Verdon C Sorenson
June 1, 1944
MONTPELIER MAN REPORTED KILLED IN ITALY
S/Sgt. Verdon C Sorenson, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew G Sorenson of Montpelier, was reported to have been killed May 14, in Italy, according to information received early Wednesday from his wife, who resides in Ashland, Kentucky. Circumstances surrounding his death are yet unavailable. He was in the troop carrier command of the United States Air Corps and was a flying mechanic. T/Sgt. Sorenson enlisted in the 38th infantry in June 1938. On completing his enlisted period, he entered the air corps and received much of his training in a mechanics' school at Chanute Field, Illinois.
He has been overseas for 20 months having first landed in England. He was in the North African and Sicilian campaigns before that of Italy. He also saw duty in the eastern Mediterranean area. he was well known about comrades, both in the states and abroad as a singer and guitar player, and sang a number of times over the radio. Following the Sicilian campaign he was given a citation and awarded the air medal.
He was born in Dingle, August 17, 1918 where he attended grade school. Later he attended Montpelier high school. In addition to his widow, Mrs. Maxine Williams Sorenson, whom he married July 2, 1942 and his parents, he is survived by two brothers, Corporal Arnold A Sorenson, also of the air corps and whom he recently met in Italy and Eldon Sorenson of Conda; five sisters, Frances Sorenson, Mrs. Earl Kunz, and Mrs. Dean Aland all of Montpelier; Mrs. Walter Norman of Parma and Mrs. Wilbur Young of Pocatello.
The last letter received by his parents was
dated May 13.
LETTER AN CITATIONS RECEIVED REGARDING DEATH OF SON IN ITALY LAST MAY
September 21, 1944
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Sorenson of Montpelier have received the following letter and citations relative to the death of their son, S/Sgt. Verdon C Sorenson who was killed May 14 in Italy. He was a flying mechanic in the United States Army Air Force. The letter was written to their daughter-in-law Mrs. Verdon C Sorenson of Ashland, Kentucky, who forwarded it to them and is from a commanding officer in the Air Corps. "Due to regulations regarding aircraft accidents, I have been unable to answer your letter of July 10 until today. I know that you are very anxious to know the details regarding your husband's death. I will tell you all that I possibly can within the bounds of censorship regulation.
"The accident occurred about 3 o'clock in the afternoon of May 14, 1944. This squadron was participating in a very extensive training program preparatory to an important mission. There was a mid-air collision involving three planes. All personnel aboard all three planes were instantly killed. There was a Christian funeral with full military honors the following day. The entire squadron attended. The chaplain made a brief speech wherein he told of the great service these men had contributed to the armed forces and of the great loss to this organization. it was a very fine and dignified service. A few weeks later T/Sgt. Sorenson was posthumously awarded a first cluster to his Air Medal for meritorious service.
"As long as I have been in the organization more than two years, S/Sgt. Sorenson has been one of our very best crew chiefs. Hew as very popular among all the men and his guitar was a great moral builder during the darker days of the North African and Sicilian campaigns. It is impossible for me to tell you what a shock his death was to this squadron. Officers and men alike grieved the passing of a friend who had already done for more than his share in serving faithfully for 20 months of foreign service and had now made the final sacrifice. I know that the death of your husband was a great loss to you and I should like to offer my sincerest sympthay. You should be very proud of your husband. He was a fine soldier and a fine man."
This citation was received from Franklin D Roosevelt, president of the United States of America; In Grateful Memory "Technical Sergeant Verdon C Sorenson, who died in service of his country in the North African area May 14, 1844: He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to died that freedom might live and grow and increase its blessings. Freedom lived and through it he lives, in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men."
From H H Arnold, chief of the Air Corps is this citation to honor: "Technical Sergeant Verdon C Sorenson: Who gave his life in the performance of his duty May 14, 1944. He died to bear his country's arms. He died to have its honor. He was a soldier and he knew a soldiers duty. His sacrifice will help to keep aglow the flaming torch that lights our lives that millions yet unborn may know the priceless joy of liberty and we who pay him homage and revere his memory is solemn pride rededicate ourselves to a complete fulfillment of the task for which he so gallantly has placed his life upon the altar of man's freedom."