Commissioned Warrant Officer (CWO)-4 Dennis Michael Sorges, United States Army, passed away peacefully on April 13, 2017. Amber and Mark Irwin, Ms. Barbara Sorges, and Father James Dowd attended him. Dennis is survived by daughters Amber Irwin and Rima Sorges Collins, step-son’s Troy and Todd Rowland, son-in-law’s Mark Irwin and Gene Daniel Collins, sisters Yvonne Cook, Diana Sorges, Janet Worthey, Pam Sorges, brother Bruce Sorges, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Dennis Sorges entered the Army as a private on January 16th, 1968 after completing two years of community college majoring in pre-engineering. He was quickly promoted to Specialist-5 while attending Army Flight Ground School. On November 16th, 1969, after successful completion of helicopter flight training, he was promoted to Warrant Officer. He was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer while deployed to Vietnam from November 1969 to December 1970. In his Huey Helicopter, Dennis flew hundreds of flights into combat environments; inserting and extracting soldiers and Marines, Dennis saved many men at great peril to himself and his crew. He received the Bronze Star, Air Medal with combat “V” and three Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and National Defense Medal for this service to his country.
In April 1972, CWO-2 Sorges entered the Army Active Reserves where he attained the rank of CWO-4. Dennis entered California Polytechnic University, Pomona and completed his engineering degree. While attending college, he worked at McDonald’s in Riverside at night and attended school during the day setting an example of education and work for his daughters that is reflected today. In 1974, he was hired at the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, California.
Dennis Sorges, civil servant, quickly showed his leadership value by earning a Michelson Laboratory Award in 1976 for program management leading a group of peer and senior engineers. Dennis showed his leadership throughout his career leading the Aircraft Survivability Branch, the Ordnance Test and Evaluation Division, and Pacific Ranges and Facilities Special Projects Manager for Test and Evaluation Plan Development for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning Aircraft, which garnered Dennis a second Michelson Laboratory Award for leadership and praise by managers and coworkers, both government and government-contractors. Dennis retired from China Lake as Deputy Head, Pacific Ranges Instrumentation Division Supervisory Aerospace Engineer.
Dennis loved to golf, go to Las Vegas with friends, and fly. He was an active member of the Longknives, a group of Vietnam-era helicopter pilots, and greatly enjoyed his yearly get-together with them. Dennis loved to read as well, counting ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ among his favorite books, a love he passed on to his family. “Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”
Services for Dennis are as follows:
May 11, 2017 @ 10:45
National Cemetery in Riverside, CA
22495 Van Buren Blvd, Riverside, CA 92518
With a memorial reception to follow at:
March Field Air Museum
22550 Van Buren Blvd, Riverside, CA 92518
May 12, 2017 @ 11:30 a.m.
All Faith Chapel, Naval Air Weapons Station
Blandy Ave, China Lake, CA 93555