Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Air Fields
Camp Christiansen
(Camp Natoma)

by SGM Dan Sebby, Military Historian, California Military Department
A former California State Relief Adminstration camp for "unemployed, single men" named Camp Natoma. The camp was located on the Jackson Highway (now California State Highway 160), near the town of Perkins. After it was acquired as the Sacramento post for the California State Guard (CSG), it was renamed in honor of 2nd Lt Hans Christensen, who was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, on 13 December 1941, The 47-acre post served as the regimental headquarters and training camp for the CSG's 10th Regiment and as a station hospital for local units of the CSG. California State Guard General Order 31, dated 12 April 1943 indicated that the 1st Provisional Tank Corps, California State Guard was established there with a single M-3 "General Lee" Medium Tank.
The 4 November 1943 issue of the Sacramento Bee indicated that the California Highway Patrol established its academy at the camp. In various articles published in th Sacramento Bee, it appears that State Guard quit the post some time in 1944 with the California Department of Finance placeing the site up for sal in 1945.
Sacramento Bee Article, 13 December 1941
Sacramento Bee article, 19 December 1942
Click image for a larger view
2nd Lt Hans Christensen
Born in Woodland, Lt Christiansen was a fighter pilot assigned to the Air Corps' 44th Pursuit Squadron, 18th Pursuit Group stationed at Bellows Field. As the Japanese attacked the airfield, ground personnel rushed to disperse, fuel and arm the squadron's twelve P-40 "Warhawks" lining the edge of the runway. Christiansen was one of the first pilots to reach his plane. However, as Christiansen started to get into the cockpit, enemy fire struck him in the back and he fell at the feet of his mechanic.
For his actions that day, Christiansen received the Silver Star for gallantry, the Purple Heart for wounds resulting in death, the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. He is buried in National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, HI; Section M, Plot 147.

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Updated 19 January 2018