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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski.

Bowfin (SS-287)
1943-45

Radio Call Sign: November - Whiskey - Sierra - Lima

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons


Presidential Unit Citation
To Additional Pages

1946-Present


Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 23 July 1942, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.; Launched, 7 December 1942; Commissioned USS Bowfin (SS-287), 1 May 1943; Decommissioned, 12 February 1947, at the Naval Submarine Base, New London, CT.; Laid up in the Reserve Fleet at New London; Recommissioned, 27 July 1951, at New London, CT.; Decommissioned, 22 April 1954, at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA.; Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet; Re-designated Auxiliary Research Submarine (AGSS-287) in 1962; Re-designated Miscellaneous Submarine (IXSS-287) in 1971; Struck from the Naval Register, 1 December 1971;
Final Disposition, on permanent display as a memorial at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Bowfin received the Presidential Unit Citation for her second war patrol, the Navy Unit Commendation for her sixth war patrol, and eight battle stars during World War II.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,414 t.; Length 311' 9"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 15' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Cruising Range, 11,000 miles surfaced at 10kts; Submerged Endurance, 48 hours at 2kts; Operating Depth Limit, 400 ft; Complement 6 Officers 60 Enlisted; Armament, ten 21" torpedo tubes, six forward, four aft, 24 torpedoes, one 4"/50 deck gun, one 40mm gun, two .50 cal. machine guns; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Propulsion, diesel-electric reduction gear with four General Motors main generator diesel engines, 5,400hp, Fuel Capacity 94,400 gal., four General Electric main motors with 2,740 hp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
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Bowfin 68k Bowfin (SS-287) slides down the launching ramp at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME., 7 December 1942. Courtesy of Leeward Publications Ships Data #4, USS Bowfin, submitted by Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
Bowfin 55k Bowfin (SS-287) Launch Pin. Courtesy of Ron Toth Jr. of timepassagenostalgia.com via Tom Kermen.
Bowfin 17k Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Bowfin's (SS-287) commissioning at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME., 1 May 1943. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Bowfin 119k At the commissioning ceremony of the Bowfin (SS-287) on 1 May 1943, Commander Joseph H. Willingham, Jr. reads his orders and sets the first watch. Courtesy of Leeward Publications Ships Data #4, USS Bowfin, submitted by Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
Bowfin 56k Bowfin (SS-287) leaving Portsmouth, NH., on 13 May 1943 for her first diving operation & trials. Courtesy of Leeward Publications Ships Data #4, USS Bowfin, submitted by Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
Bowfin585kBowfin (SS-287) appears here on 16 August 1943 just before setting out on her first patrol.USN photo # 80-G-394386 by Cdr. Edward J. Steichen, from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Tirante268kUndated pre-war image of the Osaka Shosen KK-owned general cargo ship Sydney Maru underway. Sydney Maru (5,425 grt) was torpedoed and sunk (in convoy) on 28 November 1943 at position (12 degrees 46' N, 109 degrees 42' E) by the submarine Bowfin (SS-287). Photo courtesy of Mitsui OSK archives via "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939" by Roger W. Jordan, courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Fremantle 101k Busy pier scene at Fremantle Austraila, 19 December 1943. From left to right, stern view to the camera are the Bonefish (SS-223), Rasher (SS-269), Bowfin (SS-287), Bluefish (SS-222), Narwhal (SS-167) and the sub tender Pelias (AS-14).
Second row, bow view are the Cod (SS-224), Tinosa (SS-283) and Crevalle (SS-291).
I believe the only time that photo could have been taken was 19 December 1943. The Tinosa was in Fremantle only once, from 16 December 1943 to 10 January 1944. During that brief window, the Bonefish had not arrived until 19 December and the Rasher departed 19 December so that is the single date all three submarines were ever in Fremantle port at the same time.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Dan Goodell.
US Navy photo courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Bowfin180kAn undated pre-war pic of the Nippon Yuse (n KK-owned passenger/general cargo ship SS Tusima Maru (ex-Tsushima Maru), underway location unknown. Additional info: The 6,754 grt Tusima Maru was torpedoed (in convoy Namo 103) and sunk on 22 August 1944 by the submarine Bowfin (SS-287), [Cdr J Corbus] 5.5 miles NW of Akuseki Island at position 29 32N 129 31E. Thought to have been a Japanese Army transport, the attack was carried out at night between 10.00 and 11.30 pm. The crew of the Bowfin would not discover until twenty years later that it was found to be a passenger ship, en route from Okinawa to kagoshima, carrying some 1,800 passengers, many being women and children. More than 1,500 died, including 777 school children. Photo from bowfin.org courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Photo added 02/21/14.
