ Wasn’t that nice? From then on, when I had something important to do, like a scene that needed some acting knowledge, he would take me apart and he taught me the ropes of the job. And he was a very, very good teacher."

dayinjune_chapel.jpg (18491 bytes)While the pilot began filming, the Hollywood Reporter printed an ABC publicity release about the show that described it as having three stars: Jason, Morrow, and comedian Shecky Greene. "I seldom read the trade papers, so I didn’t see it," remembers Rick Jason. "Dick Irving Hyland, my agent, called and said everything was taken care of. I asked what had been taken care of, and he explained about the item. And that he had telephoned ABC and reminded them of my contract. That there was only one other star in the show and everything was shared equally between us, including (if the pilot sold) alternate first billing on each segment. I think my only comment was, ‘Okay, but when am I going to meet Shecky Greene? I’m a fan of his!"

Though the cast formed a quick rapport, many had reservations about the project. "We were fighting a script so loaded with cliches," says Rick Jason, "and burdened with stale dialogue and predictable characters, that it threatened to sink the project. I think Vic thought so, too, although we didn’t discuss it until almost a year later."

Filming on "A Day in June" finished on December 23, 1961. The wrap party was held on a sound stage at MGM. By 1:00 am, over 300 people were still celebrating the successful conclusion of the pilot, when in strutted executive producer Selig J. Seligman. He thanked everyone for an outstanding effort and then, according to Rick Jason, proudly announced on the microphone, "Tonight, at 10:55 pm, you finished your last shot. At exactly 11:00 pm, my wife, Muriel, gave birth to a son. We’re calling him Adam. Thank you, all."


  • Unlike other soldiers, Caje wears a turtleneck.
  • This is only instance where Saunders smokes cigar (he is seen with a cigar in "The Squad," but never lights up).
  • Saunders hits the beach with an M1 rifle, using it up to the end of show. In final sequence as he is marching off, he has appropriated an automatic weapon.
  • The platoon wades ashore in chest deep water, but no one is wet when they hit the beach.


Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
(appears as a Sgt., but still billed as Lt.)
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders

Shecky Greene as Braddock
Steven Rogers as Doc
Pierre Jalbert as Caddy
Pat Dahl as Hazel

dayinjune_hanleyandbabe.jpg (17548 bytes)Lisa Montell as Marcelle
Harry Dean Stanton as Beecham (billed as ‘Dean Stanton’)
Henry Daniell as Minister
Brad Weston as Lt. Crowley
Max Dommar as Theo
Frankie Ray as Gardello

Jack Hogan (uncredited)
Tom Skerritt (uncredited)

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