Korean War Legacy Project

George Staples


George Staples was born in 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts. He quit high school at seventeen because there was a war going on and enlisted in the United States Marines. Consequently, he finished high school in the Marines and trained as a helicopter pilot. He eventually served  from the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany, flying helicopter missions to the front lines. He served in the Marines until 1963 when he was discharged. After the war, he joined the Los Angeles Police Department.

Video Clips

Service in Korea

George Staples describes is role in the Korean War. He shares how he piloted a Huey B-35 and transported wounded soldiers from the front lines to MASH. He describes how the enemy shot through the helicopter and hit him in the abdomen and leg. He recounts how the helicopter could not make it back to base. He shares he was able to return to U.S. controlled land north of Incheon, though, and was taken to MASH.

Tags: Incheon,Fear,Front lines,Rest and Relaxation (R&R),Weapons

Share this Clip +


Luck in Being Wounded

George Staples describes being shot while piloting a helicopter. He recalls he was lucky that he was able to return to friendly territory. He notes he is proud he defended Koreans from the communists. He shares that, above all, the legacy of the Korean War was a sign to the Russians of the resolve of the Americans.

Tags: Incheon,Communists,Fear,Front lines,Message to Students,Rest and Relaxation (R&R)

Share this Clip +


Nightmares of War

George Staples describes the horrors of combat. He details how these events have haunted him, seeing the wounded men. He shares that the events of flying into the frontline and saving men show up in his dreams--images he cannot forget. He describes these events as PTSD.

Tags: Incheon,Fear,Front lines

Share this Clip +