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entrance area to the submarine
Photo Credit: guyonthego

USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park

11 Arizona Memorial Drive, Honolulu, HI 96818
7-5 for museum, 7-4:30 for the sub, closed holidays
808-423-1341 3 hours
December 2010 All year
$10-29 Honolulu Hawaii
Website Historical Ships
First review
The USS Bowfin Submarine and a related submarine museum are located at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Both the Bowfin and the submarine museum can be seen in about 2 to 3 hours. If you enjoy military history, they are worth visiting and fit nicely with the other museums and exhibits at the Pearl Harbor area.

The Bowfin is a Balao-class World War II US submarine. Launched one year to the day from the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Bowfin was given the nickname, “The Pearl Harbor Avenger.” Submarines were very important to the US in World War II, because Japan was highly dependent on imports to support its economy. Representing only 2% of the US naval fleet, submarines accounted for about 30% of losses inflicted on Japanese shipping. The Bowfin had nine successful tours during the war and later served mostly in support and training roles.

A self-guided tour of the Bowfin takes about an hour. You will want an audio headset because it helps explain the sub’s features. Much of the Bowfin is open and the tour includes operational areas, crew quarters and the deck. The next-door museum also is interesting and focuses on the development of sub technology and warfare. A memorable part relates the actions and fortitude of US submariners who were awarded the Medal of Honor.

Most people will enjoy visiting the Bowfin as it is fun to explore a sub and see what life was like onboard. The related museum will appeal chiefly to military history types. There also are a number of torpedoes and missiles on display outside the museum building.
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