Army Air Corps

Theodore 'Ted' Christopherson






Roy found some info on Bergstrom where Ted served. There are 72 photos he took while serving. Some are below, the rest are in his albums, see below or main Photo page. While Ted was serving, his fiancée, Pauline worked at the Defense Industries Limited.


Ted started from the Presidio to Chanute, ILL., then down to Texas and then shipped out to Australia and ended on Luzon island in the Philippines.


If you served with Ted, please contact Roy. Ted never spoke of any of this. Except one story.


Research notes: Teds (Dad) Military Record on order 04/14/08 Notes until verified

The role of the Troop Carrier groups was to:- * fly from forward bases into front-line airfields * drop supplies to infantry engaged in battle with the enemy * to drop paratroopers onto the battlefield

The 6th Combat Cargo Squadron (6thCCS) of the 2nd Combat Cargo Group was formed in April 1944. QUES. Where did the photo of this group was taken if based in Syracuse Air Base?


ATC = Air Transport Command

The Curtiss C-46 Commando began to fly Hump missions in May 1943

In addition to losses from weather and mechanical failure, the unarmed and escorted transport aircraft flying the Hump were occasionally attacked by Japanese fighters. wiki


Mom addressed postcard pack to TX. He enlisted at Monterey.




The Air Service, United States Army[1] was a forerunner of the United States Air Force during and after World War I.

United States Army Air Corps July 2, 1926–June 20, 1941

United States Army Air Forces June 20, 1941–September 18, 1947

United States Air Force September 18, 1947–present



Ted entered military; 30 Jan 1942, Presidio of Monterey, California


T E Christopherson, "United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946"

Name: T E Christopherson Name (Original): CHRISTOPHERSON T E

Event Type: Military Service

Event Date: 30 Jan 1942

Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Event

Place: Presidio Of Monterey, California, United States Residence


Race: White

Citizenship Status: not yet a citizen

Birth Year: 1918


Education Level: Grammar school

Civilian Occupation: Electricians

Marital Status: Single, without dependents

Military Rank: Private Army

Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA Army

Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source Reference:

Civil Life Serial Number: 39087923

Affiliate Publication Title: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938-1946

Affiliate ARC Identifier: 1263923

Box Film Number: 13896.155


Image of Record: No [Roy has his Honorable Discharge papers]

"United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 Dec 2013), T E Christopherson, 30 Jan 1942.



IMG_4678_SCAN - Chanute Air Field Base  "There is one more large hanger and classrooms to the left of this picture" Ted to Pauline  circa 1942-43, Courtesy of The Ted Christopherson CollectionChanute Air Field Base from Internet 1998IMG_SCAN_1786IMG_SCAN_1790IMG_SCAN_1791IMG_SCAN_1795IMG_SCAN_1808IMG_SCAN_1850IMG_SCAN_18511 - 9<>

Chanute Air Field

Photographs taken by Ted while stationed at Fighting 37th School Squadron at Chanute Field at Rantoul, ILL

Courtesy of The Ted Christopherson Collection


Chanute had been leased in 1917 as a flying school, but after the war it had been used as a storage depot for aviation supplies. In 1921 the deteriorating plant had been reopened, purely as a temporary expedient, to receive the mechanics school from Kelly, but eventually all technical training had been moved there. Unfavorable weather prevented proper flying training at Chanute, and the plant was so overcrowded as to be a hazard to the health of its occupants. Yet in 1930 and 1934 proposals to move the school met so much political opposition that they had to be dropped. In 1937 a compromise finally permitted a part of the Technical School to be moved to a donated site near Denver, Colorado. In 1938 the Air Corps had begun to occupy the new station, Lowry Field.11 Maxwell Field at Montgomery, Alabama, was the site of the Air Corps Tactical School. Source p123


Chanute Field was the original home of the Army Air Corps Technical School. The 37th School Sqd. was a technical training squadron. Air Force did not exit then as today.

According to a story told to Roy Christopherson by CAPT Ray Conlisk, who attended a dinner in San Francisco in honor of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, during WWII, the Air Force, as we know it know, did not exist. Part of the Army became the Army Air Corps and the Air Force did not come into being until after 1945. Armed Air Corps had the technology and Air Power surpassing the Army, which had Infanty men, lots of them.


