USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park

USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park 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.
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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!

#SubmarineSunday⚓On September 9, 1943 USS Wahoo (SS-238) departed Pearl Harbor on her seventh patrol. She topped off wit...
02/23/2020

#SubmarineSunday⚓

On September 9, 1943 USS Wahoo (SS-238) departed Pearl Harbor on her seventh patrol. She topped off with fuel at Midway and left September 13 heading for the dangerous mine-laden Sea of Japan. Shortly afterwards, USS Sawfish left Midway and also headed for this area.

Wahoo was to pass through Etorofu Strait, in Kurile Islands, and La Perouse Strait, between Hokkaido and Karafuto, and enter the Japan Sea. She was to head south and remain below 43° north. USS Sawfish was to follow Wahoo and patrol the area north of her. Though no transmission was received from Wahoo, either by any shore station or by Sawfish, she was reported missing on November 9, 1943.

On October 31, 2006, the U.S. Navy confirmed that the images provided by "Iskra" research team were of USS Wahoo (SS-238), the wreckage lying intact in about 213 ft (65 m) of water in the Soya Strait. It is now known that the submarine was sunk by a direct hit from an aerial bomb near the conning tower.

Wahoo was one of the Submarine Force's most valuable units during her six patrols, and her feats have become submarine legend. Wahoo was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for her third patrol. Claiming to sink 27 ships, totaling 119,100 tons, and damaged two more, for an additional 24,900 tons, in the six patrols completed before her loss.

Lieutenant Commander Dudley Walker "Mush" Morton was considered one of the topnotch officers in the Submarine Force, and the loss of this ship was an irreparable blow to the Service.

The submarine force was comprised of less than 2% of the US Navy, lost 52 submarines and accounted for over half the ene...
02/22/2020

The submarine force was comprised of less than 2% of the US Navy, lost 52 submarines and accounted for over half the enemy shipping sunk. The following excerpt from VADM Charles Lockwood’s 1945 speech beautifully expresses the country's view of the submarine service during this time.

"To the 374 officers and 3,131 men of the Submarine Force who gave their lives in the winning of this war, I can assure you that they went down fighting and that their brothers who survived them took a grim toll of our savage enemy to avenge their deaths."

📷 VADM Charles A. Lockwood, USN Commander comes on board USS Missouri (BB-63) for the surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay, Japan, September 2, 1945. Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives

Thank you Jose Medrano Jr. for sharing this photo of your  brother-in-law’s re-enlistment ceremony with us here at USS B...
02/20/2020

Thank you Jose Medrano Jr. for sharing this photo of your brother-in-law’s re-enlistment ceremony with us here at USS Bowfin. Congratulations Gary!🎉

#TriviaTuesday⁉️ 🤔 Which president is responsible for submarine pay? BONUS: Name the submarine he toured (pictured).
02/18/2020

#TriviaTuesday⁉️ 🤔

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...
02/17/2020

#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’...
02/15/2020

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 shi...
02/14/2020

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 Har...
02/14/2020

#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 BrashearCarl Brashear was seventeen years-old whe...
02/10/2020

"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.

#SubmarineSunday⚓In March 1945 USS Kete (SS-369), having just returned from her first patrol in the East China Sea, was ...
02/09/2020

#SubmarineSunday⚓

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 qual...
02/06/2020

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 g...
02/03/2020

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 W...
02/01/2020

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”.

Bowfin Crew:
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 depar...
01/31/2020

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...
01/31/2020

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 submarin...
01/27/2020

#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 t...
01/25/2020

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...
01/23/2020

#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...
01/21/2020

#OnThisDay in 1961: USS George Washington (SSBN 598) completes the first operational voyage as a fleet ballistic missile submarine, staying submerged 66 days.😮

Address

11 Arizona Memorial Dr
Honolulu, HI
96818-3104

www.thebus.org

General information

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

Opening Hours

Monday 07:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 07:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 07:00 - 17:00
Thursday 07:00 - 17:00
Friday 07:00 - 17:00
Saturday 07:00 - 17:00
Sunday 07:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(808) 423-1341

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