USS Surprise III

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Surprise III PG-63

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Surprise III

(PG-63: dp. 925; 1. 205'2"; b. 33', dr. 14'7", s. 16.5 k.; cpl. 87; a. 1 4", 1 3", 2 20mm., 2 dct., 4 dcp.; cl.Temptress )

The third Surprise (PG-63) was launched on 5 June 1940 as HMS Heliotrope by John Crown and Sons, Ltd., Sunderland, England, and was transferred to the U.S. Navy at Hull, England, on 24 March 1942. She was commissioned as Surprise (PG-63) the same day, Lt. R. C. D. Hunt, Jr., in command.

One of a group of corvettes transferred to the U.S. Navy under reverse Lend Lease, Surprise sailed from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on 24 April 1942 to escort a convoy to Boston, Mass. After an overhaul she proceeded south and for the remainder of 1942 escorted Caribbean convoys, principally between Trinidad and Guantanamo Bay. In January 1943 she extended her range into the South Atlantic, and into 1944, performed escort runs between Trinidad and Recife, Brazil.

Surprise then returned to the United States. In May 1944, she returned to the North Atlantic, and, until after the end of the war in Europe, rotated between Newfoundland, Greenland, and Iceland convoy runs and weather patrol duty.

Surprise was decommissioned on 20 August 1945 at Chatham, England; returned to the Royal Navy on 26 August; and struck from the Navy list on 17 September.
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