I've probably mentioned before that I was a big fan of the TV series COMBAT! That, along with numerous issues of comic books such as OUR ARMY AT WAR (with Sgt. Rock) and OUR FIGHTING FORCES (with Gunner and Sarge) made me a fan of World War II fiction. So it's not surprising that I was a faithful viewer of GARRISON'S GORILLAS, a 1967–'68 World War II TV series that was a spin-off from COMBAT!, as well as being heavily influenced by the success of the novel and film versions of THE DIRTY DOZEN.
It uses the same basic set-up of a group of convicts being recruited for highly dangerous commando missions behind the lines, although there's only four of them instead of a dozen. And they're led by the usual stalwart American officer, in this case Lt. Craig Garrison, played by Ron Harper. The four convicts, who are known by their nicknames, are Actor (Cesare Danova, who usually played gangsters), Goniff (Christopher Cary), Casino (Rudy Solari), and Chief (Brendon Boone). I remember Danova and vaguely remember Ron Harper, but the others not at all.
I liked the show well enough that I bought and read the tie-in novel, which was written by Jack Pearl. I don't remember anything about it except that I read it while I was a freshman in high school. In addition, there was a juvenile tie-in novel, GARRISON'S GORILLAS AND THE FEAR FORMULA, published by Whitman and also written by Jack Pearl. I never read the Whitman book and don't recall ever seeing it, or I probably would have. It shows you how much things have changed in the tie-in market when a fairly unsuccessful series that lasted only a year could spawn two novels back in those days.
I was surprised to see that quite a few episodes of GARRISON'S GORILLAS are available to watch on YouTube. I don't think it's ever been released on DVD. It must have been at least somewhat enjoyable to me, because I think I watched the entire season when it was new, but I didn't like it as much as COMBAT! I haven't tried watching any of the episodes again to see how they hold up. I ought to do that.