Combat! (1962–1967)
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Saunders and the squad break in four teenage replacements.


Georg Fenady (as George J. Fenady)


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Episode cast overview:
Vic Morrow ... Sgt. Saunders
Rick Jason ... Lt. Hanley (credit only)
Jack Hogan ... Kirby
Conlan Carter Conlan Carter ... Doc
Pierre Jalbert ... Caje
Dee Pollock ... McBride
Buck Taylor ... Tobin
Kevin Coughlin ... Loomis
Robert Biheller ... Tate
John Neilson ... Anderson (as John Nealson)
Rick Weber Rick Weber ... German


The squad goes on a mission with four teen replacements, all on their first day in action. On a patrol to set up a road block the squad has to battles not only with the Germans but with the green recruits who are all struggling with being on the front line. Written by Stevo15

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Plot Keywords:

day in episode title | See All (1) »


Action | Drama | War





Release Date:

21 September 1965 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


(at around 29 mins) When Saunders goes over to look at Tate, you can hear, off camera, the director say, "Now," and immediately the rest of the men come running over. See more »

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User Reviews

A Taste of Realism in a Combat Episode
9 October 2014 | by jmarcheseSee all my reviews

"The First Day" is a realistic story about 4 brand new replacements on their first day of combat activity. The episode is very realistic to say the least in that given the degree of difficulty set forth by Writers' Esther & Bob Mitchell, the story is very believable. On a scale from 1 to 10 for danger and probability of death or serious injury, the new men are facing a 9. One would hope the vast majority of new soldiers get broken in under a 4 or 5 scenario.

From the beginning, the men are taught how it's really done by Sergeant Saunders and White Rook. It's interesting to note most of the Germans carry a heavy load compared to the men of White Rook who are almost always streamlined right down to the lack of a mess kit. Along the way the 4 make their share of mistakes and the viewing audience learns it's best to be humble, quiet, observant, and ready to follow orders. Private Tate bucks this concept from the start. Private Tobin has a short attention span and appears to not follow crucial instructions. Private Loomis means well and appears to be simply unfortunate at times. And Private McBride appears to be honest and the most focused of the four.

Writers' Mitchell did an excellent job on this screenplay. There's good character development, the story flows, and each rookie except Loomis appears to reap what they sow. Mc Bride - humble, honest, and focused; Tobin - boastful, cocky, lack of attention span; Tate - know it all, dishonest, little or no focus, extremely self-centered; and Loomis - well meaning, focused, inquisitive, and unlucky. Each man's story is very believable with respect to their individuality.

Combat scenes are well done and realistic; they're fun to watch. It's interesting to note the wounded German crawling toward the Americans could have been the inspiration for "The Dove," a much later James Bond movie villain.

All in all I enjoyed "The First Day" and it was refreshing to get a realistic taste of what it's like for a new replacement coming in under fire.

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