Steven Surofchek was born on July 15, 1908, in Fremont, West Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 6, 1927, and completed basic training at NTS Great Lakes, Illinois, in September 1927. His first assignment was as a Ship's Cook aboard the battleship USS Idaho (BB-42) from September 1927 to October 1931, followed by service aboard the battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40) from October 1931 to November 1933. Sea1c Surofchek then served at the Sixth Naval District at the Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina, from November 1933 to November 1935, and while there he served aboard the patrol gunboat USS Charleston (PG-51) during her fitting out. His next assignment was aboard the battleship USS Arkansas (BB-33) from December 1935 to July 1936, followed by service aboard the USS Charleston (PG-51) from July to September 1936. SC3c Surofchek served aboard the light cruiser USS Raleigh (CL-7) from September 1936 to August 1939, and then served with the Commander Submarine Squadron TWO and aboard the submarine USS R-2 (SS-79) at Submarine Base New London, Connecticut, from October 1939 to February 1940. His next assignment was aboard the submarine USS R-10 (SS-87) from March 1940 to March 1941, and then aboard the submarine USS O-3 (SS-64) from March to August 1941. He again served aboard USS R-10 (SS-87) from August to November 1941, followed by service aboard the submarine USS Gato (SS-212) during her fitting out from November to December 1941, and through her commissioning and first war patrol, from December 1941 to June 1942. SC1c Surofchek transferred to the submarine USS Grunion (SS-216) in June 1942, and was killed in action during a confrontation with the armed Japanese freighter Kano Maru on July 30, 1942. On August 22, 2007, a search team organized by the three sons of CDR Mannert Abele (the Captain of the Grunion when she was sunk) used a remotely operated vehicle to find a sunken vessel 3,000 feet down in the Bering Sea north of Kiska Island at the tip of the Aleutian Islands. On October 1, 2008, the U.S. Navy announced that the sunken vessel is the World War II submarine USS Grunion (SS-216).
His Navy Commendation Medal Citation reads:
For meritorious conduct as a member of the crew of the U.S.S. GRUNION which destroyed three enemy destroyers while engaged in a war patrol in enemy controlled waters. Despite severe and persistent anti-submarine measures resulting from these three successful attacks, the GRUNION was brought safely through the counter attacks and continued an aggressive war patrol. As a member of the crew of the GRUNION, your performance of duty was an important and material contribution to the prosecution of this war.