Walter G. Christiansen
USS West Virginia
Walter Glen Christiansen was born in Bensonville, IL and grew up in the
suburbs of Chicago. He served on the USS West Virginia as a gunners
mate, surviving the battleship’s torpedoing and sinking at Pearl Harbor.
He later served in the Battle of Midway on Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron
2, then went on to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, serving as crew
chief on PT 59 commanded by John F. Kennedy. He was also involved in the
rescue of World War I flying ace and Eastern Airlines executive Eddie
Rickenbacker and his crew when their plane went down in the Pacific in
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