The USS Bowfin submarine was launched on December 7th, 1942 and earned the nickname “Pearl Harbor Avenger” by sinking 44 ships during her war patrols. Visitors to the Bowfin can go below deck and explore the place where the submarine crew slept, ate, and worked on-duty during World War II and the Korean War.
The ticket price includes an audio tour using headsets. There are two options for listening to the audio cassettes. There is an adult option, with longer more detailed descriptions and history; and a family option, which is geared toward young visitors with shorter attention spans. Note that children under four are not allowed on the Bowfin Submarine.
The tour begins in the Forward Torpedo Room, which contained 16 torpedos. Next is the officer’s section, where the officers ate and slept. The Control Room was where the diving and surfacing of the sub was controlled. The Radio Room was also in this area. Next is the Galley, where the meals were prepared and the Crew’s Mess, where meals were eaten. Enough freezer/refrigerator storage was required for 75 days. Next you can tour the crew’s main sleeping area, which contained 36 bunks. Then comes two engine rooms, each containing two 16-cylander horsepower diesel engines. These engines were used to power the generators. The Manuevering Room contains the levers that were moved to control the speed of the sub while submerged. The last compartment is the Aft Torpedo Room, which housed eight torpedoes.
In addition to the Bowfin Submarine, there is also a 10,000 square foot museum exhibiting a large collection of submarine-related artifacts, including a Poseidon C-3 missile. Entrance to the museum is included in the ticket price.
The Waterfront Memorial pays tribute to the 52 U.S. submarines and more than 3,500 submariners who lost their lives during World War II. The fifty-two monuments describe the history of the lost submarines and list the names of men who are “on eternal patrol” with their vessels.
You can tour the Bowfin submarine daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day).
* Note that the following items are prohibited: purses, handbags, fanny packs, backpacks, camera bags, diaper bags, luggage and/or other items that offer concealment. Cameras and video camcorders are allowed. Storage of the prohibited items is available for a small fee.
More photos of the Bowfin are available at ArmchairHawaii.com.