Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice


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Those Who Died That Others Might Be Free

 

Minor League Baseball

Floyd Christiansen

 

Date and Place of Birth: 1919 Chicago, Illinois
Date and Place of Death: May 1, 1945 Moore, Oklahoma
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Infield
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Military Unit: US Marine Corps
Area Served: United States

 

"Plane Crash Kills Lt Christiansen, Former Ball Pro"

Nevada State Journal, July 15, 1945

 

In the mid–1930s, Floyd E. Christiansen was a shortstop with Calumet High School in Chicago, Illinois, before working for the Goodman Manufacturing Company. In late 1939, he signed a professional contract with the Borger Gassers of the Class D West Texas-New Mexico League, but was released after playing just two games. He was out of Organized Baseball in 1940, but signed with the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization in the spring of 1941, and joined the Decatur Commodores of the Class B Three-I League. At the end of spring training, he was assigned to the Sioux City Soos of the Class D Western League, where he played third base and batted .253 with 35 RBIs in 109 games. Christiansen joined the Springfield Cardinals of the Class C Western Association in 1942, moving to second base and batting .231 in 131 games.

Christiansen entered military service with the Marine Corps in January 1943, and trained as a pilot at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, as well as entering the Navy V-5 program at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. After earning his pilot’s wings and a commission as a second lieutenant, he was assigned to the Naval Air Technical Training Center at Norman, Oklahoma, as a primary flight instructor with the United States Marine Corps.

On May 1, 1945, Christiansen and Cadet Carl G. Hanshaw were both killed during a training flight that crashed at Moore, Oklahoma, about 13 miles north of Norman.

Funeral services were held at the Golgotha Lutheran Church in Chicago, on May 5. On September 2, 1945, an Office of Civilian Defense memorial plaque dedication was held at 84th and Ada Streets in Chicago. Floyd’s brothers, Hilbert and Cyril, both attended the services. Hilbert was home on 30-day furlough from Italy, where he served with the Army Air Force, while Cyril had been honorably discharged from service having participated in three major battles in the Pacific.

 

Year

Team

League

Class

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

AVG

1939

Borger

W. Texas-New Mexico

D

2

6

0

1

0

0

0

0

.167

1940

 Did Not Play

1941

Sioux City

Western

D

109

403

47

102

12

5

0

35

.253

1942

Springfield

Western Assoc.

C

131

477

76

110

19

7

4

41

.231

 

Added December 23, 2006. Updated February 13, 2011.

Copyright © 2011 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.