History of USS Bowfin PDF Print E-mail

History of USS Bowfin

The Pearl Harbor Avenger

USS Bowfin (SS-287) is a fleet attack submarine that fought in the Pacific during WWII, and helped to make famous the term, “Silent Service.”  Bowfin was launched on 7 December 1942, exactly one year to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  She was nicknamed the Pearl Harbor Avenger, so it is fitting that she is permanently homeported at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Patrol Summary

On these pages, follow her history through nine arduous war patrols, filled with hard work, frustration, courage, and triumph.

 

Secrets of the Sub

Victory At Cost

Victory at a cost

During World War II, The United States Submarine Force, encompassing less than 2% of the U.S. Navy's fleet, inflicted destruction on Japanese maritime power. U.S. submarines were responsible for sinking over 30% of the Japanese Navy including eight aircraft carriers, one battleship and eleven cruisers.  More importantly, the Submarine Force sank 2,400 Japanese merchant ships totaling 4.9 million tons.

Chart of Enemy Ships

However, this success did not come without risk. Out of a total of 14,000 submariners who fought in peril under the sea took losses of over 3,500 officers and men.  Approximately one in four submariners never returned.

victory-bonefish-plaque-2_web

The USS Bonefish submarine plaque is one of fifty-two memorials at the Waterfront Memorial at Bowfin Park.