Turps first encountered Indiana Jones in Kafiristan in 1931 while partaking in a museum heist with Orch Crowloff. Turps was at the wheel of the getaway car when his partner jumped in the back suddenly followed by Indiana Jones. Not wanting to lose his hands to Afghan justice, Turps sped away while Crowloff and Jones fought in the back seat. During their escape, Turps abandoned the pair as the car approached a railroad crossing and seemed on a collision course with the oncoming train. Turps hit his head on a rock and was unable to determine the fate of his partner or Jones. Jones, at least, survived the encounter.
Fours year later, Turps had become the first mate aboard the Julie Anne when arrangements were made for the ship to assist Indiana Jones and Doctor Lopez in the Marquesas Islands. While Lopez was killed, Jones managed to return with a map leading to the Shrine of the Sea Devil. Still angry at the archaeologist for the Kafiristan incident and wanting to take the underwater temple's pearls for himself, Turps led a mutiny against Captain Whitby while Jones was diving for the treasure.
Turps' plan to have Jones shot once he resurfaced was foiled when the shrine's guardian, a giant octopus known as the Sea Devil, attacked the archaeologist as he was being pulled back up. The Sea Devil turned his attention to the ship and Turps and the crew found themselves having to fight off the creature. Thinking Jones dead, Whitby and Caspar Zzyzx abandoned ship while most the crew climbed the Julie Anne's rigging, a move which doomed them all. Turps, meanwhile, headed below deck to arm himself with a box of grenades to fend off the Sea Devil when one of the tentacles smashed through wood to grab Turps and dragged the sailor back onto the deck. Just as Jones made it back to the ship, Turps pulled the pin on a grenade but a second tentacle knocked the explosive out of his hand and toward the box.
The following explosion rocked the entire ship and rendered Jones unconscious. When he awoke, the Sea Devil was gone but he was also the only one left aboard the sinking Julie Anne.
- Indiana Jones and the Shrine of the Sea Devil (First appearance)