On December 7th, 1941, history was made when the Pearl Harbor naval base was attacked by Japanese bombers. Many ships were damaged during the attack, including the Arizona which was sunk trapping thousands of servicemen inside.
Click this link for Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial where you can read our post from two years ago about visiting the harbor and the various exhibits.
Now we continue the Pearl Harbor series and take a look at the USS Bowfin, which also played a major role in this historical event.
The USS Bowfin was one of many attack submarines active in the Pacific during World War II. Its job was to patrol certain areas of the ocean to spot Japanese boats or ships. Construction on the submarines began just a few days after the Japanese attack. And then Bowfin was finally launched one year later.
The submarine was named after the extinct Bowfin fish that was found in the Great Lakes, Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. This voracious fish was very aggressive in its fighting against enemies. And it’s also known for its survival without water due to its primitive lung. No other name was more fitting for a boat with a bold determination.
In 1972, the USS Bowfin was acquired as a memorial and towed from Seattle to Honolulu. A group of volunteers worked to restore the submarine at Pier 39 near downtown Honolulu. It was then moved to Pearl Harbor in December 1980 and opened as a museum ship four months later.
Visiting the Submarine
Visiting the USS Bowfin is much more than just a submarine. It’s also a museum with both indoor and outdoor exhibits all surrounded in a park-like setting. You’ll see missiles, torpedos, and rescue chambers, all of which were used during the war. You’ll see many of the artifacts and flags that are still part of its history. And you’ll even learn the stories of the many crewmen and officers who lost their lives while fighting for their country.
The USS Bowfin is open daily with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. At the time of this writing, tickets for the submarine and museum are $15. Or you can visit the museum only for $6.
When visiting Pearl Harbor, take some time to tour this legendary submarine. Experience what life was like for submariners working in confined spaces for weeks on end to help protect their country.
The USS Bowfin – just another exciting part of the World War II history.
Image By: Official Pearl Harbor Tours