Ted was activated 6 Dec 1940 at Chanute Field, redesignated 37th Technical School Sq about the beginning of 1942, Ted moved to Grand Rapids MI 8 Feb 1943, then back to Chanute Field 9 Jul 1943, then disbanded 28 Feb 1944.


There is currently a 37th School Sqd. at Maxwell AFB AL. I do not know if its lineage extends to the earlier 37th School Sq. If it does, the unit historian may have additional information.



The 37th Flying Training Squadron is descended from the WW II 37th Fighter Squadron, not a School Squadron.


There's a lineage of the 37th FTS at:


Related - NO!



Roy knows Ted was at Bergstrom in Texas because he sent Pauline postcards, and the later ones on our family website are from there when he was with the 6th Combat Cargo Squadron. This is a set of about 60+ negatives and the envelope shows:


Chanute Field

Rantoul, ILL.

Signed by dad on July 18

1 roll size 120

1 print each


Stationed with 24th Troop Carrier Squadron, 89thTroop Carrier Group? Based out of Bergstrom Airforce Base, TX.

Flying crewman, possibly a c47skytrain AD? His plane ditched in Texas during a cargo run (see below). The other photos were together and obviously overseas. I don't think he was involved with The Hump, but possibly in the Pacific. His noseart is of a flying donkey which is also on a jacket emblem. Coincidence? PatchAAF24TrpCarSq.

Roy does not have this emblem.


  IMG_SCAN_2468Courtesy of The Ted Christopherson Collection 


The two people who knew where, when and what this was are passed on.

Roy's guess is, Bergstrom


From Nonni Johnson,

"This airplane I think is a B26 Martin_B-26_Marauder. An American airplane, it was one of the few airplanes to be built with a nosewheel, most of the others were tail draggers."

This was probably taken when Ted just entered school and spotted it driving by.

Being none of the B-26's in the above URL have the rear gun like this, it might have been reconfigured with the turret. Too bad he did not get the front nose.

Courtesy of The Ted Christopherson Collection


"The only story I recall was about the scar on his knee. He (Ted) said he was knocked to the floor when the pilot misjudged a landing on different plane. They had been flying B-19's [Roy: I believe he meant C-46 WIKI ] or some such thing, and the pilot always sat low in the front of the plane. They were flying a larger cargo plane with the pilot seat up high and the view below blocked. Since he was sitting higher in the plane, he came in a little low and hit the running pretty hard. I thought he had said that was a runway in Canada, not sure now. There may even be a log of the incident somewhere in released military records now"(According to Ted's records, he was not in Canada).

from Ron Christopherson"


Imphal, The Hump and Beyond

Roy found this web page a long time ago, however, looking over Teds records and his Discharge Papers, now see the same service dates and locations, so possible Ted was on many of these islands and situations, being bored or risking life & limb.

'U.S.A.A.F. Combat Cargo Groups of the Second World War' by Capt. John J. Johnson, 6th CCS Intelligence Office

This, for the most part, matches Ted's Discharge paper...

"6th Combat Cargo Squadron covered sufficient territory to obtain battle stars for New Guinea, Western Pacific, Southern Philippines, Leyete, Luzon, Ryukus and the Air Offensive of Japan, and, to be awarded the Philippine Liberation Ribbon"

Ted's Discharge paper shows he left NOV 21 1945, arriving DEC 7 and at Camp Beale DEC 11 1945. With a fairly high ASR score, possible he left early due to it. More on ASR below.


( ) = roys notes

Theodore Christopherson's Honorable Discharge



ARMY SERIAL [ Deleted ]

ORGANIZATION: 6th Combat Cargo Squadron


ARM OR SERVICE: AC - (air corps?)


COMPONENT: AUS (AUSTRALIA?). (This was a point of departure on way to Philippine islands.)

CIVILLIAN OCCU. Elec Appliance Serviceman


1945 Single

Date of Induction: 30 JAN 1942

Date of Enlistment: Blank

Date of Entry into Active Service: 30 JAN 1942

Place of Entry: Presidio of Monterey Calif (where the 6th was based at.)

