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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

Arthur Christensen (KC3AP)

January 21, 2004

Chris was my father-in-law and originally entered amateur radio as a novice with the call of WA3ZDJ in the early 1970's. He upgraded to Advanced and became KC3AP. He was active in HF, VHF, and as an Army MARS operator until his move from Severna Park, MD, in 2000. The following is the obituary as published by the Washington Post on January 28, 2004: Arthur G. Christensen; Army Colonel And POW Arthur George Christensen, 88, a retired Army colonel and urban renewal official, died of complications from a blood infection Jan. 21 a Georgetown University Hospital. Col. Christensen was born in State College, N.M., and graduated from what is now North Dakota State University. He entered the Army in 1936 and was posted in the Philippines, first as an infantry officer and then as a cryptologic officer until the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Within eight hours, the Japanese attacked the Philippines. During the four-month defense of Bataan, Col. Christensen was a liaison officer coordinating operations until his capture behind enemy lines the day before the general surrender of the U.S. forces. Col. Christensen survived the Bataan Death March and 31/2 years in prisoner of war camps. In 1944, he and 350 other prisoners were evacuated from the Philippines in the cargo hold of a Japanese ship, one of the last to depart without being sunk by Allied aircraft, whose pilots were unaware that POWs were aboard. At the Japanese surrender, he was commander of a POW camp in northern Japan. He wrote in a 2002 letter to the editor of The Washington Post, correcting a writer's reference: "The last use of mounted cavalry in a U.S. military campaign occurred in World War II in the defense of the Philippines, where the U.S. 26th Cavalry gallantly resisted the advance of overwhelming Japanese forces in the withdrawal to Bataan. After their mission had been completed, their horses provided food to the starving forces on Bataan." After recovering from his wartime experiences, he did graduate work at Vanderbilt University, served on the Army's intelligence staff in the Pentagon and served in Austria. His final assignment before retirement was as commander of a training regiment at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Among his decorations were the Silver Star for gallantry in action on Bataan and the Legion of Merit. He retired from the Army in 1960. Col. Christensen moved to Severna Park and went to work for the Urban Renewal Corp. of Baltimore in the relocation of families from substandard housing, the renovation of downtown Baltimore and the development of the Inner Harbor until 1970. He was a real estate broker as an avocation. In 2000, he and his wife moved to Collington Episcopal Life Care Community in Mitchellville. Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Sara Ryan Christensen; a son, Allen Christensen of Bowie; three daughters, Nona Ballard of Steilacoom, WA, Elaine Gates of Naples, Fla., and Carol Christensen of Severna Park; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. 2004 The Washington Post Company

Contributed by: Clark Tilton Ballard, Jr. (N7UH)

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