Dedication and Acknowledgements

This website is dedicated to the men of the 515th Field Artillery Battalion, both living and dead, who fulfilled their mission during the waning days of WWII in Europe. It is hoped that after 60 years some of these men will get the recognition they deserve for the sacrifices they made to help free a continent from tyranny and to help preserve the liberties we enjoy today. I also want to recognize my father, Jerrold (Jerry) Sorkness, who was a private in Battery C of the 515th. His job designation in the unit was field lineman. It has been a lifelong interest of mine to learn more about what he did in WWII. He died in 1983 and having never said much about the war, I was left to investigate and piece together the story on my own, which, incidentally, is a story in and of itself.

My research has brought me into contact with a number of veterans of the 515th. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all of them who have helped me through interviews, correspondence, pictures and perspectives. In particular, I wish to thank Mr. Earl Bage, former sergeant in Battery B of the battalion. Without his efforts to keep contact with some of the men of his unit and by trying to establish some association with former members, I probably would never have been able to make any contacts. (I found a listing for Earl on the Ben Meyers Military Associations website, and that is what provided my first link.) By an unfortunate event – a leg injury while the battalion was still in England, Earl was not able to go with the unit to the continent. He finally caught up with the 515th in May of 1945, and not long after that was transferred out. (Unfortunately his name is not listed for either unit roster in the archives documents since they were registered for March and June of 1945.) Although he probably wouldn’t agree, he has probably done more to keep the memories of the unit alive than anyone else. He deserves a special thank you from everyone for the existence of this website.

Others who have been helpful in various ways are Mr. Bedford Watkins, Mr. Bob Abrahams and Mr. Phil Wilt – all of Battery B. Members of Battery C who have provided me with information and insight are Mr. Virgil Williver, Mr. Kenneth Prose and Mr. Ewing Pollock. Mr. Pollock is the former captain of Battery C, and for a short time in late 1945 was commander of the entire battalion. It is my hope that I will continue to make contacts with other veterans of the 515th FA Bn, so I can add to the story.

I wish to thank my mother, Jo Sorkness, for scanning pictures, providing constructive criticism and proofreading various documents. This took many hours. And finally, I wish to thank my 20 year old son, ERIK, who has done all the technical work in creating this website. Without him, there would be no website.

Tom Sorkness
Wyndmoor, PA


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