McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force is a 1965 film based upon the television 1962-66 sitcom McHale's Navy. Series supporting players Joe Flynn and Tim Conway are the leads for this sequel to the first movie made in 1964 also named McHale's Navy (1964). Most of the film is based on their two characters particularly Ensign Parker. Series star Ernest Borgnine was unavailable due to a scheduling conflict while he appeared in the 1965 film The Flight of the Phoenix. However, in a Cinema Retro interview, Borgnine said the producer Edward Montagne wanted to make the film cheaply, without him and would not show him the script. Carl Ballantine also doesn't appear in the movie and the PT-73 crew is not seen in large portions of the film. The movie, which also features Ted Bessell and Gavin MacLeod, was directed by series producer Edward Montagne.
Except for Quinton McHale (Ernest Borgnine) and Lester Gruber (Carl Ballantine) the film features all the main characters from the TV series.
The film is titled "McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force" and similar designations on the TV show are U.S.A.F.. Since the film is situated "Somewhere in the South Pacific 1943" this would be historically inaccurate. Until 1947 the Air Force was part of the U.S. Army and was known as the U.S. Army Air Forces (U.S.A.A.F) beginning in 1941.
The film was released to VHS on March 31, 1998.