Occupation: Elec. Airplane Mechanic 685

Sharpshooter Pistol 1 AUG 44




(TIME IN FOREIGN? NOV 23 1944 TO NOV 21 1945)





1. NEW GUINEA [Unit Citation number] G0 40 WD 45 [general order 40 war department 1945]

January 24, 1943 to December 31, 1944






4. WESTERN PACIFIC April 17, 1944 ñ September 2, 1945

[Unit Citation number] G0 33 WD 45 [general order 33 war department 1945]


Only have the above description from dad's record. The following covers his unit;

[Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: Unit moves to Okinawa: HQ 49th

Fighter Group and 9th Fighter Squadron from Lingayen, Luzon with P-38s; 5th

and 6th Combat Cargo Squadrons, 2d Combat Cargo Group, from Dulag, Leyte with




Ted received three Ribbons which his son Roy still has.

WWII VICTORY MEDAL TWX (is an abbreviation for TeletypeWriter eXchange ( WD 23 OCT 45




The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal is a service decoration of the Second World War which was awarded to any member of the United States military who served in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945. There were twenty one official campaigns of the Pacific Theater, denoted on the service medal by service stars.

[ Ted's has four stars on his ribbon. ]

- Philippine Islands 7 Dec 41 - 10 May 42

- Burma, 1942 7 Dec 41 - 26 May 42

- Central Pacific 7 Dec 41 - 6 Dec 43

- East Indies 1 Jan 42 - 22 Jul 42

- India-Burma 2 Apr 42 - 28 Jan 45

- Air Offensive, Japan 17 Apr 42 - 2 Sep 45

- Aleutian Islands 3 Jun 42 - 24 Aug 43

- China Defensive 4 Jul 42 - 4 May 45

- Papua 23 Jul 42 - 23 Jan 43

- Guadalcanal 7 Aug 42 - 21 Feb 43

- New Guinea 24 Jan 43 - 31 Dec 44

- Northern Solomons 22 Feb 43 - 21 Nov 44

- Eastern Mandates 7 Dec 43 - 14 Jun 44

- Bismarck Archipelago 15 Dec 43 - 27 Nov 44

- Western Pacific 17 Apr 44 - 2 Sep 45

- Leyte 17 Oct 44 - 1 Jul 45

- Luzon 15 Dec 44 - 4 Jul 45

- Central Burma 29 Jan 45 - 15 Jul 45

- Southern Philippines 27 Feb 45 - 4 Jul 45

- Ryukyus 26 Mar 45 - 2 Jul 45

- China Offensive 5 May 45 - 2 Sep 45






Philippine Liberation Medal was one of the most commonly bestowed awards to allied militaries

Map: Pacific Theater 1941-1945.

The Philippine Liberation Medal is a military award of the Republic of the Philippines which was created by an order of Commonwealth Army of the Philippines Headquarters on December 20, 1944. The award was presented to any service member, of both Philippine Commonwealth and allied militaries, who participated in the liberation of the Philippine Islands between the dates of October 17, 1944 and September 2, 1945. (Source: Wikipedia)



The American Theater was defined as the entirety of the United States to include most of the Atlantic Ocean, a portion of Alaska, and a small portion of the Pacific bordering California and Baja California.

Blue-WH-RED stripes [place Ted's here]

The American Campaign Medal was a military decoration of the United States armed forces which was first created in 1942 by order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Originally issued as the “American Theater Ribbon”, the decoration was intended to recognize those service members who had performed duty in the American Theater of Operations during the Second World War. To be awarded the American Campaign Medal, a service member was required to either perform one year of consecutive duty within the continental borders of the United States, or perform 30 days consecutive/60 non-consecutive days of duty outside the borders of the United States but within the American Theater of Operations. The American Theater was defined as the entirety of the United States to include most of the Atlantic Ocean, a portion of Alaska, and a small portion of the Pacific bordering California and Baja California. The eligibility dates of the American Campaign Medal were from December 7, 1941 to March 2, 1946. Service stars were authorized to any service member who was engaged in actual combat with Axis forces within the American theater. This primarily applied to those members of the military which had engaged in anti-U-Boat patrols in the Atlantic.











Lapel Button Issued [Discussed here and here (ASR is Adjusted Service Rating. This was the points system adopted for releasing servicemen from the military at the end of the war. Points were awarded for time in service, months overseas, medals earned, being married, number of children, and a lot of other stuff. I don’t have the exact points for each handy, but you might get 5 points for a combat medal, 1 point for each month in service, 5 points for each month overseas, etc At first, the ASR " magic number " was, I believe, 85, meaning if all your ASR points added up to 85 or higher, you were discharged immediately. Men with lower scores had to hang around until the higher numbers had been processed out.) by Rich

Image of the Label Button which Roy has never seen, perhaps went to Modesto.


