USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
Explore the narrow corridors and tiny mess rooms of the USS Bowfin and imagine how it would have felt to have been submerged deep beneath the ocean’s surface in search of the enemy. Over 4,000 artifacts within this submarine and the onshore museum and park help you to gain insight into the lives of the soldiers who lived and worked in the U.S. Army’s “Silent Service.”
The USS Bowfin was launched on December 7, 1942, a year to the day after the destructive Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. Nicknamed the “Pearl Harbor Avenger,” the underwater boat was responsible for sinking 44 enemy submarines during World War II. It’s one of few remaining American World War II submarines. The vessel, the museum and the displays in the surrounding park tell the history of the war in the Pacific.
Take the self-guided audio tour of the submarine, which lasts about 30 minutes. You will likely want to take some more time to browse the various exhibits, which include recruitment posters, military flags and examples of weaponry. The most impressive of these is the Poseidon, an opened-up ballistic missile with all its electronic circuits on display.
After an hour or more of wandering around the confined space of the submarine, you may well feel the need for a bit of fresh air. The park around the museum contains more submarine-related exhibits, with a Japanese Kaiten torpedo and an early example of an underwater missile known as Regulus on display. Visit the waterfront memorial to the crews of the 52 submarines sunk during the war, or the chamber that tells the story of the incredible rescue of the crewmen of the USS Squalus.
The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park are located in Pearl Harbor. An admission fee applies. You can board the vessel by a footbridge. The complex is open daily, except major public holidays. For counterterrorism purposes, you are not permitted to carry bags on board, but you can rent a locker for safe storage.