USS Bowfin Submarine

the Bowfin Submarine

About USS Bowfin Submarine


Known as the Pearl Harbor Avenger, the USS Bowfin Submarine played a key role in Japans defeat during World War II. Located at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center–where you’ll also see the USS Arizona Memorial–the famous submarine lends itself to a waterfront memorial that pays tribute to the 52 American submarines and more than 3,500 submariners lost during the war. The Bowfin, named after a native predatory fish of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River, sank 44 enemy ships during her nine war patrols.


Construction of the Bowfin began July 1942 in Maine. The submarine was completed soon after and launched on 7 December 1942, exactly one year to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1947, Bowfin was decommissioned, then re-commissioned in 1951, and did so twice until it was retired in 1971, then moved to Pearl Harbor in 1979. Bowfin served active duty with the Atlantic Fleet after the War and later as a training vessel in Seattle.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Oahu
  • Duration: Tours through the inside of the docked submarine are 1-hour self-guided explorations.
  • Amenities: The USS Bowfin Submarine museum offers snacks, sandwiches, and drinks.
  • Insider Tip: Be sure to get a peak through the periscope.
  • Fun Fact: Bowfin travelled to the Rhode Island, Connecticut, Panama Canal, and Australia before entering the Pacific for her first war patrol.
  • What to Expect: A self-guided audio tour through the inside of the sub, exploring the living quarters, top deck, and many other decks.