Sorensen, Alan L. (772nd)

Alan L. Sorensen

Biography: Alan Leonard Sorensen was born on March 30, 1919, in Garrison, North Dakota. He was the son of Soren P. Sorensen and Christine Sorensen. The family originally homesteaded north of Garrison in the Rosemont Township. The 1940 Census shows he attended school through the 8th grade. On September 18, 1942, while he was stationed at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, he married the former Ina Jean Harp. She was born in Scott County, AR, and was the daughter of Martin B. Harp and Othella R. Clopton.

Service Time: We don’t have an exact date when Alan entered the Army but at some point, he was assigned to Company B, of the 772nd Tank Destroyer Battalion. The 772nd was originally a self-propelled tank destroyer unit but they were converted to a towed anti-tank gun battalion during training. They shipped from the New York port on September 29, 1944, and arrived in England on October 10th. Landing in France on December 20th, they entered the line near Birgel, Germany, on December 22, 1944, joining up with the 83rd Infantry Division. Fighting in Belgium in January, 1945, with the 75th Infantry Division, they then shifted south to the Seventh Army’s sector along the Rhine River in February. Conversion to the self-propelled M36 tank destroyer began in late March. The unit supported operations against the Ruhr Pocket in April.

On April 7th, 2nd Lieutenant Alan L. Sorensen and Sergeant John Turczak were both killed near Ickern, Germany, when they were struck by enemy shell fragments. Alan had been awarded a Silver Star Medal and was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart Medal. He also earned the EAME, with credit for the campaigns of Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe, along with the Good Conduct and WWII Victory medals.

He was buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands. We would like to thank Alan for making the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Thank you also to Find A Grave contributor Des Philippet for use of the grave marker photo.