Which president is responsible for submarine pay?
BONUS: Name the submarine he toured (pictured).
The USS Bowfin is a WWII submarine docked next to the USS Arizona memorial. It is a museum ship with a submarine museum on the property as well.
Visit the" Pearl Harbor Avenger," USS Bowfin (SS-287). Walk on board a WWII Submarine; experience first-hand what it was like to live as a submariner of the past. Museum: Explore the intriguing world of submarines, both past and present. Visitors can tour our 10,000 square foot Museum home to an impressive collection of submarine-related artifacts such as submarine weapon systems, photographs, paintings, battleflags, original recruiting posters, and detailed submarine models, all illustrating the history of the U.S. Submarine Service. Outdoor Exhibits: Poseidon C-3 missile Regulus missile Kaiten torpedo (and much much more) Onsite: Large gift-shop for your shopping needs concession stand-- with outdoor lanai dining; right on the water!
Which president is responsible for submarine pay?
BONUS: Name the submarine he toured (pictured).
#OnThisDay in 1864, on a cold night off the coast of South Carolina, sailors manning federal sloop-of-war USS Housatonic saw something drifting slowly through the water.
At night it would be hard to tell exactly what it was – a porpoise? A log? The sailors had little reason to fear, their ship had not seen any action since they were part of a failed attack on Fort Sumter.
By the time the crew realized a strange enemy vessel was approaching, operating mostly below the waterline, it was only a hundred feet away. It was too late to bring their guns to bear. Reacting with desperation, the crew let slip the ship’s anchor chain and reversed the engine.
Something crashed against the Housatonic’s starboard side, and seconds later an explosion followed. Within five minutes the bulk of the 1,240-ton vessel lay beneath the waters in the shallows of South Carolina, five sailors lost and the rest awaiting rescue in the ship’s rigging or lifeboats.
Unfortunately, the first successful submarine attack came at a high price. H.L. Hunley did not survive the attack and was lost with all eight Confederate crewmen.
"The Final Mission" by Mort Kunstler depicts the preparation of the H.L. Hunley before it made its fateful missions in which both it and the Housatonic were sunk in Charleston Harbor.
We love when our guests know their history! Thanks for the review Kristin Freeman. 😍
“Do you like the avengers? Then you’ll love this ship! This is the USS Bowfin SS-287. She’s a balao class submarine that sits across the harbor from [USS] Missouri, and I drive past her everyday. She was commissioned on Dec 7, 1942- exactly one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor- and is known as the Pearl Harbor Avenger. In her time in WWII she brought down some 40 enemy ships in the Pacific. History!”
If you’ve visited us in the past, share your review in the comments below.👇
PC: Instagram // @kristinanastasia
During WWII, many submarines carried dogs or cats as mascots.
Historically, dogs served a practical function on board ships, leading patrols onto foreign shores to search for food and barking a warning if there was danger. Cats have also served as pest control for centuries.
20th century submarine pets did not generally have a “job”, apart from providing relief from the monotony of being at sea for months on end.
USS Skate (SS-305) had a chicken for a mascot (pictured). Chickens weren’t even the most unusual submarine pet. WWI submarine O-3 (SS-64) had a goat on board.
#OnThisDay in 1945 -- USS Bowfin left the Sea of Japan by La Pérouse Strait and headed for Hawaii. She reached Pearl Harbor on Independence Day and began preparations to return to action.
Early in August 1945, Bowfin sailed for the Marianas, her staging point for her 10th war patrol. However, while en route, she received word of Japan's capitulation. As a result, she reversed course and headed for the Panama Canal on her way to the east coast of the United States. Bowfin arrived at Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York, on September 21, 1945.
She served in the Atlantic Fleet until decommissioned and placed in reserve at New London on this day 73 years ago.
"It's not a sin to get knocked down; it's a sin to stay down." - Carl Brashear
Carl Brashear was seventeen years-old when he joined the Navy in 1948. This was only a few years after President Truman officially desegregated the military, and most African Americans were still expected to become stewards.