Bowfin 277k A safety engineering photo of the congestion on the wing walls of ARD-11 at Mare Island on 25 October 1944. The bow of the Bowfin (SS-287) is seen to the right. US Navy photo # 6462-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Bowfin 395k Bowfin (SS-287) off Mare Island on 24 November 1944. US Navy Photo # 7186-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Bowfin 224k Bow on view of Bowfin (SS-287) off Mare Island on 24 November 1944. US Navy photo # 7182-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Bowfin 263k Broadside view of Bowfin (SS-287)off Mare Island on 24 November 1944. She was in overhaul at Mare Island from 21 Sep until 17 December 1944. US Navy photo # 7185-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Bowfin 194k Stern view of Bowfin (SS-287) off Mare Island on 24 November 1944. US Navy photo # 7187-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Bowfin 57k Bowfin (SS-287) at Mare Island following upgrading, 28 November 1944. Circles represent additions. Courtesy of Leeward Publications Ships Data #4, USS Bowfin, submitted by Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
Bowfin 62k Bow view of the Bowfin (SS-287) at Mare Island following upgrading, 28 November 1944. Circles represent additions. Courtesy of Leeward Publications Ships Data #4, USS Bowfin, submitted by Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
Bowfin 112k Bowfin (SS-287) returns from a patrol, possibly to Fremantle, Austraila. USN photo courtesy of ussubvetsofwwii.org.
Bowfin 57k Action on Bowfin's (SS-287) deck, note Battle Flag and Presidential Unit Citation Pennant. Courtesy of Leeward Publications Ships Data #4, USS Bowfin, submitted by Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
Bowfin 68k Bowfin (SS-287) bringing back Japanese prisoners which were picked up and taken ashore by a Marine guard. Courtesy of Leeward Publications Ships Data #4, USS Bowfin, submitted by Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
Bowfin 98k Bowfin's (SS-287) crew receiving the Presidential Unit Citation from Admiral Christie upon return from the second War Patrol. Bowfin is moored alongside Orion (AS-18) in Freemantle, Austraila. Courtesy of Leeward Publications Ships Data #4, USS Bowfin, submitted by Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
Bowfin 41k The Presidential Unit Citation pennant is presented to Bowfin's (SS-287) captain, Commander John Corbus, by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz in July 1944. Although earned during the second War Patrol, the pennant was not presented to the boat until her return to Pearl Harbor after her fifth War Patrol. Courtesy of Leeward Publications Ships Data #4, USS Bowfin, submitted by Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
Bowfin 447k Albert Patrick Kenney, who was a Baker, Second Class, aboard Bowfin (SS-287) on Patrols 4 through 9. Photo was taken during the 9th Patrol by Marshall Woolley La Cour, PHOM2. Photo submitted by Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, &
On Eternal Patrol
Bowfin 209k Vice Admiral Charles Andrews Lockwood, COMSUBPAC, greeting CDR Alexander Kelly Tyree, when Bowfin (SS-287) returned to Pearl Harbor from the Sea of Japan after her 9th war patrol, 4 July 1945. Photo submitted by Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, &
On Eternal Patrol
Spadefish 390k Hellcats get together one by one:
From inboard to outboard: Flying Fish (SS-229) & Spadefish (SS-411), July 1945.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Spadefish 269k Hellcats get together two plus one:
From inboard to outboard: Flying Fish (SS-229), Spadefish (SS-411) & with Bowfin (SS-287) approaching, July 1945.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Spadefish 298k Hellcats get together three plus one:
From inboard to outboard: Flying Fish (SS-229), Spadefish (SS-411), Bowfin (SS-287) with Tinosa (SS-283) approaching, July 1945.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Spadefish 241k Hellcats get together with one to go:
From inboard to outboard: Flying Fish (SS-229), Spadefish (SS-411), Bowfin (SS-287), Tinosa (SS-283) & Skate (SS-305) approaching, July 1945.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Spadefish 192k All together now:
From inboard to outboard: Flying Fish (SS-229), Spadefish (SS-411), Bowfin (SS-287), Tinosa (SS-283) & Skate (SS-305) July 1945.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Flying Fish 58k Flying Fish (SS-229), Spadefish (SS-411), Tinosa (SS-283), Bowfin (SS-287), and Skate (SS-305) as they appeared from a photo taken at the top of training tower at Sail 9 in 1945.
US Navy photo courtesy of Grant Riddle and submarinebaseph.com from centerfold of Bowfin museum brochure.
Bowfin 297k WW II battle-flag of the Bowfin (SS-287). Courtesy of Aryeh (Lee) Wetherhorn.
Tyree59kCDR. Alexander Kelly Tyree was the commanding officer of the Bowfin (SS-287) from September 1944 to July 1945. He was twice the recipient of the Navy Cross during his command of the Bowfin. Photo courtesy of the Lucky Bag Yearbook Class of 1936 via Bill Gonyo.
Bowfin 101k The Bowfin (SS-287), drawn by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Photo courtesy of Navy Yard Associates.

View the Bowfin (SS-287)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park
Historical Naval Ships Visitors Guide-USS Bowfin (SS-287)
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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