In WWII while stationed at Kwajalein, he threw himself on an active Japaneses grenade, taking the full impact and saving the lives of five other Marines. He amazingly survived. For his heroism he recieved the Medal of Honor, the highest honor one in the can receive in the US military. Of the 27 Marines who similarly threw themselves on grenades to save the lives of their fellow Marines during WWII, Sorenson was one of only four who survived.
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
PRIVATE RICHARD K. SORENSON
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with an assault battalion attached to the Fourth Marine Division during the battle of Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, on February 1–2, 1944. Putting up a brave defense against a particularly violent counterattack by the enemy during invasion operations, Private Sorenson and five other Marines occupying a shellhole were endangered by a Japanese grenade thrown into their midst. Unhesitatingly, and with complete disregard for his own safety, Private Sorenson hurled himself upon the deadly weapon, heroically taking the full impact of the explosion. As a result of his gallant action, he was severely wounded, but the lives of his comrades were saved. His great personal valor and exceptional spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United Stated Naval Service.
Thank you Grandpa! I love and miss you.
Below is some more information on him: