The name of Phil Hough, a trustee for the Oliver North Legal Assistance Fund, was misspelled in an Associated Press story in some of yesterday's editions. (Published 7/23/87)

Trustees for the Oliver North Legal Assistance Fund disclosed yesterday that public contributions to the former White House aide have topped $1.276 million.

More than $1 million has arrived since North, a Marine lieutenant colonel, first testified on Capitol Hill on July 7, according to Phil Huff, one of the three fund trustees -- all of whom attended the U.S. Naval Academy with North.

"We're really pleased. It's just been an unbelievable response," said Huff. "When Ollie began his testimony, we had $101,000. . . .

"We've gained $250,000 the last two days in a row. We had 75,000 pieces of mail just after the first day of testimony. The bank that's handling the mail-opening and keeping track of the money had to hire 10 additional people to deal with the volume over the past seven days."

North, a former National Security Council aide, was fired last November following the revelation that profits from the sale of arms to Iran had been diverted to assist the U.S.-backed contra rebels in Nicaragua. He still faces possible prosecution by Lawrence E. Walsh, the special independent counsel named to investigate the affair.

North testified before joint House and Senate committees that he had set up the diversion because he thought he had President Reagan's authorization.

North's boss, former national security adviser Rear Adm. John M. Poindexter, testified after North and accepted responsibility for the affair.

Retired rear admiral Clarence A. (Mark) Hill, a trustee of the Poindexter Defense Fund, declined yesterday to say how much money had been contributed but said he had been "absolutely inundated with mail at this point."