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

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.