Christian Doxrud (1881-1935)
Christian Doxrud was born in Kristiania (Oslo) 10 August 1881 as the third of five children. His father, head teacher and chemist Ole Christian Lund from Hammerfest, and his mother Eugenie Lovise Jensine from Kristiania, divorced and his mother became a flower-seller. At 15 years of age Christian, together with classmates, helped to start the football club Lyn in Oslo.
In 1903 he took the final exams for the Naval Academy’s lowest grade and the following year he gained a 2nd lieutenant position in the Royal Norwegian Navy. In 1905-06 he was mate on several ships until he, in the period 1906-09, captained several steamships in Chile. In 1910 he started the Boy Scout movement in Valparaiso, Chile. The same year he was 1st lieutenant on the armoured ship Norge.
On 4 November 1912 Doxrud took over the command of the Fram, which was then in Buenos Aires, while most of the crew went back to Norway. While he was in Buenos Aires, Doxrud took the international flying certificate on Roald Amundsen’s request since Amundsen was planning flights on what was to be his North Pole expedition with the Fram. Doxrud sailed the Fram to Colón to wait for the opening of the Panama Canal. On 3 October 1913 captain Thorvald Nilsen came back on board and Doxrud sailed as 1st mate with him on the Fram back to Norway. They arrived at Horten on 17 July 1914.
During the First World War Doxrud signed up for service in the navy. He was, among other positions, captain of the patrol ship Frøya which was on neutrality guard duty out from Agdenes. On one occasion Doxrud had to stop the English patrol vessel Tenby Castle and the cruiser Victorian which arrested the German ship Pallas in Norwegian waters. He boarded the English ship and notified them that this was happening inside the Norwegian border, so the Englishmen thereby lost their “catch”.
In April 1916 Doxrud married Gerd Klingenberg from Trondheim in the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. They had a son, Christian Ingvar (1917) and a daughter, Astrid Eugenie (1919). Doxrud continued in the navy at the 4th naval district command office in Trondheim until he in 1918-19 became manager of the Ballangruds agricultural machine business.
In December 1924 he and another pilot carried out the first passenger flight over the Andes. There had been many flights over the mountain chain earlier, but never with passengers. The 1400 km long flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago, Chile took 10.5 hours of flight time. The two planes, with a total of six people on board, landed for the night in Mendoza on the way.
In 1925 Doxrud became honorary consul for Chile. He was the Norwegian agent for the German aircraft factory Junker and was involved in both marketing and sale of the planes in Norway as well as preparations for the first national and international aircraft routes in Norway. During two weeks in autumn 1926 he organized more than 200 demonstration flights with a total of 1000 passengers with Junker’s aircraft. The newspaper Aftenposten wrote of a business man who flew as many as 10 times, at a cost of 20 kroner a time. Doxrud was involved in establishing the Norwegian Aero Club in 1928, when Roald Amundsen was elected chairman and Doxrud vice-chairman, and with Tryggve Gran as board member. In 1930 Doxrud worked for the Klingenberg Trading Company.
Christian Doxrud died on 11 November 1935 of cancer of the kidneys and he was cremated and buried in Vestre churchyard in Oslo. He was described as a man of many languages.