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The Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum’s USS Bowfin will be temporarily unavailable for tours starting Sept. 17 as the 80-year-old submarine undergoes scheduled maintenance and repairs in a dry dock at Pacific Shipyards International in Honolulu Harbor.

The Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum’s USS Bowfin will be temporarily unavailable for tours starting Sept. 17 as the 80-year-old submarine undergoes scheduled maintenance and repairs in a dry dock at Pacific Shipyards International in Honolulu Harbor. (USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park/Facebook)

(Tribune News Service) — The Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum's USS Bowfin will be temporarily unavailable for tours starting Sept. 17 as the 80-year-old submarine undergoes scheduled maintenance and repairs in a dry dock at Pacific Shipyards International in Honolulu Harbor.

The USS Bowfin will be towed from Pearl Harbor for the scheduled maintenance and repair work, which is conducted every 15 to 20 years to maintain the integrity of its hull. The vessel's last dry-dock inspection was completed in 2004.

"The scheduled dry dock maintenance period will ensure the submarine remains safe and suitable for public display and allow the Bowfin to tell her story far into the future, " museum director Chuck Merkel said in a news release. "Our previous dry docking inspection and repairs were in 2004 and our regular inspections of the submarine's hull and paint indicated this is the appropriate time to bring her out of the water to do detailed inspections, make any necessary repairs and repaint her hull."

Christened the Bowfin on Dec. 7, 1942, exactly one year after the Japanese navy's surprise attack on Oahu, the 312-foot-long sub was nicknamed the "Pearl Harbor Avenger." After its commissioning on May 1, 1943, the Bowfin conducted nine patrols in the Pacific during World War II targeting Japanese shipping lanes, taking it and its crew to the waters of the Philippines, Vietnam and the home islands of Japan itself.

It was decommissioned in 1947 but reactivated to serve during the Korean War. The Bowfin served as a Navy reserve training sub until it was finally decommissioned for good in 1971 and donated to the Pacific Fleet Submarine Memorial Association in 1979. The vessel opened to the public in April 1981 and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

In 1987 it was used as a floating location in the television miniseries "War and Remembrance."

The rest of the museum and campus will remain open to the public from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily throughout the dry-dock period. The Bowfin is expected to be available for tours again sometime around Nov. 1.

(c)2022 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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