This legendary vessel is one of only 15 surviving U.S. combat submarines from World War II. Learn the story of the USS Bowfin, including its many successful attacks on enemy warships, and of submarines in general. A must-see for students of WWII history.
The USS Bowfin, known as the ‘Pearl Harbor Avenger’, was launched exactly one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor and sank 44 enemy ships during her nine wartime patrols. Tour the museum and the Bowfin itself and learn about the pivotal role submarines played during WWII, credited for 55% of enemy ships destroyed, even though they only accounted for 2% of the U.S. Naval fleet. The USS Bowfin is one of only fifteen American submarines from World War II that did not end up being used for scrap metal or as target practice for other ships. A trip to this unique museum gives visitors the rare chance to board an authentic submarine vessel and discover the hardships and victories faced by its crew.
Included with admission to the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park is a self-guided audio tour of the submarine, which lasts just under 30 minutes. Plan to spend an additional hour in the museum exploring its impressive collection of submarine artifacts including weapon systems, photographs, paintings, battle flags, and original military recruiting posters.
The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park acts as a hub for the various Pearl Harbor historic sites in the area, as people waiting for their ferry to the USS Arizona Memorial or waiting to take a tour of the USS Missouri battleship often include a stop at the Bowfin on their itinerary. The USS Bowfin is an exciting destination in its own right, but its location makes it perfect to visit while waiting for your ferry to the USS Arizona Memorial. The bag check for all of these sites is also located at the Bowfin Museum.
The Bowfin submarine supported an 80-man crew, and if you've never been on a submarine before, you'll be amazed by the tight quarters that acted as the crews’ home for extended periods at sea. Tall visitors should be prepared to bend, stoop, and watch their heads through every doorway. If you're claustrophobic or uncomfortable in close spaces, you might prefer to stay on land and spend time at the museum.
The USS Bowfin has been filmed in numerous television productions for PBS, The History Channel, and National Geographic Channel. It was also featured in at least three episodes of ABC’s hit series Lost. A visit to this military landmark vessel will give you a new understanding of exactly how powerful and critical submarines were in the naval conflicts of World War II, and offers a great learning opportunity on your trip to Hawaii.
With all the steps, ladders, and hatches, neither wheelchairs nor service animals can be accommodated on the submarine itself, although the museum and outdoor exhibits are all fully accessible. For safety reasons, children under 4 are not allowed on the submarine.
No bags of any size can be brought onto the submarine (or any of the Bowfin's sister sites), so leave them at the hotel or check them at the visitor center for about $3 per bag.
For security reasons, bags of any kind are not permitted on site. You are welcome to check them at the Visitor's Center for $3 per bag.