NO. 17560 • 11 October 1927 – 13 February 1951
Killed in Action February 13, 1951 in Korea, aged 23 Years.
Chris was born on 11 October 1927, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and spent the normal abnormal life of an Army brat moving from place to place. The son of a distinguished Army officer, Chris decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. Chris entered West Point in July 1946 to become a member of the Class of 1950. His mature demeanor and steadying influence were soon felt by his Classmates and friends who were not quite so well prepared for the rigors of Plebe year. He was always cheerful and optimistic, and a number of the Class of 1950 owe Chris a debt of gratitude for helping them through those dark days of Beast Barracks when the urge to quit was strong.
Chris was elected honor representative from our company which is tribute enough to his unquestioned integrity. Throughout his four years at the Academy his natural intelligence allowed him to stand high in his class
and at the same time devote most of his time to coaching his friends. Chris was one of the most genuinely liked members of D-2 company by both his classmates and by classes both above and below him. His norm was a friendly nod and grin when you passed him, and always a little personal greeting.
He was uniformly respected throughout the company for his ability to get a job done. The nature of the task was really immaterial, since, he attacked all probIems with confidence and quickly reduced them to their simpIest components. He was similarly respected by the Tactical Department, as was evidenced by his duties and the rank of cadet lieutenant which was awarded him First Class year.
Chris volunteered for jump school when he graduated and once again took things in his stride. But events were taking place that were soon to end his short but dedicated career. After jump school, Chris volunteered for Korea. He was assigned to Company F, 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3d Division near Seoul. In Korea, Chris demonstrated his extreme devotion to duty by displaying conspicuous courage and bravery, On 10 February 1951, his platoon was assigned the mission of rescuing a patrol that was pinned down and unable to move. As his platoon neared the beleaguered patrol, intense small arms and automatic weapons fire halted his unit and wounded one of his men. With complete disregard for his own safety, he crawled across an open area to the wounded man, and although completely exposed to heavy fire, shielded the soldier with his own body while administering first aid. Then, he carried the wounded man 50 yards back through intense automatic fire to the comparative safety of his own platoon. For the above action, Chris was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. This act typified his selfless attitude and regard for his fellow men. Three days later, on 13 February, Chris was instantly killed in action, having sacrificed his life in the defense of his country.
Chris is survived by his father and mother, Colonel and Mrs. Frank P. Christensen of Sunnyvale, Calif.; his brother Robert of Trenton, N.J.; and his sister, Mrs. Lois Roberts of Washington, D.C.
To those who knew Chris, knew of his enthusiasm and intense interest in his work, as well as his love of life and people; it will always be difficult to understand why he should have been taken from us at the beginning of his career. He was laid to rest in the Post Cemetery at West Point. In the brief space of a few combat days the Army lost a fine and talented officer, and all who knew him lost a wonderful friend.