|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
|The Very First Sub Ever|
The First Submarine Ever
There were many countries around the world developing submarines in the 17th and 18th century both for wartime use and for commercial purposes. In the United States, we say the Turtle, developed by a Yale University professor, David Bushnell, was our first submarine. Designed to deliver an underwater mine with a timed fuse, it's original purpose was to break the blockade of the British Navy in New York harbor in 1776, during the War of Independence. Almost a hundred later the Confederate States Ship Hunley with a crew of nine men braved the waters of Charleston, South Carolina harbor to attack and sink the Union Ship USS Housitanic. The weapon used was a mine mounted on a spar jutting from the bow of the submarine. Again, the purpose was to break the blockade of a harbor but within 40 years, the United States started the submarine explosion with the Simon Lake, SS-1, in 1900 , designed as a scouting ship for America's emerging battle fleets. In less than 20 years, the first world war would see the island nation of Great Brritain brought to her knees by German commerce raiding submarines and submarines , large and small being developed by many nations.