Allied Warships

Bowfin (SS-287)

Submarine of the Balao class


USS Bowfin on display at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassBalao 
Pennant287 
Built byPortsmouth Navy Yard (Kittery, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Ordered15 Dec 1941 
Laid down23 Jul 1942 
Launched7 Dec 1942 
Commissioned1 May 1943 
End service22 Apr 1954 
History

Decommissioned 12 February 1947.
Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
Recommissioned 27 July 1951.
Decommissioned 22 April 1954.
Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
Stricken 1 December 1971.
Put on permanent display as a memorial at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (offsite link)

 

Commands listed for USS Bowfin (287)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Joseph Harris Willingham, Jr., USN1 May 194326 Oct 1943
2Lt.Cdr. Walter Thomas Griffith, USN26 Oct 194315 Apr 1944
3Cmdr John Corbus, USN15 Apr 194423 Sep 1944
4Cdr. Alexander Kelly Tyree, USN23 Sep 19444 Jul 1945

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Notable events involving Bowfin include:


1 Jul 1943
With her trials and initial training completed USS Bowfin (Cdr. Joseph Harris Willingham) departed from New London bound for Brisbane, Australia.

10 Aug 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham) arrived at Brisbane.

16 Aug 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham) departed from Brisbane for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea.

2 Sep 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham) delivers supplies and evacuates some people from Binuni Point, Mindanao, Philippines.

25 Sep 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham) torpedoed and sank the Japanese tanker Kirishima Maru (5959 GRT) in the South China Sea in position 09°50'N, 112°03'E.

30 Sep 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham) delivers supplies and evacuates people from Siquijor Island, Philippines.

Bowfin also sank the small Japanese cargo ship Mitake Maru with gunfire in the Sulu Sea in position 05°17'N, 121°57'E.

2 Oct 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham) sank a Japanese sampan with gunfire in Makassar Strait in position 00°55'S, 118°13'E.

10 Oct 1943
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J.H. Willingham) ended her 1st war patrol at Fremantle, Australia.

26 Oct 1943
Lt.Cdr. Walter Thomas Griffith takes over the command of USS Bowfin from Cdr. Joseph Harris Willingham.

1 Nov 1943
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) departed from Fremantle for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea.

9 Nov 1943
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) sank four Japanese sailing vessels with gunfire in Makassar Strait. One was sunk in position 02°22'S, 118°16'E and three more were sunk in position 03°37'S, 118°20'E.

26 Nov 1943
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army tanker Ogurasan Maru (5069 GRT) and merchant cargo ship Tainan Maru (5407 GRT) off Cape Varella, French Indo-China in position 13°00'N, 109°30'E.

27 Nov 1943
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) torpedoed and sank the Vichy French cargo ship Van Vollenhoven (691 GRT) off coast of French Indochina in position 13°13'N, 109°27'E.

28 Nov 1943
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) torpedoes and sank the army cargo ship Sydney Maru (5425 GRT) and merchant tanker Tonan Maru (9839 GRT, offsite link) off the French Indo-China coast in position 12°45'N, 109°41'E.

Bowfin in return is damaged by Japanese gunfire and is forced to terminate her patrol.

2 Dec 1943
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) sank a Japanese sailing vessel with gunfire in Makassar Strait in position 03°25'S, 118°20'E.

9 Dec 1943
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) ended her 2nd war patrol at Fremantle.

8 Jan 1944
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) departed from Fremantle for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in Makassar Strait.

18 Jan 1944
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant tanker Shoyu Maru (4408 GRT) off the west coast of Palawan in position 00°18'N, 118°37'E.

28 Jan 1944
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) torpedoed and damaged the Japanese seaplane tender / oiler Kamoi (17000 GRT, offsite link) off Makassar, Netherlands East Indies in position 03°25'S, 118°15'E.

29 Jan 1944
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) lays mines off south-eastern coast of Borneo near Balikpapan.

30 Jan 1944
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) sank two Japanese sailing vessels with gunfire in the Java Sea in position 05°50'S, 116°52'E.

5 Feb 1944
USS Bowfin (Lt.Cdr. W.T. Griffith) ended her 3rd war patrol at Fremantle.

28 Feb 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith) departed from Fremantle on her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Celebes Sea area.

11 Mar 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Tsukikawa Maru (4673 GRT) west of Halmahera in position 01°25'S, 128°14'E.

14 Mar 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith) called at Darwin to take on board addition torpedoes. She heads back to her patrol area the next day.

24 Mar 1944
During an attack on a Japanese convoy about 95 nautical miles south of Davao, Mindanao, Philippines, USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith) torpedoed sank the Japanese troop transport Shinkyo Maru (2672 GRT) in position 05°38'N, 125°50'E and the Japanese army cargo ship Bengal Maru (5399 GRT) in position 05°37'N, 125°58'E.

