Guide to the Colonel George W. Carrington Collection, 1945-1985

Special Collections & Archives

Oviatt Library

California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330
Phone: (818) 677-2832
Fax: (818) 677-2589
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Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: Colonel George W. Carrington Collection
Dates: 1945-1985
Identification: OCH/CGC
Creator: Carrington, George Williams, 1921-
Physical Description: 0.06 linear feet
Language of Materials:


Repository: Old China Hands Archives
Abstract: Colonel George Williams Carrington was a United States Marine who served in China following World War II in 1946, and became the aide to Oscar Badger, the Commander of Naval Forces in the Far East. With a military career spanning from 1942 to 1968, he saw active duty during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He also spent time in Taiwan as an assistant naval attaché, and was the aide to General Maxwell Taylor, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. In addition to his military career, Carrington also attended Yale, American University, and Oxford University, and has written multiple books on his life and on the history of foreigners in Taiwan (Formosa). The collection contains items mostly related to Carrington’s military career, including photographs, correspondence, newspaper and magazine clippings, and a NATO organizational chart. Also included is a program for the Chinese language course Carrington took at UC Berkeley and publicity materials for two books Carrington authored or edited.

Biographical Information:

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.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Genre/Form of Material:

Paper records
Photographic material

Administrative Information

Processing Information:

Jessica Geiser, 2013

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open for research use.

Preferred Citation:

For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

Related Materials:

Arrangement of Materials:

Series I: Personal Materials, 1945-1985
Series II: Newspaper and Magazine Articles, 1948-1976

Scope and Contents

The Colonel George W. Carrington Collection primarily contains items related to Carrington's military experiences in China and Taiwan during the 1940s and 1950s. The collection is arranged into two series: Personal Materials (1945-1985), and Newspaper and Magazine Articles (1948-1976).
Series I, Personal Materials, consists of items related to Carrington's life and career, including photographs of China and Taiwan, Chinese currency, a letter regarding his work negotiating the release of a downed American pilot in China, a program for the Chinese language course at UC Berkeley, a business card Carrington used in Taiwan, and publicity materials for two books authored or edited by Carrington.
Series II, Newspaper and Magazine Articles, consists of clippings saved by Carrington that relate mostly to the U.S. military forces in China after World War II. Also included is a scholarly article on the cession of Taiwan from China to Japan in 1895.

Collection Contents


Series I: Personal Materials, 1945-1985

Box 1, Item 1

Brochure: University Extension Chinese Language Program at University of California, Berkeley, 1945

Box 1, Item 2

Set of Three Photographs of Carrington and Other Military Members, Including Admiral Oscar Badger, in China, ca. 1946-ca. 1949

Box 1, Item 3

Letter Report of Fitness for Carrington - Details Carrington's Work Negotiating for the Release of an American Pilot from Communist Forces, 1947 September 27

Box 1, Item 4

Chinese 25000 Customs Gold Unit Note, 1948

Box 1, Item 5

Business Card for Major George Williams Carrington, Jr. - Assistant Naval Attaché in Taipei, Taiwan, ca. 1956-ca. 1959

Box 1, Item 6

Brochure: Foreigners in Formosa, 1841-1874 by George Williams Carrington, 1978

Box 1, Item 7

Brochure: Through Peking's Sewer Gate: Relief of the Boxer Siege, 1900-1901 by Richard A. Steel, Edited and with and Introduction by George W. Carrington, 1985

Flat File Cabinet 2, Folder 1, Item 1

Scrapbook Pages of Photographs Taken by Carrington in Taiwan and Peking, China, 1947-1954

Flat File Cabinet 2, Folder 1, Item 2

Organizational Chart of NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, 1960 May 1


Series II: Newspaper and Magazine Articles, 1948-1976

Box 1, Item 8

"The Cession of Taiwan - A Second Look" by Leonard H.D. Gordon, November 1976

Flat File Cabinet 2, Folder 1, Item 3

"Is Our Navy Trapped in China?" The Saturday Evening Post , 25 September 1948

Flat File Cabinet 2, Folder 1, Item 4

"Ship-based Marines Will Stand By For Emergency Here - Badger," North-China Daily News, 1948 December 11

Flat File Cabinet 2, Folder 1, Item 5

"MacArthur Says Fall of China Imperils U.S." Life Magazine, 1948 December 20

Flat File Cabinet 2, Folder 1, Item 6

Three articles: "U.S. Vessels Move Away From Shanghai as Residents Prepared to Defend City," The New York Times; "50 Years' Peiping Duty Ended by U.S. Marines"; and an untitled article about Carrington in Korea, ca. 1949-ca. 1953