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Carrington, George Williams (1921-) | Special Collections & Archives

Name: Carrington, George Williams (1921-)

Historical Note:

George Carrington was born in New York in 1921. He attended Yale and received his Bachelors degree in 1942, whereupon he joined the United States Marine Corps and was sent to the Pacific campaigns. While in the Pacific, he learned from a friend about the Chinese language program offered by U.C. Berkeley. He asked his superiors if he could enroll, and once given permission he began taking courses in Chinese in the summer of 1945. He was then sent to China, where he was stationed in Tientsin, Peking, Tsingtao, and Shanghai. While in China, he served as the aide to Oscar Badger, the Commander of Naval Forces in the Far East, and negotiated the release of a downed American pilot captured by communist forces.

After the U.S. forces left China in 1949, Carrington went back to the United States, where he served in the Marine Corps headquarters and took more courses in Chinese before being sent to Korea. Before and after the Korean War, he was also involved in developing and training the Chinese Marine Corps on Taiwan. He was eventually appointed the Assistant Naval Attaché in Taiwan, and stayed there from 1956 to 1959.

Carrington again returned to the United States after his tour of duty in Taiwan was complete, where he was appointed the aide to General Maxwell D. Taylor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the Kennedy administration. During this time, he also attended American University, where he received a masters degree in 1963. When the Vietnam War started, he was sent to serve as a base defense commander in Donong.

After returning from Vietnam, Carrington decided to retire from the military and pursue his academic interests. He enrolled in Oxford University, where he received a Doctorate in Philosophy in 1974, and published his dissertation, Foreigners in Formosa, 1841-1874. He has also written two autobiographical works, and currently lives in California.

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