|Admission & Tours|
Admissions and Tours
Submarine & Museum Tour
* Children under 4 are not permitted on the submarine for safety reasons. They may visit the museum and mini-theater at no charge.
Visitors are given a digital audio player that narrates their tour as they explore this historic WWII submarine to imagine what life on board must have been like for her 80-man crew. USS Bowfin was launched on 7 December 1942 and completed nine successful war patrols. For her wartime service she also earned both the Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Unit Commendation. USS Bowfin was acquired from the U.S. Navy in 1979 and opened to the public in 1981. In 1986 she was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior.
Explore the intriguing world of submarines, both past and present. Visitors are givena digital audio player that narrates their tour of our 10,000 square foot Museum. Exhibits include an impressive collection of submarine-related artifacts such as submarine weapon systems, photographs, paintings, battleflags, original recruiting posters, and detailed submarine models, all illustrating the history of the U.S. Submarine Service. Exhibits include a Poseidon C-3 missile that allows visitors to examine its inner workings. It is the only one of its kind to be on public display. Learn more about our Bowfin-related exhibits.
Within Bowfin Park stands a public memorial honoring the 52 American submarines and the more than 3,500 submariners lost during WWII.
Secrets of the Sub
Artist Alberto Vargas became famous for his WWII watercolors depicting beautiful pin-up girls. "Varga girls" were so popular that many different artists immitated Vargas’ technique and approach to the female figure: an idealized female form eliciting sensuality and seduction. During the 1940’s his work was a hit amongst enlisted men who drew inspiration from them which inadvertently created high morale. The military was so influenced by this art that they adorned their vessels with it. Many military aircraft had Varga style girls decorating the nose of their planes, Varga girls were even printed on greeting cards and sent to enlisted men by their sweethearts. Inside the engine room aboard USS Bowfin, the crew posted a 1943 Vargas calendar, on which they doodled, wrote notes, and recorded their conquests of the sea.