Kenneth Alvin "Robert" "Rob" "Bob" Surprise (born 1925)
1942 LHS Glee Club
1942 LHS junior class
in band uniform
in Navy uniform
in Navy uniform
The following article was found in the May 18, 1944, Lowell Tribune on page 3, column 1:
Robert Surprise in Ireland
Robert Surprise, S 2/c, sound man aboard a destroyer escort vessel, writes his parents, the Kenneth Surprises, Lake Dalecarlia, that he has been in port overseas (Ireland) for several weeks. Among names registered at a nearby USO center which he recently visited were Millard Hall of Shelby, and Archie Buckley of Lowell, both of whom are no doubt stationed somewhere in this vicinity.
The following July 6, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
Writes from England
Robert Surprise, S.O.M.3/c, son of the Kenneth Surprises, Lake Dalecarlia, writes his parents that he is still O.K. although a little homesick. He wasn't able to describe any action his ship has been in but said five of his shipmates were slightly wounded. From a recent broadcast from the U.S.S. Maloy, Robert's ship, his parents learned that the vessel had been in action since the invasion, doing patrol duty along the invasion coast and as an escort for other ships.
The following Oct. 26, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 4, columns 2-3:
Sits In on D Day Show
Aboard the USS Maloy, France, Oct. 2 (Delayed) -- Still on the job off the coast of France, this doughty destroyer escort of the U.S. navy, a veteran of the Normandy assault, has been logging a creditable record of war service.
Kenneth (Bob) Surprise, soundman, 3/c, of Lowell, thus summarized his experiences as a crew member of the Maloy:
"We got off to a good start on D Day by knocking down a JU88 with our guns," he said, "and since then we've seen plenty of action!"
While on patrol off the Nazi-held channel islands, the Maloy came under the fire of heavy shore guns. Although the German gunners fired 38 rounds at the vessel, she maneuvered too quickly and the heavy shells splashed harmlessly in the sea nearby. On another action, Surprise said, his ship went in close to one of the islands and again the shore emplacements opened up on her.
"Their first salvo straddled us, showering shrapnel along our starboard side and hitting some depth charges," he related. "It was close enough for me!"
Later the Maloy stood off St. Malo, France, within sight of the bombing and subsequent surrender of Cezambre, a fortified island which held out long after German forces on the mainland gave up.
"That was some show!" Surprise declared.
During the initial assault on France, the Maloy carried the flag of Commodore Campbell D. Edgar, USN, Cazenovia, New York, who commanded an important phase of the invasion.
Bob, 19, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth L. Surprise, Lake Dalecarlia. He was promoted to his present rate from Seaman 2/c, a year ago. Before joining the navy he played in a dance band at Cedar Lake, following graduation from Lowell high school.
The following April 26, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 3:
Promoted to Sound Man 2/c
Robert Surprise, S.O.M. 2/c, wrote his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Surprise, Lake Dalecarlia, recently that he had jumped from S.O.M. 3/c to his present rating. Robert, who has been stationed off the west coast of Europe aboard a U.S. destroyer escort since D-Day, has been in the navy nearly two years.
This June 21, 1945, Lowell Tribune article appeared on page 2, column 1:
Arrives in New York
Robert Surprise, SOM 2/c, who has been aboard a destroyer escort in the European theatre for the past 22 months without a leave home, phoned his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Surprise, Lake Dalecarlia, from New York City, Tuesday night saying that his ship was in for repairs and that he expected to have at least a few days leave, probably arriving home this week-end.
The following June 28, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
Home One Day
Robert Surprise, SOM 2/c, who has been aboard a destroyer escort in the European theater for the past 22 months, reached port in New York last week and came home Sunday on a 72-hour pass, returning Monday night. He expects to get a longer leave sometime in the next two months.
A July 26, 1945, Lowell Tribune article found on page 2, column 1 listed several young servicemen who were home, among them, Robert Surprise, SOM 2/c, home from Philadelphia.
This Lowell Tribune article was found in the March 14, 1946, issue (page 2, column 1):
The following portion of an unidentified newspaper article was found in a scrapbook owned by Town Historian Richard Schmal:
Judith High Engaged to K.A. (Bob) Surprise
Mr. and Mrs. Russell High of Griffith are announcing the engagement of their daughter, Judith Kay, to Kenneth A, (Bob) Surprise, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth L. Surprise, Lake Dalecarlia.
The bride-elect is a graduate of Merrillville high school and is employed in the office of the Gary Screw and Bolt Division. She attended Indiana University Gary Center, and is a student at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago.
Mr. Surprise was graduated from Lowell high school and served with the U.S. Navy during World Ward II. He also is employed at the Gary Screw and Bolt Division.