After witnessing a diving exercise off the coast of Florida, Carl was inspired to become a Navy Diver. The Navy had never sent a black man to diving training, but Carl was determined. He wrote dozens of requests until he finally received approval to attend the training. From the beginning, he knew that he had chosen a difficult path. In addition to the challenging course standards, he faced isolation, name-calling, fistfights, and even death threats.
Carl persevered, and became the first African-American Navy Diver. Though he was initially ranked 16th out of the 17 graduates in his class, by the late 1950’s Carl was known as an accomplished diver, able and willing to take on the most challenging missions.
In 1966, two Air Force planes got into a mid-air collision and a nuclear weapon was lost at sea. Carl was selected as part of the team assigned to recover the missing warhead. The recovery was successful, but during shipboard operations, a cable snapped and ripped across the deck of the salvage ship, severing Carl’s left leg and nearly killing him.
From May 1966 until March 1967, Carl recovered from the amputation of his leg. Although he had nearly lost his life, he still was determined to dive again.
In April 1968, Carl became the first amputee diver to be (re)certified as a U.S. Navy diver. He became the first African-American U.S. Navy master diver in 1970, and served nine more years, achieving the rating of master chief boatswain's mate in 1971.
In March 1945 USS Kete (SS-369), having just returned from her first patrol in the East China Sea, was assigned to waters surrounding the Nansei Shoto Chain. Kete’s mission was to observe and report weather conditions in the area and perform rescue service during an air strike by carrier-based planes. These U.S. airstrikes weakened enemy defenses on the island of Okinawa in preparation for the final full-scale central pacific amphibious operation of WWII.
As she patrolled, Kete conducted several daring attacks against enemy merchant shipping. On March 9th, Kete ambushed a convoy. Her skipper, Lieutenant Commander Edward Ackerman, skillfully fired torpedoes to sink three enemy freighters, totaling 12,000 tons. Ten days later, Kete headed to Pearl Harbor for refit. While enroute, Kete broadcasted a weather report. This was the last transmission she ever made.
It is now known that a number of enemy submarines were in the area through which Kete was required to pass enroute to Midway. RO-41 was sunk east of Okinawa by a U.S. destroyer on 23 March 1945, and two other Japanese submarines were sunk southeast of Okinawa near this date. Conditions attendant to Kete's loss suggest that one of these submarines may have torpedoed and sunk her. All that is certain is that a brilliant and intrepid leader and his gallant crew found a final resting place somewhere deep in the waters off of Okinawa.
June 13, 1923, Captain Ernest J. King, Commander, Submarine Division III suggested that a distinguishing device for qualified submariners be adopted.He submitted a pen-and-ink sketch of his own showing a shield mounted on the beam ends of a submarine, with dolphins forward of, and abaft, the conning tower.
Over the next several months the Bureau of Navigation solicited additional designs from several sources. Two designs were submitted by the firm, but these were ultimately combined into a single design.
In March 1924, the design recommendation was accepted by Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Acting Secretary of the Navy. Current enlisted submariners may wear either a silver-color metal pin or an embroidered dolphin. The latter is either white or blue, depending on the uniform worn.
Originally, the embroidered insigna was worn on an enlisted man’s right sleeve, midway between the wrist and elbow. Today it is worn on the left breast.
If you are looking for a unique gift for the submarine enthusiast in your life, check out our new glassware set! These glasses feature the USS Bowfin logo as well as a bullet which appears to be piercing the glass. See photos and pricing below.
Shot glass $19.99
Rocks glass $24.99
Pint Glass $29.99
To order, call (808) 423-1321 and ask for the gift shop. Let the cashier know you’re interested in the “Bowfin Bullet Glassware”
February is African American History Month and we'd like to honor the 2.5 million African-American men enlisted during WWII along with those who served aboard USS Bowfin. 🌟
10 African-American men served on USS Bowfin at one point during her 9 war patrols. The U.S. Navy was still racially segregated at this time, and these men were limited to the Steward Branch or “Messman Branch”.
