Surprise IV PG-97


Surprise IV
(PG-97;dp 247(full);1. 165;:b.24’ dr. 5’; s 37 K cpl24;a. 1 3”, 1 40mm 4 .50 cal mg.; cl. Asheville)

The fourth Surprise (PG-97) a patrol gunboat was laid down at Sturgeon Bay, Wis on 24 May 1968 by the Peterson shipbuilding;launched on 7 December 1968; sponsored by Miss Marsha Peterson; and after precommissioning voyage through the St Lawrence Seaway was commissioned at Boston Mass on 17 October 1969, Lt William T Shiffer Jr in command.

On 12 January 1970, Surprise departed Little Creek for her new home port, San Diego, calif. At Mayport, Fla, she and her traveling comapnion, beacon(PG99) were joined by a third gunboat, Green Bay (PG-101). The three ships made their way -via Port Everglades, FLA and Guatanomo Bay Cuba to Panama. Surprise transited the canal on 22 January and, on the 24th continued her voyage. The formation was joined by Duluth(LPD-6) on the 28th and streamed into San Diego on the 7th February.

On 20 September, her home port was switched back to Little Creek, Va., and on 8 October she departed San Diego to return to the east coast. She re-transited the Panama Canal on 21 October and made Little Creek ten days later. On 16 November, she departed Little Creek to rendezvous with Amphibious Group 2 for the voyage to the Mediterranean Sea. She arrived at Rota, Spain, on 1 December and shifted operational control to the 6th Fleet.

Surprise served with the 6th Fleet until February 1973. During that period, she participated in a number of exercises both with unite of foreign navies and with other elements of the 6th Fleet. Throughout her tour, she visited numerous ports on the Mediterranean littoral, including Naples, Soudha Bay, Monaco, Cartagena, and Venice. On two occasions, she ventured out of the Mediterranean. From 18 to 22 October 1971, she visited Istanbul, Turkey, and, from 11 to 15 March 1972, she put into Casablanca on the Atlantic coast of North Africa

On 29 January 1973, Surprise's prospective Turkish crew assembled in Naples and the gunboat began preparations for decommissioning and turnover to the Turkish Navy. The Turks trained in Surprise under the guidance of the American crewmen until 16 February. She then departed Naples for Turkey, arriving at Izmir on the 19th. On 28 February 1973, Surprise was decommissioned and turned over to the Turkish Navy on loan. As of February 1975, she served the Turks as Bora.