Military Wiki
George Victor Jmaeff
Nickname "Canada"
Born August 14, 1945
Died March 1, 1969(1969-03-01) (aged 23)
Place of birth Oliver, British Columbia, Canada
Place of death Quảng Trị Province, South Vietnam
Buried at Osoyoos Lakeview Cemetery, Osoyoos, British Columbia
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1967–1969
Rank USMC-E4.svg Corporal
Unit Company C, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Navy Cross
Bronze Star w/ Combat "V"
Purple Heart

George Victor Jmaeff (August 14, 1945 – March 1, 1969) was a highly decorated United States Marine Corps corporal. He was one of the few Canadian-Americans to be killed in action during the Vietnam War and was also a recipient of the Navy Cross.


Early life

George V. Jmaeff was born on August 14, 1945, in Oliver, British Columbia. Jmaeff grew up in Osoyoos, British Columbia and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Seattle, Washington on November 28, 1967. He graduated at the top of his platoon in January 1968 from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California.[1][2]

Vietnam War

Jmaeff arrived in Vietnam in July of 1968, where he was assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division in Quảng Trị Province. In October 1968, Jmaeff became acquainted with First Lieutenant Karl Marlantes, and the two Marines became close friends.[1][3]

Jmaeff, standing at 6-foot 4-inches and weighing over 200 pounds, was looked up to by every Marine in his battalion. He was a few years older than most other enlisted men and carried a sawed-off M60 machine gun and its ammunition by himself. Jmaeff often took point of his platoon during a patrol. He was also one of just 12,000 Canadians to serve in the Vietnam War. He always carried a Canadian flag with him and was given the nickname "Canada" by his fellow Marines.[1][4]


On March 1, 1969, Company C attempted to take Hill 484. Corporal Jmaeff was the acting platoon sergeant and single-handedly assaulted and knocked-out numerous enemy emplacements despite being wounded by a hand grenade. While he was receiving medical aid, several other Marines were wounded by enemy mortar fire. Corporal Jmaeff left his position of safety to assist his fellow Marines when he was mortally wounded by a mortar round.[3][5]


George V. Jmaeff was one of just over 130 Canadians killed during the Vietnam War. He was also posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on the day of his death, for which he was the only Canadian to be awarded the Navy Cross during the war. Jmaeff was buried in Osoyoos Lakeview Cemetery.[4][5][6]

Four Marines who served alongside Jmaeff in Vietnam later named a child after him. Additionally, Jmaeff served as the inspiration for the character "Vancouver" in Karl Marlantes' Vietnam War novel Matterhorn.[1][7]


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