Stalag Luft IV
Steve & Lori Sorenson
Jan 22, 2000 14:50 PST
We are new to the group and as a result of the recent loss of our father
had been going through his military history paperwork. Now of course,
we have lots of questions ane are hoping through people such as
yourselves we can get pointed in the right direction. We are looking
for any information about him, his squadron, mission, friends from
Stalag Luft IV, if there is any sort of memorial etc.
This is what we have found in his paperwork, and searching the net:
Phillip E. Sorenson
Enlisted 1/9/43-9/15/45 (WWII)
499th AAFBU, 4th AF San Francisco, CA
Battles: Normandy, Northern France, Ardenns, Rhineland, Air Offensive
B-17 flight maintenance gunner (B-17s) 8th AF, POW in Germany from 5/44
Shot down 5/19/44 over Germany taken to Stalag Luft IV.
Metal Prision Tag: 1542 Kjf. Lgr. 4.d. Lw
Friends at Stalag Luft IV were Frank O'Connell and Larry O'Connor.
Phillip and Larry were both taken prisioners the same day. Not sure if
they were on the same plane, but have a letter from Larry stating they
were shot down during the day
We believe the following to be true based on research from the net:
On 5/19/44 the 8th AF dispatched 588 B-17s to Berlin. 18 B-17s are lost
and 289 are damaged. 137 are MIA. This could be the date they were
shot down. The Western Union telegram says "Missing in Action since
nineteen May over Germany".
We also have a book entitled "Barbed Wire Interlude: wirtten by Robert
W. Ludden from Virginia in 1945. It has a brief diary of the
experiences at Stalag Luft IV. It also has a list of POW's by name and
state in it.
We read in the Red Cross Report of 10/5/44 that Stalag Luft VI was
evacuated and those prisoners were merged with Luft IV two weeks after
Luft IV was opened, May 14,1944. In the front of the book Barbed Wire
Interlude the author mentions that the camp roster list was not
completed until Luft IV was relocated to Luft I.
In other words, it is possible that regardless of which Luft number
someone was at they could be listed in this book. I don't know this for
a fact but I would not rule this out. If you give me a name to look up
and state of orgin I can check.
In our research we have not found anyone from the 499th Squadron or Luft
IV. This is our main interest at the moment.
We have sent this message to Heavy Bombers as well and are waiting to
If you have any news let us know. We loved reading your messages and
are glad you are out there.
Steve & Lori Sorenson