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Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer - Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets 

(078) Fly Away Home

3 bayonets

Written by Kay Lenard and Jess Carneol
Directed by Bernard McEveety
First aired 17-Nov-64
Episode 9 of Season 3

Guest Star Neville Brand

Related Reading at

They Had No Choice :
Racing Pigeons at War
by Gary McCafferty (Paperback - June 2002)
Not yet published


Pigeons That Went to War by Gordon Hayes
(Hardcover - June 1981)  Avg. Customer Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Out of Print--Limited Availability


0871088371.01._PE_SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg (6042 bytes)
Aloft: A Meditation of Pigeons and Pigeon Flying

neville_brand.jpg (6921 bytes)SYNOPSIS:

Sergeant Keeley (Neville Brand) has lost faith in humanity and invests all his devotion to his carrier pigeons, which he has trained for military use. Under attack by the Germans, Saunders learns that Keeley would gladly sacrifice the lives of men, rather than see one of his pigeons die.


Once again, Saunders' squad escorts a Sergeant with unique technical expertise (and an attitude) on a special mission. This time it's pigeon duty. Neville Brand, a big, burly man with a weathered face, is a delight to watch tenderly working his pigeons. Unlike the Sergeants usually foisted on Saunders in this plot-type, Brand really isn't obnoxious. He is even polite C especially when he politely discourages Saunders' interest in the birds.


Magnificent music sequence under the bird's escape from the coop.

Happy squad-at-rest, doing chores in opening and closing

Neville Brand spend ten years in the army. Publicity stated that he was the fourth most decorated U.S. soldier of the war, though records don't seem to substantiate this press agent claim. He was certainly well-decorated, just not the fourth highest.


In his column in the Mountain Democrat, Dick Peabody said, "The late Neville Brand was as interesting as any guest we had. He liked to drink, but wisely held off until the last scene was shot. We invited him to the bar in Vic's dressing room, and a couple of hours later everyone had left except Neville and myself." Dick Peabody had to drive Brand to his Malibu home, where his wife invited him in for a drink. Peabody was impressed with the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in every room of the house. "There were literally thousands of volumes," says Peabody. "His tastes were eclectic, since almost everything interested him. Neville's wife pointed to the books and said, 'He's read every one of them.'" A high-school drop-out, Neville Brand was self-educated.


Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders

Jack Hogan as Kirby
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn

Stephen Joyce as Polaski
Rudy Dolan as German Sgt. #1
Robert Champion as German Pvt.
Ed Deemer as German Sgt. #2
Ron Stokes as Maxwell

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