Allied Warships

USS Surprise (PG-63)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe US Navy
Built byJohn Crown & Sons Ltd. (Sunderland, U.K) : N.E. Marine 
Ordered31 Aug 1939 
Laid down23 Oct 1939 
Launched5 Jun 1940 
Commissioned24 Mar 1942 
End service20 Aug 1945 

Ordered for French Navy but taken over with the fall of France.
Transferred to the U.S.N at Hull, England, on 24 March 1942.
Commissioned as USS Surprise (PG-63) on the same day.
USS Surprise was decommissioned by the U.S.N. on 20 August 1945 at Chatham, England and returned to the Royal Navy on 26 August 1945.
Sold into Merchantile service and finally ended up in the Communist Chinese Navy as Lin I.

Former nameHMS Helitrope

Commands listed for USS Surprise (PG-63)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt. Richard Coulter Drum Hunt, Jr., USN24 Mar 1942??? (1)

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Notable events involving Surprise include:

16 Apr 1942
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RNR), USCGC Campbell (Cdr. D.C. McNeil, USCG), USS Courage (Lt. C.S. Barker, Jr., USN) and USS Surprise (Lt. R.C.D. Hunt, Jr., USN). (2)

30 Jun 1942
USS Surprise picks up 50 survivors from the American merchant Sea Thrush that was torpedoed and sunk on 28 June 1942 by German U-boat U-505 about 425 nautical miles north-east of San Juan, Puerto Rico in position 22°38'N, 60°59'W.

7 Nov 1942
USS Surprise picks up 6 survivors from the British merchant Lindenhall that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-508 about 40 nautical miles north of Margarita Island, Venezuela in position 11°34'N, 63°26'W.

7 Jul 1943
USS Surprise takes of 18 men from the American merchant Thomas Sinnickson that was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-185 about 125 nautical miles east of Fortaleza, Brazil in position 03°51'S, 36°22'W. After a crack appeared in the bulkhead between the engine room and #3 hold, the officers came to the conclusion that the ship is lost and at daylight on 8 July all hands abandoned ship and were picked up by the corvette, which scuttled the wreck by gunfire at 1430 hours.


  2. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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