Pay homage to the brave crew of USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park and experience a piece of history. Located in Oahu, Hawaii, this museum offers an insightful look into the past with its interactive exhibits and artifacts from World War II. From learning about the submarine’s mission during war times to exploring its deck and inner compartments, visitors can expect a unique educational experience that will bring them back in time. Step aboard the USS Bowfin Submarine and get ready for an unforgettable journey through history.


  • The USS Bowfin is a World War II-era submarine that has been preserved as a museum in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • It was launched on December 7th, 1942 – the first anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor
  • Visitors can explore several decks of this historic vessel, including crew quarters, engine room, torpedo room, control center and gallery
  • There are also interactive exhibits about life aboard submarines from WWII through today’s modern Navy vessels
  • A unique feature of this museum is its audio tour narrated by actual crew members who served onboard during WWII


Control Systems Inside the USS Bowfin Submarine

The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, an extraordinary site in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is devoted to recognizing the thousands of brave submariners who served their country during times of war. Launched on December 7th, 1942, the USS Bowfin (SS-287) was one of the most triumphant submarines in history. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Portsmouth Navy Yard undertook the construction of the Balao-class fleet submarines, including Bowfin, which later became the third vessel of its class. Throughout the Second World War, 119 Balao-class submarines contributed to the submerged fight, completing 265 ordered vessels. The USS Bowfin added to that impressive record, with a length of 312 feet and a weight displacement of 2,415 tons. During 1943 to 1945, it led nine war patrols and could travel up to speeds of 20.25 knots on the surface and 8.75 knots when submerged. With its ten torpedo tubes and rack space for 14 reloads, the USS Bowfin was a force to be reckoned with!


The commanding officers of the USS Bowfin boasted of sinking 179,646 tons of weight, equating to 34 large vessels and ten smaller ones under 500 tons. The submarine also inflicted damage of 33,934 tons, including five large vessels and two smaller ones, adding to a total of 213,580 tons sunk or damaged. The USS Bowfin’s exceptional record solidified its place in history as the 17th highest in tonnage and 15th in number of ships sunk, among the 188 World War II submarines with sinking records. Visit the USS Bowfin Museum & Park today and witness a unique piece of history.

Things to Do

Entrance to the USS Bowfin
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The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park offers a unique experience for those interested in the history of submarines and World War II. Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, the museum is home to many historical artifacts as well as educational programs for visitors.

Visit Exhibits and Collections

For anyone looking to explore some incredible relics from World War II or learn more about submarines, a [tour] to USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park should be at the top of your list! USS Bowfin Submarine tour offers visits to interactive exhibits with audio recordings you can listen to in different languages to learn about its history.

The Waterfront Memorial

One of the most popular attractions at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is The Waterfront Memorial. This memorial is dedicated to all submarine servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives during World War II. The names of over 3,500 fallen are inscribed on the walls of this special memorial, providing a powerful reminder of their sacrifice and courage.

The Japanese Kaiten

The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park houses an incredible relic—the Kaiten, the world’s first human-guided torpedo. Originally developed by the Japanese during World War II, this weapon was designed to be carried and launched by a submarine, and could reach speeds of up to 43 knots. The Kaiten was not only incredibly powerful but also incredibly dangerous, since these torpedoes were often piloted by kamikaze pilots who had been trained to complete their mission at all costs.

The Conning Tower

At the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, visitors can also explore an authentic conning tower from a sunken Japanese submarine. The conning tower provides an amazing look into what life onboard a real submarine was like during World War II. Visitors can go inside the conning tower and get up close and personal with history.

The McCann Rescue Chamber

The final must-see part of a visit to USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is the McCann Rescue Chamber exhibit. This chamber was crucial in saving many lives during WW2 when submerged submarines needed rescue operations. A replica model of this chamber demonstrates how this device worked and saved countless lives during that time period.

Participate in Educational Programs

The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park offers an array of educational programs designed to educate the public about the history of submarines as well as the unique experience of being aboard a submarine. The Junior Submariner Program offers children aged 8-12 the opportunity to experience what it’s like to spend time in a real submarine, with guided tours and interactive activities. Student visits are available for school groups, offering a memorable learning experience that encourages critical thinking skills and promotes safety awareness. The School Outreach Program Scholarships grant eligible students free admission to visit the museum, while the Research Library provides access to an extensive collection of books, articles, photographs and other materials related to submarines and their history. The library also holds special events such as lectures from veteran submariners, film screenings, book signings and art exhibits.

In addition to these programs, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum is actively involved in outreach efforts throughout Hawaii. Through partnerships with local organizations and businesses, they provide support for community projects such as aquatic education programs at local schools or ocean conservation initiatives. By educating youth about the importance of preserving our oceans and its resources, they aim to ensure a safe future for our seas.

Drop by the USS Bowfin Gift Shop and Lanai Food Court

After exploring the museum, visitors can drop by the USS Bowfin Gift Shop to find souvenirs and memorabilia that commemorate their visit. Explore a vast array of nautical and naval keepsakes ranging from T-shirts to books and more, all available at our Pearl Harbor gift shop. For an enriching experience, check out our specialized “keiki” section, offering educational items that are perfect for young minds.

The Lanai Food Court at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park also offers delicious meals for visitors looking to refuel during their experience. Here, guests can enjoy a variety of menu items inspired by local Hawaiian cuisine, as well as other classic food options sure to satisfy any craving. With outdoor seating available, diners can enjoy their meal with a scenic view of Pearl Harbor. For those seeking more than just a meal, there are plenty of activities available in the Lanai Food Court area.. You should also check out the interactive kiosks located throughout the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park grounds that offer additional information and insight into World War II history and submarine operations.

Tips When Visiting

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes as there is a lot of walking to be done in the museum.
  • Bring a camera to take pictures or videos if you wish. Learn about the history of the USS Bowfin Submarine before visiting.
  • Allow extra time for exploring all areas of the museum after your tour.
  • Make sure to pay respects when inside historical artifacts.
  • Check opening hours in advance and plan accordingly.
  • For security reasons bags are not permitted inside any of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites
  • Buy souvenirs from the gift shop as reminders of your visit

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The museum is open from 7am-5pm daily, except on Thanksgiving Day, New Year’s Day,  and Christmas Day.

Admission is $21.99 for adults and $12.99 for children aged 4-12. For military personnel and local residents, pricing is $15.00 per adult and $7.99 per child (4-12).

Yes, this museum offers free parking for visitors.

Yes. Experience a comprehensive audio tour with admission available in English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. Planning to come as a group of 10 or more? Make sure to book your private tour reservation in advance online or through hotline at 808-423-1341 ext 242/243/245 to secure your spot.

The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is located at 11 Arizona Memorial Place, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The USS Bowfin Submarine was commissioned on December 7th, 1942 and decommissioned on July 25th, 1946 after just over 3 years of service.

How to Get to USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park

The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is located on the east end of Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. To get there from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, book a tour that will take you to Arizona Memorial via ferry boat. The Bowfin is walking distance from the Arizona Memorial right onto Saratoga Boulevard. Enter through the USS Arizona entrance. There are several parking lots to choose from and all are free.

Come Explore the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park

Visiting the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is a great way to learn about the history of submarines and their importance during World War II. Aside from its history, it provides a unique experience for visitors unlike any other museum or park. By exploring this relic of war, you gain a deeper appreciation for those who served aboard these vessels and made ultimate sacrifices so that we may have freedom today. For these reasons alone, it’s worth visiting now – if not just to marvel at the sheer engineering feat that occurred over 70 years ago!