Injured seaman thinks he’s back at summer camp in ‘McHale’s Navy’

Amnesia episodes have been anything but uncommon in television history. In fact, it seems like just about every soap opera/goofball comedy has at least one episode sooner or later where a character gets clunked on the head and forgets who they are.

What makes this particular amnesia episode of McHale’s Navy, titled “Send This Ensign to Camp,” interesting is that it is most likely the first and only sitcom to date to have the person clunked on the head suddenly think he is 10 years old again and at summer camp instead of in the Pacific fighting in World War II. Like much of the action on the ’60s black and white show, the amnesia befalls ensign Charlie Parker in a rather unbelievable way – he’s struck on the head with a frying pan when a Japanese war ship blows up a kitchen hut on the island. When he comes to, Parker, who had just received an old photo album in the mail from his mom with photos of Camp Chinapookee, thinks he’s back at summer camp again. Hilarity, naturally, ensues.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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