1 Apr 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. W.T. Griffith) ended her 4th war patrol at Fremantle.

15 Apr 1944
Cdr. John Corbus takes over the command of USS Bowfin from Cdr. Walter Thomas Griffith.

25 Apr 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J. Corbus) departed from Fremantle for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Palau's.

14 May 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. John Corbus) and USS Aspro (Cdr. William A. Stevenson) torpedo and sink the Japanese army cargo ship Bisan Maru (4667 GRT) about 90 nautical miles northwest of Palau in position 08°55'N, 133°42'E.

21 Jun 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J. Corbus) ended her 5th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

16 Jul 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J. Corbus) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 6th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Ryukyu Islands.

10 Aug 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J. Corbus) torpedoed and sank the small Japanese merchant cargo ship Seiyo Maru (197 GRT) off Minami Daito Shima in position 25°50'N, 131°12'E.

22 Aug 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J. Corbus) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Tsushima Maru (6754 GRT) some 10 kilometres north-west of Akuseki in position 29°32'N, 129°33'E.

28 Aug 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J. Corbus) sank a Japanese trawler with gunfire south-east off Okinawa in position 25°56'N, 128°54'E.

4 Sep 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J. Corbus) sank the Japanese guardboat Hinode Maru No.6 (245 GRT) with gunfire east of the Bonin Islands in position 31°54'N, 152°05'E.

13 Sep 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J. Corbus) ended her 6th war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She is now sent to the Mare Island Navy Yard for a major overhaul.

21 Sep 1944
USS Bowfin (Cdr. J. Corbus) arrived at the Mare Island Navy Yard.

23 Sep 1944
The Japanese gunboat Nankai (2400 tons, offsite link) and the Japanese troop transport Hokkai Maru (8416 GRT) are damaged by mines (laid by USS Bowfin on 29 January) off Balikpapan, Borneo in position 03°37'S, 116°25'E.

23 Sep 1944
Cdr. Alexander Kelly Tyree takes over the command of USS Bowfin from Cdr. John Corbus.

25 Jan 1945
With her overhaul completed USS Bowfin (Cdr. Alexander Kelly Tyree) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 7th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol south of Honshu, Japan.

17 Feb 1945
USS Bowfin (Cdr. A.K. Tyree) torpedoed and sank the Japanese corvette Kaibokan 56 (740 tons, built 1944) five miles east of Mikura Jima, central Honshu, Japan in position 33°53'N, 139°43'E.

Bowfin (assisted by aircraft) also sank the guard boat Nanshin Maru No.26 (81 GRT) south-west of Mikimoto light in position 30.05N, 135.15E.

2 Mar 1945
USS Bowfin (Cdr. A.K. Tyree) torpedoed and sank the Japanese guard boat Chokai Maru (135 GRT) north-east of Miyake Jima in position 33°50'N, 139°22'E.

25 Mar 1945
USS Bowfin (Cdr. A.K. Tyree) ended her 7th war patrol at Guam.

23 Apr 1945
USS Bowfin (Cdr. A.K. Tyree) departed from Guam for her 8th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in Japanese home waters off Honshu and Hokkaido.

1 May 1945
USS Bowfin (Cdr. A.K. Tyree) torpedoed and sank the Japanese auxiliary gunboat Chowa Maru (2719 GRT) south-east of Erimosaki, Hokkaido, Japan in position 41°02'N, 144°36'E.

8 May 1945
USS Bowfin (Cdr. A.K. Tyree) torpedoed and sank the Japanese fishing vessel Daito Maru No.3 (880 GRT) east-south- east of Todogasaki, Honshu, Japan in position 39°38'N, 142°08'E.

15 May 1945
USS Bowfin (Cdr. A.K. Tyree) ended her 8th war patrol at Guam.

29 May 1945
USS Bowfin (Cdr. A.K. Tyree) departed from Guam for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Sea of Japan.

11 Jun 1945
USS Bowfin (Cdr. A.K. Tyree) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Shinyo Maru No.3 (1898 GRT) off Genzan, Korea in position 39°24'N, 128°59'E.

13 Jun 1945
USS Bowfin (Cdr. A.K. Tyree) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Akiura Maru (887 GRT) off the east coast of Korea in position 39°00'N, 128°05'E.

4 Jul 1945
USS Bowfin (Cdr. A.K. Tyree) ended her 9th war patrol at Pearl Harbor.

Media links


U. S. Submarines in World War II

Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret


U.S. Submarines Through 1945

Friedman, Norman


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