After posting the insignia patch above, not knowing it's meaning gnawed on Roy's mind. It was the Ruptured Duck (The Golden Eagle upon a military green background was representative of the pin and patch worn by returning serviceman to indicate their honorable discharge.).

[End Military Record]


Discharge Paper

Honorable Discharge Technical Sergent, 6th CCS

Separation Center: Camp Beale, California, 11 DEC 1945, MAJOR AC - Paul K Dean


Pauline mailed Canadian Rockies postcards to Theodore on Jul 18, 1943 to Del Valle Air Base (Bergstrom Air Force Base).



brochure was prepared in the U.S. Army Center of Military History by Dale Andrade by GORDON R. SULLIVAN about Luzon.

"...By July 1944 most planners agreed that an invasion of Formosa was not logistically feasible in the near future. In September the Joint Chiefs thus approved a December starting date for MacArthur's invasion of Leyte Island in the central Philippines. The invasion would be followed by an assault on either Luzon, the large, northernmost Philippine island, on 20 February or Formosa on 1 March. But it was not until October that Admiral King finally agreed that Luzon was the better choice...."

Again, according to Hank Christopherson, none of the four brothers was involved in Combat. Yet, some were "behind enemy lines", in other words, beyond the front line, far into enemy territory.

"...On the American side, General MacArthur intended to strike first at Lingayen Gulf, an area of sheltered beaches on the northwestern coast of Luzon. A landing there would place his troops close to the best roads and railways on the island, all of which ran through the central plains south to Manila, his main objective. Also, by landing that far north of the capital, MacArthur allowed himself maneuvering room for the large force he intended to use on Luzon. But once the beachhead was secure, his initial effort would focus on a southern drive to the Filipino capital. Possession of this central core, as well as Manila Bay, would allow his forces to dominate the island and make a further coordinated defense by the Japanese exceedingly difficult. Ultimately ten U.S. divisions and five independent regiments would see action on Luzon, making it the largest campaign of the Pacific war and involving more troops than the United States had used in North Africa, Italy, or southern France...."


"...Technically, the battle for Luzon was still not over when Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945. On the northern part of the island Shobu Group remained the center of attention for the better part of three U.S. Army divisions. Altogether, almost 115,000 Japanese remained at large on Luzon and on some of the southern islands. For all practical purposes, however, the battle for control of Luzon had been over since March...."


"...American casualties were also high. Ground combat losses for the Sixth and Eighth Armies were almost 47,000, some 10,380 killed and 36,550 wounded. Nonbattle casualties were even heavier. From 9 January through 30 June 1945, the Sixth Army on Luzon suffered over 93,400 noncombat casualties, including 260 deaths, most of them from disease. Only a few campaigns had a higher casualty rate...."



Roy has no idea of his fathers involvement regarding Luzon Island, only an indication on his record and ribbon. It is plausible that at some point during his service, he was the Flight Engineer (Elec. Airplane Mechanic 685) on a Combat Cargo plane with the 6th Combat Group, possibly supplying troops or supplies to Luzon Island.

Click to enlarge Map

The Enemy on Luzon Island, WWII, JAN 11, 1945

Now looking at this map, Roy learns that Manila is on Luzon Island, and stated elsewhere, Ted probably used the Clark Airfield had he landed here.

Wow, there have been two prints in Roy's possession for as long as he could remember. Images 1734 and 1734_2, Of the Party at Manila. Possibly Ted just picked these up somewhere, Possible Ted obtained these while at the Island. The photos and research is somewhere on this website.


Sure that print was dad's of the Japanese Envoy getting off the planes to head on to Manila,

Note: These two photos are same but folded in two. Dad's were never folded. Both now in his online Military album in the Protected Area.


Here is a great web page on event with photos is here and here.


AUG 15th was an anniversary, at the time of this email correspondence.


CAPT. Ray Conlisk

Captain Conlisk had attended an honorary dinner for Douglas MacArthur in SF. I wrote out a whole page after doing an electronics return for him.

He continued after WWII on the Friend of Foe Identification systems during cold war. He gave abbreviation but could not find a match. I spent another night researching Ray but found just his home business listing. Ray said the Emperor of Japan lived in a secluded area with a moat around it.


MacArthur made the Emperor come to him.

MacArthur walked onto an island

known to have snipers in the trees,

and he was fearless smoking his pipe.


