George McCullough, a Buckingham resident and veteran, holding a photo of the Navy ship he served on

The Buckingham Salutes Seniors and Service Members

As The Buckingham senior living community honored its many veterans earlier this month, one resident, George McCullough, shared a largely unknown part of World War II as the primary speaker at the community’s Veterans Day celebration.

In 1943, after training on 95-foot crash boats primarily used to pick up downed airmen in the Pacific, McCullough was seconded to the Army and the highly secretive Office of Strategic Services.

OSS, the predecessor to the CIA, was planning an invasion of Japan and needed daring boat operators to smuggle in spies to gather beach intelligence. For months he and this clandestine unit trained off Catalina Island in specially-designed “coffins” — three-person submersibles made for the mission.

Two weeks before his go-date, the atomic bombs were dropped, effectively ending his mission. Although disappointed he didn’t get to accomplish his objective, McCullough fondly recalls being part of something no one had ever done before.

“It was a different experience than almost anyone else in the Navy,” he said.

The Buckingham is privileged to support so many team members and residents like McCullough who served the U.S. with distinction.

Check out George’s story on KHOU 11 News here.