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3The film's working title was The Wackest Ship in the Navy. Onscreen credits note "Herbert Carlson's story was originally published by Popular Publications, Inc." Popular Publications owned Argosy Magazine, the publication in which the story appeared. Copyright records incorrectly spelled the film's registrant as "Fred Kohlmer Productions, Inc. Onscreen credits contain the following acknowledgement: "We wish to thank the Department of Defense and particularly the U.S. Navy for the willing assistance in the production of this motion picture. " The film opens with the voice of an offscreen narrator explaining "This bold, slightly improbable adventure began with a message...an urgent request for a particular young qualified officer to lead an extremely delicate mission...it demanded a man, a man of executive ability and high intelligence." The film then cuts to a shot of "Lt. Rip Crandall" lying in his bunk..
The Battle of the Bismarck Sea was an actual battle in the Pacific Campaign during World War II, in which the planes of the U.S. Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force destroyed a Japanese convoy carrying troops to Lea, New Guinea to reinforce the Japanese forces there. In contrast to the events of the film, the convoy was spotted by a B-24 Liberator bomber on March 1, 1943. Gen. Douglas MacArthur used the victory to request five divisions and 1,800 aircraft in preparation for his landings in northern New Guinea.
An October 1958 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Ernie Kovacs was originally to appear in the film. Although a May 1960 Hollywood Reporter news item added Paul Cameron and Henry Ally to the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. According to a January 1960 Daily Variety news item, Jerry Bresler was originally to produce the film. Another May 1960 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that location filming was done around Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii and at Lihue on Kauai, Hawaii. The production was interrupted by the Screen Actors Guild strike which ran from 8 March-early April 1960. The Wackiest Ship in the Army? marked the American screen debut of British actress Patricia Driscoll. From September 19, 1965 -April 17, 1966, NBC broadcast a television series based on the film, also titled The Wackiest Ship in the Army. The series starred Jack Warden and Gary Collins and was directed and written by Danny Arnold.