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

Lt. Hanley in "The Squad"(004) The Squad

Rating: 3 bayonets

Written by Harry Brown
Directed by Herman Hoffman
Produced by Robert Blees

First aired January 29, 1963
Season 1, Episode 17

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In "The Squad," a Georgia boy named Moseby Lovelace becomes the first in a long line of replacements that come marching through Saunders’ squad in the course of five seasons. Moseby doesn't immediately fit in. He's sorry to be part of this Yankee army and disappointed that no fellow southerners are in his platoon. He doesn't like the way Yankees fight, always hiding their heads. Saunders and Braddock try to clue him in to the rules of this war, but Moseby is determined to engage the enemy on his own charming terms. Unlike the subsequent parade of green recruits who don't want to follow Saunders' sage advice, Moseby not only lives through to the closing credits, he saves the lives of the patrol, captures several Germans, and finds some Biloxi boys to pal around with.


"The Squad" is a delight. John Bolt plays Lovelace with an irrepresible charm and permanent twinkle. Like Saunders, I couldn't help smiling at him, even though I was certain that he was going to get his head blown off. Fortunately, Bolt is so charming, he rises above the failings of the script, which paints a negative stereotype of Southerners. In less charming, less capable hands, Moseby would have been a slow-witted, ignorant redneck.

Jonathan Bolt plays Moseby LovelaceAnd why aren't there any southerners in this entire platoon? Seems like an odd ommission (which was corrected in later seasons).

A personal favorite bit in this episode is right after Moseby saves the patrol by cleaning out the German machine gun nest. With his irrepresible smile fixed firmly in place, Moseby reports to Hanley, just pleased as punch that he's killed him a mess of Krauts. But while reporting in, his eyes wander back to the body of Private Wolensky. It is a gripping juxtaposition of Moseby living his fantasy of war while eyeing the reality of it.


  • This is the only Combat! episode directed by Herman Hoffman. Hoffman also directed the film It’s a Dog’s Life, which featured Vic Morrow as the voice of Wildfire the Dog.
  • This is the first appearance of infantry double-buckle boots. Moseby wears them in the episode and Saunders tries throughout to purchase them from him. In this and earlier episodes, the squad wears leggings. In later episodes, the entire squad has the double-buckle boots.

Comments by John Bolt (Dec 8, 2002):
What fun to come upon this site. I think THE SQUAD was the second episode shot [note: actually the fourth episodes shot] and they were still feeling out the style of the show. There was an option in my contract to do future episodes as Moseby. But the show's light touch makes THE SQUAD a real anomaly in the series. The thing I remember most: It was the first time I worked at MGM and I spent every free moment of the shoot wandering the huge back lots of the studio. I spent 5 years in Hollywood, worked pretty consistently in television, but felt it wasn't for me. I returned to New York and the theatre where I still act, write and direct.

Cast Credits

Vic Morrow
as Sgt. Saunders

Rick Jason
as Lt. Hanley

Shecky Greene as Braddock
Steven Rogers as Doc
Pierre Jalbert as Caje

John Bolt as Moseby

James Callahan ..... Reischer
Alexander Denazody ..... German Corporal
Harold Dyrenforth ..... First German Engineer
John Mayo ..... Lt. Peterson
Mattias Uitz ..... Second German Engineer

(Note: The Captain that appears in the scene with Hanley is uncredited.
Could this be the first appearance by Captain Jampel?)

Dialog Exerpts

I got a feeling about ol' Lovelace. One minute he doesn't want to get his feet wet, the next minute he's comin' on like the third day of Gettysburg. I got a feelin'.

[sound clip] Dialog (58 k)

Never a dull moment on the all complete tour of Sunny France.
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