On 8/12/2011 3:02 AM, Bruce Costello wrote:


* As for your dad, I always heard he was in the South Pacific. If HE

was the one who took those photos in Japan of Jap generals boarding a US

plane to fly out and surrender, that *is historic*! Only about a

hundred of our guys went in to Japan, first, ahead of all other Allied

forces, to pick up those Japanese.


Photos in question are not real photos. ref.: Image 1734. These are prints which I believe he might have obtained while at Luzon or after.


Back to Ted's Page


My relative, Andy Oddstad was a true Hero during WWII, receiving the Bronze Star.

"They deserve to be remembered,

it is up to the family members

to preserve their memories."


Here are some photos of Ted in the Air Force.

Some new old ones have been found..

If family, view Teds Military Slideshow after obtaining password from Roy here (New Window).


Ted's Military Patches and Ribbons

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of Army Air Forces

























































631-660, 6th Combat Cargo Squadron (2nd CCG)...

As far as I can tell, the CBI Troop Carriers did not use this same numbering system....

C-46 X641 6CCS 2CCG 'Gone Forever'... Source



X641 is in the above photo. Possibly one dad worked on or was part of the flight crew?

Roy's guess is that X632 was his plane? It would match the story of how during landing, the pilot was not used to sitting higher. Hence starting in a Douglas C-47 then a C-46 Commando, he would have been higher, causing him to mistakenly hit the runway hard.


6th CCS [Combat Cargo Squadron] Formed: 5/1944 Subordinated to: 2nd CCG [Combat Cargo Group?] (5/1944-1/1946) Bases: Syracuse NY (5-10/1944), Baer IN (10/1944), Biak (11/1944-3/1945), Samar (3/1945), Dulag, Leyte (3/1945), Okimawa (8-9/1945), Yokota, Japan (9/1945)-1/1946). Formed with C-47s. Deployed with C-46s

Source: C-47/R4D Skytrain Units of the Pacific and CBI By David Isby


The above does not fit dad's record.


It would appear he was in the 6th Combat Cargo Squadron, 2nd Combat Cargo Group

317th TCG or the 375th TCG. Neither match his Discharge based on these two groups in David's book.


Looking at the photo above is a trailer (generator) under the C-46 Commando. Notice it says 337 No. 1. Now could this be the 337th Transport Cargo Group? Inquiring minds want to know.

Image_6650: My father, Theodore Evan Christopherson, son of Kjartan Christopherson, grandson of Sigurdur Christopherson, served in the Armed Forces during WWII, along with his three brothers, Kjartan Lorne Christopherson, Sigurdur 'Sig or Siggi" Christopherson, and Henry Christopherson . Lorne was the 1st to enlist in his area (Berkeley). Roy has found out many more details of the brothers service.

The C-46 Commando Training Manual

"...While the 2nd Combat Cargo Group (5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Squadrons)

would be sent into the Pacific to support the scattered fighting there...."




Another C-46 Commando Training manual which is online here for free!

"...By the end of 1943 acceptances reached the total of 363. An additional 1,321 were accepted during 1944, and by the end of the war the grand total stood at 3,123..."

"...But among the ATC pilots the Commando was known, with good reason, as the "flying coffin." From May 1943 to March 1945, Air Transport Command received reports of thirty-one instances in which C-46's caught fire or exploded in the air. Still others were listed merely as "missing in flight," and it is a safe assumption that many of these exploded, went down in flames, or crashed as the result of vapor lock, carburetor icing, or other defects. --25--..."

CH 1, Page 25, The Air Transport Command,


Variants of C-46


END OF World War II

The Treaty of Peace with Japan (commonly known as the Treaty of San Francisco or San Francisco Peace Treaty), between Japan and part of the Allied Powers, was officially signed by 48 nations on September 8, 1951, at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California. It came into force on April 28, 1952. This treaty served to end officially World War II


One page covers many atrocities (San Francisco Chronicle published an article entitled "The dark side of V-J Day" which dealt with August 1945 events: "a victory riot that left 11 dead, 1,000 injured and the city's reputation besmirched" (Carl Nolte, 2005, August 15, pages B1 + B6, page B1).) Source


If you have information regarding these pictures, please contact Roy at


Also visit

Hank Christopherson's page, Sig's page, Lornes page, and Lorne and Sig crossing France and Germany shown in a slideshow created by Roy



Visit Ted's Individual page