For RATING SHIRTS - Click on your Rating Abbreviation below:



Click to view crew list

USS BOWFIN (SS-287) - a Balao class submarine

In Commission 1943 to 1947

SS-287 Deployments - Major Events

Add a SS-287 Shellback Initiation Add a SS-287 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
JUL1942-Keel Date: 23 JUL 1942
at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Kittery ME
DEC1942-Launch Date: 7 DEC 1942
MAY1943-Commissioned: 1 MAY 1943
DEC1971-Decommissioned: 1 DEC 1971

SS-287 General Specifications

Class: Balao class submarine

Complement: 10 Officers and 70 Enlisted

Displacement: 1526 tons

Length: 311 feet 9 inches

Beam: 27 feet 3 inches

Draft: 16 feet 10 in

Range: 11 000 Nautical Miles

Final Disposition: Museum ship in Pearl Harbor Hawaii since 1 August 1979


Bowfin (SS-287) was launched 7 December 1942 by Portsmouth Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. J. O. Gawne wife of Captain Gawne; and commissioned 1 May 1948 Commander J. H. Willingham in command.

Bowfin departed New London Conn. 1 July 1943 and arrived at Brisbane Australia 10 August 1843. Between 16 August 1943 and 4 July 1945 she completed nine war patrols operating from the Netherlands East Indies to the Sea of Japan and the waters south of Hokkaido. Bowfin sank 15 merchantmen and one frigate for a total of 68 032 tons. She also shared credit with Aspro (SS-309) for a 4 500-ton merchantman.

Leaving Pearl Harbor 29 August 1945 Bowfin sailed to the east coast arriving at Tompkinsville N. Y. 21 September. She operated with the Atlantic Fleet until placed out of commission in reserve at New London Conn. 12 February 1947.

Bowfin was recommissioned at New London 27 July 1951. Following a short training period she departed for the Pacific arriving at San Diego 6 October 1951. She continued to operate from San Diego on local operations and training exercises until 8 October 1953 when she arrived at San Francisco to commence inactivation. Bowfin was placed out of commission in reserve at Mare Island Naval Shipyard 22 April 1954.

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.

[Note: The above USS BOWFIN (SS-287) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS BOWFIN (SS-287) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]