SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information

 

 



In Memory of  U.S. Army Sergeant First Class

Allen Duane Christensen

Flandreau, South Dakota, Moody County

August 27, 1947 – April 3, 1972 (MIA)
January 8, 1979 (Presumed Dead)

Missing in Action, Presumed Dead in Quang Tri City, South Vietnam

Allen Duane Christensen was born August 27, 1942, in Flandreau, South Dakota, to Norman and Elizabeth (Brewick) Christensen. He had one brother, Daryl, and one sister, Janice. Allen attended grade school in Trent, South Dakota, and then later on he went to high school in Flandreau, graduating in 1965. Allen was a backyard mechanic and “he would get up early and go down to the dam on the Big Sioux in Flandreau and fish until it was time to go get cleaned up for school.” He worked at gas stations, car dealerships and on his grandparents’ farm near Mitchell, South Dakota. Allen loved to read. According to Allen’s sister, Janice, “he was a quiet, lean person and thought before he spoke. He was a redhead, though, and when he did get fired up, most people if they had any sense would back off.” Christmas was a special time, Janice said “We didn’t have much but we sure had a good time. Allen would always buy me something special.”

Allen Duane enlisted in the service January 24, 1966, after high school. He was trained at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He took the U.S. Army cooks’ course, automotive repair and the field artillery school while serving in the army. SFC Christensen was stationed in Germany then was discharged January 9, 1969. During his time out of the service, he was in the National Guard Unit in Flandreau from April 10, 1970 to April 21, 1971. He then re-enlisted in April 24, 1971, and volunteered for Vietnam. When he went overseas to Vietnam, Christensen was an E5 Crew Chief, Headquarters/Headquarters Detachment, 37th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade.

According to reports, on April 3, 1972, “the helicopter that Allen was on left Marble Mountain Airfield, Da Nang, on a standard supply mission to signal units in and around Qunag Tri City.” According to http://taskforceomegainc.org, “By 1010 hours, Quang Tri ground control had lost contact with the aircraft and its crew entirely…an extensive search and rescue (SAR) operation was launched the next morning for the missing Huey in the suspected area of loss… At the time the formal SAR was terminated, Larry Zich [co-pilot], Douglas O’Neill [pilot], Allen Christensen, and Edward Williams [gunner] were listed Missing in Action.”

On April 6, 1972, a telegram was sent to the family. It read:

The Secretary of the Army has asked me to inform you that your son,
Specialist Five Allen Duane Christensen, has been reported missing in
Vietnam since 3 April 1972. He was last seen while a crewmember on a
military aircraft on a military mission when radio contact was lost. Search
is in process. You will be promptly advised as additional information is
received. In order to protect any information that might be used to your
son’s detriment, your cooperation is requested in making public only
information concerning his name, rank, service number and date of birth.
Please accept my deepest sympathy during this most trying period.

In May of 1979, after Allen’s status was changed from Missing in Action to Presumed Dead, there was a memorial service. There is a stone in his memory at Union Cemetery in Flandreau. Allen received the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Medal and the Military Merit.

Current survivors include his mother, Elizabeth Christensen of Flandreau; his brother, Daryl (Kay) Christensen of Flandreau; his sister, Janice (Brady) Waugh of Pipestone, Minnesota; and his nephews, Troy and Eric Christensen, and his nieces, Sara Christensen and Jennifer Hulstein. In closing, Janice had these words about her beloved brother:

As with every family who lost a loved one to war, there is always the question ‘why my son or daughter?’ My answer would be WHY NOT? Allen was doing what he wanted to do, he volunteered for Vietnam, and he volunteered for that particular mission. To retain the peace that we have here in the United States young men and women must die,the way it has been for centuries. Knowing that doesn’t make it hurt any less, but it should make us all very proud of what these young people have given up for us, and honor their memory.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Jenna Crosswait, 8th Grader, Spearfish Middle School, October 5, 2005. The information for this entry was provided by Janice Waugh, sister, in Pipestone, Minnesota, the Vietnam Veterans Bonus Application, and http://taskforceomegainc.org. Profile approval by Janice Waugh, sister.

 


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