Joseph Anderson, Cook Third Class, (Patrols 1, 2, & 3)
Robert Garland, Steward’s Mate Second Class, (1945, 1946)
Hosey Mays, Steward Third Class, (Commissioning Crew, War Patrols 5 and 6)
Eugene McDonald, Steward’s Mate Second Class, (Commissioning Crew and Patrol 1)
Edward Timothy Neely, Steward’s Mate First Class, ( Patrols 4, 5, & 6)
Edward Arnold Odoms, Steward’s Mate Third Class, ( Patrols 7, 8, 9, & 1945)
Jones Patterson, Steward’s Mate Second Class, (Commissioning Crew)
Charles Robert Turner, Steward’s Mate First Class, (Patrols 7, 8, 9, 1945, & 1946)
Boisy Waiters, Steward’s Mate Second Class, (1945, 1946)
Steve Mosley, Cook First Class, (Commissioning Crew, Patrols 1, 2, 3, & 4).
The Messman Branch was composed almost exclusively of African Americans, Filipino, Chinese and other foreign nationals who had been recruited overseas into the U.S. Asiatic Fleet. This attracted criticism from civil rights leaders during the war, and by February 1943 the name of the branch was changed to Steward Branch, the word "officer's" was dropped from rate titles, and "mess attendant" became "steward's mate." The new rating of "cook" should not be confused with "ship's cook," which was part of the Commissary Branch.
In June 1944, cooks and stewards were authorized to wear petty officer-style rating badges. Despite the change in insignia, however, stewards and cooks were not petty officers and ranked below the most junior petty officer grade. Petty officer status was not extended to stewards until 1950.
Pictured: Steve Mosley, Cook First Class, served on USS Bowfin from her Commissioning through her 4th War Patrol.
A rare find! ✨
At one point in time, USS Sealion (SS-315) carried a CBS war correspondent. When the correspondent departed at Midway, he left behind an audio recorder and the crew took advantage of this unexpected gift. When the men were ordered to man battle stations for the attack on the convoy, one of them hung the microphone next to the intercom in the conning tower. The crew made another, similar recording during the boat’s fifth patrol. They were preserved by the Navy’s Underwater Sound Laboratory.
Listen here: https://bit.ly/2PfugrC
We were happy to have Czech Radio Personality Zorka Hejdová - oficiální tour WWII submarine!
“We considered this trip a lot because we are not such enthusiasts in history. But it would seem like a sin to be on Oahu and not visit Pearl Harbor ... The following photos are from the submarine Bowfin, which was sent to retaliate sinking Japanese ships ... as you walk through her hull, you imagine how it was going on at that time ...”
#OnThisDay in 1942 Submarine USS Gudgeon (SS-211) becomes the first US Navy submarine to sink an enemy Japanese submarine in action during World War II.👍
Drawing By: LCDR Fred Freeman, courtesy of Theodore Roscoe, from his book "U.S. Submarine Operations of WW II", published by USNI.
Our #HiddenHistory series🔍 highlights WWII submarine artifacts not on public display.
Pictured is a souvenir ribbon for the launching of the USS Bowfin (SS-287) from the Portsmouth Naval Ship Yard on July 23, 1942. She was launched December 7, 1942 by Mrs. Jane Gawne, wife of Captain James Gawne and commissioned on May 1, 1943 by Commander Joseph H. Willingham
Historically, ships were “christened” by the pouring or breaking of a bottle of alcohol over the bow. This is also the time when a ship receives her name.
Prior to commissioning, however, the new ship undergoes sea trials during which deficiencies needing correction are uncovered. The preparation and readiness time between christening-launching and commissioning may be as much as three years for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to as brief as twenty days for a World War II landing ship.
