PRIVATE FIRST CLASS
STANLEY REUBEN CHRISTIANSON, USMC
Private First Class Stanley R. Christianson of Mindoro, Wisconsin, earned the Medal of Honor for giving his life in a one-man stand against a ferocious attack which threatened to destroy his platoon in Korea on 29 September 1950.
The Nation’s highest tribute for gallantry was presented posthumously to his parents by Secretary of the Navy Daniel A. Kimball in Washington, D.C., on 30 August 1951. The Medal of Honor was PFC Christianson’s second decoration in 16 days of fighting in Korea. Just 11 days before he was killed, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for another act of valor.
The 25-year-old Leatherneck, a veteran of almost eight years in the Marine Corps, also had been awarded the Letter of Commendation for meritorious service in the Pacific during World War II.
Born 24 January 1925, in Mindoro, Wisconsin, Stanley Reuben Christianson attended school in LaCrosse County, Wisconsin, and farmed for a time before enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserve on 2 October 1942, at the age of 17.
Following recruit training at San Diego, California, PFC Christianson took advanced training with the 2d Marine Division and went overseas with that outfit. He fought at Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa, and served with the occupation forces in Japan.
Discharged in December 1945, PFC Christianson reenlisted in the regular Marine Corps three months later. He served at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida; as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island, South Carolina; at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Hastings, Nebraska; at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York; and at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, before going overseas to Korea with the 1st Marine Division in August 1950.
After participating in the Inchon landing, he earned the Bronze Star Medal on 18 September 1950. The citation said Private First Class Christianson, acting as an automatic rifleman during an assault, “fearlessly and courageously exposed himself to find the exact location of the enemy." Eleven days later, PFC Christianson was killed.
Besides the Medal of Honor, the Bronze Star Medal and the Letter of Commendation, PFC Christianson held the following decorations: Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation with two bronze stars; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three bronze stars; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia and Europe clasps; and the Korean Service Medal with three bronze stars.