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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
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
is now North Dakota State University. He entered the Army in 1936 and
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
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
from the Philippines in the cargo hold of a Japanese ship, one of the
to depart without being sunk by Allied aircraft, whose pilots were
that POWs were aboard. At the Japanese surrender, he was commander of a
camp in northern Japan.
He wrote in a 2002 letter to the editor of The Washington Post,
a writer's reference: "The last use of mounted cavalry in a U.S.
campaign occurred in World War II in the defense of the Philippines,
the U.S. 26th Cavalry gallantly resisted the advance of overwhelming
Japanese forces in the withdrawal to Bataan. After their mission had
completed, their horses provided food to the starving forces on
After recovering from his wartime experiences, he did graduate work
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
housing, the renovation of downtown Baltimore and the development of
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;
grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Contributed by: Clark Tilton Ballard, Jr. (N7UH)
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