In Memory of
Fireman First Class USNR
Harry Eilert Christopherson
Viborg, South Dakota
March 3, 1923 – November 24, 1943
Killed in Action near Gilbert Islands
Harry Eilert Christopherson was born March 3, 1923, in
Viborg, South Dakota. Harry was the son of Andrew and May Christopherson and
had two brothers named Elwood and Earl. He grew up in Viborg and graduated from
Viborg High School in 1942.
Harry worked as a farm hand until his enlistment into the
U.S.N.R. on February 25, 1943. He was called to active duty on March 4, 1943,
taking his basic training at Farragut, Idaho.
After basic training, Harry was transferred to the U.S.S.
Liscombe Bay, which was an aircraft carrier.
On December 2, 1944, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Christopherson
received this letter:
Your son Harry Eilert Christopherson, Fireman First Class,
USNR, has been carried on the
Official records of the Navy Department in the status of missing in action as
of 24 November
I extend to you my sympathy in your sorrow and hope you may
find comfort in the knowledge
that your son gave his life for his county, upholding the highest traditions
of the Navy.
His ship was sunk in the Gilbert Islands by a Japanese sub
in three minutes. There were 267 survivors from a crew of 1,537 men. Harry
received the Purple Heart while in action for his service to his country.
Harry Eilert Christopherson was a great sailor. He gave
his life for his country. We will always remember that he sacrificed his life
for his country.
This entry was
respectfully submitted by Allison Mielke, 11th Grade, and Chris Ochs,
12th Grade, Parker High School, Parker, South Dakota, April 30,
2002. Information for this entry was provided by Mr. Elwood G. Christopherson,
Sturgis, South Dakota, brother of Harry E. Christopherson.