George Martin Christiansen was born in Winthrop, Washington, on January 27, 1913, son of Anthony C. and Mabel Franc Martin Christiansen. He attended the University of Washington (Engineering College), Seattle, Washington, and while there completed four years training in that university’s Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit, being commissioned Ensign, USNR, with the Class of 1934, on June 18, 1934. Through subsequent promotions, he attained the rank of Commander, to date from November 1, 1945.
Called to active duty in March 1938, he served until August 1940 in various Civilian Conservation Corps Camps in the Missouri District, as a junior officer and later as a Commanding Officer. He then had a month’s duty as Torpedo and Communications Officer of USS Hale (DD-133), which on September 9, 1940, was turned over to the British Royal Navy at Halifax, Nova Scotia, under lease-land agreement. That month he joined USS Sands (DD-243), and was serving as her Senior Watch and Torpedo Officer when the United States entered World War II on December 8, 1941.
He continued duty in the Sands from December 1942, after she was converted from destroyer to high speed transport (APD-13), serving during the period ending in July 1943 as her Executive Officer. He is entitled to the Ribbon for, and a facsimile of, the Navy Unit Commendation awarded the USS Sands (APD-13) for heroic service while participating in the Battle of Rennell Island, January 1943; the consolidation of the Solomon Islands, February-March 1943; and various other operations.
From January to December 1944 he commanded USS Fox (DD-234) making one cruise to the Aleutians while operating from the West Coast. For four months thereafter he severed as Assistant to the Senior Member of the Inspection Board, Amphibious Training Command, Atlantic. During the latter months of the war and after the Japanese surrender, until November 1945, he was Executive Officer of Amphibious Training Base, Subic Bay, Philippines Islands. In January 1946 he joined the staff of the Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, and served as Logistics Officer until released to inactive status in September of that year.
In November 1946 he was appointed Assistant Veterans Employment Representative for the State of Washington, and served in that capacity until recalled to active duty with the Naval Reserve in August 1948. He reported that month as Inspector-Instructor of Naval Reserves, Naval Reserve Training Center, Greensboro, North Carolina, and remained in that assignment until May 1951. In June he joined USS Okanogan (APA-220) as Executive Officer, and during the period ending in March 1953, participated in operations in the Korean area.
Reporting in April 1953 to the Officer of the Chief of naval Operations (Naval Intelligence), Navy Department, Washington, DC, he served for seven months as Administrative Assistant to the Head of the Project Control Branch. On November 2, 1953, he was transferred to the Foreign Coastal Defense Section, and later was designated Head of the Visitors and Tours Branch of the Foreign Liaison Staff, his current assignment.
In addition to the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Commander Christiansen has the Naval Reserve Medal with star in lieu of a second award; the American Defense Service Medal with star; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one engagement star; World War II Victory Medal; China Service Medal, extended; National Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal with two stars; United Nations Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.