USS Bowfin Submarine was launched in 1942, a year after the Pearl Harbor attack. Dubbed the “Pearl Harbor Avenger“, USS Bowfin completed 9 successful wartime patrols before finally resting in the waters of Pearl Harbor. For her service, USS Bowfin was awarded a Navy Unit Commendation and a Presidential Unit Citation. Discover more facts about this mighty submarine with our Pearl Harbor VIP Tour.
USS Bowfin is a mean-looking, formidable, underwater enemy that sank 44 enemy ships during the war. This legendary US vessel is one of the only 15 surviving combat subs from World War II. A National Historic Landmark on (declared on January 14, 1986), USS Bowfin welcomes thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.
In 1980, USS Bowfin was docked next to the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center and on April 1, 1981, she officially opened as a “museum ship”.
The Bowfin Submarine Museum spans 10,000 sq. ft. and features over 4,000 artifacts including battle flags and recruitment posters. The museum also features a one-of-a-kind exhibit of a cutaway Poseidon missile.
Visitors can also see an authentic Japanese Kaiten Torpedo, a 40-mm quad gun, Regulus I missiles, an intact conning tower, the periscope of the USS Parche, and more! Visitors taking a Pearl Harbor tour must try the sub’s audio narration of what life was like inside the vessel during the Second World War.
Other exhibits featured in the park’s museum includes detailed weapon systems, photographs, and paintings. A memorial honoring the 52 American submariners and over 3,500 submariners lost during WWII is also displayed.
Non-Profit, Private Institution
A member of the Pearl Harbor Historic Partners, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is operated privately by a non-profit institution. Maintaining this historic WWII submarine relies greatly on admission fees and sales from the gift shops.
Little known fact, US Submarines accounted for 55% of enemy ships sunk during the Second World War. An incredible feat considering at that time, US subs only comprised 2% of the US Naval Fleet.