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

Vargas Girls

Vargas  Girls

Vagas Girls Image

  

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.