Ribbons like this have historically been popular souvenirs of ceremonies and events.
#TBT: Upon hearing of the Pearl Harbor attack, George Herbert Walker Bush decided to join the Navy. However, he was only 17 years old, and so he completed his school year before heading off to 10 months of training.
Bush was commissioned as an ensign in the US Naval Reserve June 9, 1943, making him one of the youngest naval aviators.
He was assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT-51) as photographic officer in September 1943. As part of Air Group 51, his squadron was based on USS San Jacinto (part of task force 58).
On September 2, 1944, Bush piloted one of four aircraft from VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chi Chi Jima. During their attack, four TBM Avengers from VT-51 encountered intense anti-aircraft fire. Bush’s aircraft was hit, but he completed his attack. With his engine on fire, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member on the TBM Avenger bailed out of the aircraft. Unfortunately, the other man’s chute did not open and he fell to his death. Bush waited four hours in his raft and was rescued by the lifeguard submarine, USS Finback.
During the month he remained on Finback, Bush participated in the rescue of other pilots. Throughout 1944, he flew 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded. Because of his valuable combat experience, Bush was reassigned to Norfolk and put in a training wing for new torpedo pilots.
Later, he was assigned as a naval aviator in a new torpedo squadron, VT-153. With the surrender of Japan, he was honorably discharged and entered Yale University. He would later serve as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993
#OnThisDay in 1961: USS George Washington (SSBN 598) completes the first operational voyage as a fleet ballistic missile submarine, staying submerged 66 days.😮
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Walter Lundgren. Walter or “Bud,” as his shipmates referred to him, served aboard USS Bowfin as a Motor Machinist Mate Second Class during war patrols 3-9. Walter passed away on Friday, January 17, 2020 at the age of 94. We will miss you dearly!
Thank you for your service. Sailor, rest your oar. ⚓
To read more about Walter's life and upcoming funeral service, please visit: https://bit.ly/2ujYeT5
A Sargo-class submarine assigned to the Pacific Fleet, USS Seawolf (SS-197) was sent on her first combat patrol the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
From sinking enemy ships to ferrying ammunition to beleaguered troops in the Philippines, Seawolf earned a reputation of being “unsinkable”. She once endured seven-and-a-half hours of depth charge attacks and still managed to escape.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the enemy who sank her.
During a confusing exchange of fire between American and Japanese vessels in October of 1944, it would later be surmised that the Seawolf was likely confused for an enemy submarine by American destroyer (USS Rowell) and sunk, with 83 sailors and 17 US Army soldiers aboard- including US Army Alamo Scout Captain, Howell S. Kopp, who was en route to a clandestine operation.
At the time of her disappearance, the Seawolf had an impressive 13 battle stars.
Buy gifts and help us raise money for our annual scholarship fund!🎇
You may buy our Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum bag, which comes in two sizes; $2.00 for the large bag and $1.00 for the small bag. You may also buy a personalized USS Bowfin shot glass - with your or a loved one’s name printed on the glass for only $5.99 (items are pictured above).
To order call (808) 423-1341 or for more information visit, https://bit.ly/2qLDxhx
CONSTRUCTION UPDATES: We have great news! There has been a lot of progress on the museum interior and we have moved into our support building.
The north side of the campus which includes: the Kaiten, Parche Conning Tower, etc., opened last month!
Visitors, please note that although we are undergoing construction on our museum, Our submarine tour is separate and still open to the public. Guests and their families are also welcome to come in and enjoy lunch at our ocean-view lanai.
📸 @jennysaepharn // Instagram
11 Arizona Memorial Dr
We are located at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the island of Oahu. If you are planning a trip to the island and would like more information please feel free to call us or visit us on the web. *Information provided below. www.bowfin.org www.twitter.com/USSBowfin Instagram: @ussbowfinmuseum
Be the first to know and let us send you an email when USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Send a message to USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park: