The Lost, Last Letter

The American Warrior

Guadalcanal SBD VMSB-231 4x6 A VMSB-231 SBD over Guadalcanal, late 1942.

Frank Christen grew up on a Depression-Era farm just outside of tiny Jerseyville, Illinois, graduating from the high school there in 1938 at age 19. He scraped enough together to continue his education at Washington College in St. Louis, then transferred to the University of Texas at Austin. In June 1941, he enlisted in the USNR and was accepting into the flight training program. He learned to fly at Grand Prairie, Texas and graduated the following year from NAS Corpus Christi on May 20, 1942. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps and assigned to VMSB-142, a Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombing squadron.n3n corpus christi color 4x6

While at the University of Texas, Frank had met Ruth Clark of Corning, New York. He and Ruth were married on July 30, 1942 just before he was assigned to NAS Coronado in San Diego.  The couple lived…

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on June 23, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. What a story. I am continually surprised by the information that can come to light from such obscure places. I hope members of Ruth or Frank’s family can be found.


  2. Fascinating story, can only hope that the story does have a happy ending, with his descendants knowing he died a hero.
    There must be thousands of untold story’s behind every MIA.
    Very informative reading.


  3. Thanks for liking my Mum’s (Chris’s) post about meeting my Dad on It was always sunny. Sad times.


  4. Amazing story. I hope family are located.


  5. Cardboard Express

    Hello there! I just wanted to say that you have an incredible blog, and that I find your content insightful, refreshing, and apt!


  6. Amazing first hand report. What he probably went through and a shame his wife didn’t get that last letter.


  7. What a sad tale GP. I felt myself becoming quite emotional as I got to the end. I hope that some family still living can get some comfort from this, and that they don’t find it too hard to bear.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  1. Pingback: The Lost, Last Letter | Home Sweet Home WY

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