KEITH CHRISTENSEN (ARMY)

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C Co, 19th Armored Infantry Battalion
14th Armored Division


     I was inducted into the service on October 20, 1942. I completed basic training at Camp White, Oregon; then I started my Army Specialized Training Program at University  of California, Berkeley, from June through December of 1943. Then at Camp Roberts in California, I joined the 89th  Chemical Battalion, which had the 4.2 mortars. From there I  left the 89th to join the 201st Infantry doing ration and clothing tests at Fort Carson, Colorado. I was sent unassigned overseas from Camp Shanks in New York in October of 1944. In the ETO  I joined the 19th AIB, 14 Armored, Co. C, in November of 1944. I was wounded in action on January 12, 1945, at Hatten, during the third day of battle there. I was sent to the 21st General Hospital in France to recover and came back to my unit in February of 1945. 

     Elements of the 157th Infantry, 45th Division took Dachau. We (19th AIB, 14th Armored) were only 4 kilometers away when ordered south. I regret that I did not see Dachau.  We (19th) liberated Hammelberg in mid-April. All prisoners were POWs: US, French, Russian, Serb, etc. Patton's son-in-law, LCL Waters, was there. Elements of the 14th Armored liberated Moosberg on the Austrian border. All POWs: mostly US AAC shot down fliers.
     Quoted from my book Hero for a Day:  “Into Hammelburg. Such rejoicing. Smiles. Hugs! Tears! One felt a bit embarrassed. But some of these men had been POW’s for years. They were wounded GIs and the wounded son-in-law of General Patton was there. Our saved, but less desirable ration cigarettes went in a hurry. In fact, it dawned on me later in the day that I was nearly out of some for myself. Also, our rations went fast. We were glad to give. These guys were certainly deserving to any and everything we had. This short episode taught me that the basic values in life are really what life is all about. Oh, what we take for granted in these great United States. “
    After the war I left the 14th Armored and went to Co. G, 157th, 45th Division, headed for Japan. With the war over, I arrived home in September of 1945 and was discharged November 12, 1945. I took a direct commission in 1949 and was recalled to Korea, where I was stationed in August of 1951, Co. G., 24th Infantry, and with Co. D., 27th Infantry at Koji Do from December 1951 to February 1952.  I stayed in USAR (active reserve) and retired as an 04-Major Infantry in September of 1974.

Keith Christensen died on January 28, 2011.  Read more about him under the Korean War tab.