George H. Waple III
Highest Military RankCaptain
Tomb DatesJan 1945 - Jan 1948
George Henry Waple, III, Captain, Army United States (Ret.), passed away on Saturday, July 10, 2010 at Monmouth Medical Center of natural causes.
George was born in Waple's Mill, VA on February 9, 1921; a community in the Drainsville section of Fairfax County. He entered the Army at the age of 17 and was assigned to the Third Cavalry at Ft. Meyer, VA. George left the Horse Cavalry, where he rode with then Colonel George Patton, in June of 1942 to join other cadre men in the newly activated 83rd infantry Division at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.
He departed New York on the George Washington in March of 1944. He landed on Omaha Beach, Normandy on or about June 8th. He participated in the five European Campaigns of WW II, including Normandy, the Hurtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge. At war's end, George returned to Fort Myer, VA to become the First Sergeant of the Ceremonial Unit, whose job was burials at Arlington Cemetery, guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Honor Guards and parades. On 5 April, 1948, this unit became part of the newly reactivated Third Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). George became a member of the Old Guard Association, and then in September 2008 he also became a member of the Tomb Guard Honor Society for his contributions made at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the period November 1945 to April 1948. He received a Tomb Guard Honor Society Pin at the 2008 reunion held at Fort Myer, VA Officers Club from the Regimental Commander.
On August 20, 1948, George was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army General Omar Bradley. He served in the capacity until January 12, 1952, when General Bradley commissioned him a Second Lieutenant. After attending school at Ft. Benning, GA, he was assigned to the Fifth Infantry Training Division in Indiantown Gap, Pa where he was promoted to First Lieutenant and became aide to Major general George B. Barth, Division Commander, Fifth Division. In spring, 1953, he was assigned to the Third Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment of the Seventh Infantry Division in Korea.
His combat experiences in the Korean War included participation in the war's last battle as the Chinese launched attacks across the Chowan Valley on the third Battalion from their positions on "Old Baldy" and "Pork Chop Hill." In summer, 1953, George was selected to become Aide de Camp to the Commanding General Seventh Infantry Division, Major General Lionel C. McGarr. IN February 1954 he was assigned to become the escort for Marilyn Monroe, for three days, while she was in the Seventh Division Sector visiting the troops.
In June, 1954 he accompanied General McGarr on his new assignment as Commanding General U.S. Army Caribbean, located in the Panama Canal Zone. Promoted to Captain, he attended Advanced Infantry School in Fort Benning, Ga in September, 1956. He subsequently was assigned to the G-4 Section, Military District of Washington until August, 1958, when he was reassigned as Aide to Major General McGarr, Commandant at the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, KS.
His final assignment was as a Corrections Officers and Athletic Director in the U.S. Army Disciplinary Barracks. He retired from military service in June, 1962, with 24 years of service.
Decorations include combat Infantry Badge with Star; Bronze Star with two Oak leaf Clusters; the Commendation Medal with four clusters; Good Conduct Medal with twelve years of enlisted service; plus other applicable service medals.
After his retirement, George worked for John Hancock Insurance Company for two years. From 1964 until 1985 he served in a managerial position for the Chevrolet Agency, Farmingdale, Cadillac Agency, Red Bank, Flat Agency, Red Bank, and Chevrolet Agency, Asbury Park. For medical reasons he then retired. A copyright of his memoirs entitled "Country Boy Gone Soldiering" was submitted to the Library of Congress in 1998. The book was ready for distribution from the author, publisher, Amazon.com and National Book stores in March, 1999, up to the present.
In his later years, he donated his services to Brookdale Community College. In 2001, he was chosen to join the newly formed Brookdale Community College's Center on WW II Studies and Conflict Resolution's Executive Council. He was also appointed to the Center's Commemorative Center. In the spring 2007, George was presented an honorary Degree in Letters by Brookdale Community College. He became an unofficial adjunct professor by always attending and participating in Professor Paul Zigo's WW II History Classes. Brookdale Community College and the Center for WW II Studies and Conflict Resolution recently, on June 26, 2010, honored George by dedicating a special corner of the Library (Waple's Corner) to George for his service to his country in two wars. George also participated in Many of the centers laugh commemorative events and evening lectures and presentations.
During the past 15 years he has become a popular speaker at many High Schools, Colleges, Military Service and Community Organizations, from New York to Florida, about his life, WWII and Korean Wars following his memoirs from his book "Country Boy Gone Soldiering" which has been sold throughout the world.
During his golfing years George played from Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Florida. He shot 7 holes in one. His lowest handicap was 8 with his best score being a 71. He was a well known figure at the Sun Eagles Golf Course, Fort Monmouth, NJ. George won the Monmouth County Senior Championship at the age of 65.
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Units & Campaigns3d United States Cavalry Regiment
83rd Infantry Division
3d United States Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard)
Office of the Army Chief of Staff, Pentagon
5th Infantry Training Division, Pennsylvania
3d Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, Korea
United States Army Caribbean Command
Military District of Washington
Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth
United States Army Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth
Awards & DecorationsBronze Star w/ 2 OLC
Army Commendation Medal w/4 OLC
Army Good Conduct Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal (Korea)
Combat Infantryman Badge
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Did you know?
Is it true after two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as Guard of the Tomb, that there are only 600 presently worn, and that the Guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin?
The Tomb Guard Identification Badge (TGIB) is awarded after the Sentinel passes a series of tests. The TGIB is permanently awarded after a Sentinel has served nine months as a Sentinel at the Tomb. Over 600 have been awarded since its creation in the late 1950's (on average 10 per year). And while the TGIB can be revoked, the offense must be such that it discredits the Tomb of the Unknowns. Revocation is at the 3rd Infantry Regimental Commander’s discretion and can occur while active duty or even when the Sentinel is a civilian. The TGIB is a full size award, worn on the right pocket of the uniform jacket, not a lapel pin.