Would you like to sleep above a torpedo? Today we visited Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. We started our day by touring the Bowfin, an American submarine that was launched into service exactly one year after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. It’s mission? Revenge!! It sunk 23 Japanese submarines before the end of the war in 1945. It was hard to fit 24 torpedos and sleeping quarters for 80 men onto the ship so some of the sailors had bunks right over the torpedos.
We found it very interesting to see how people lived, worked and waged war from a submarine. George Bush, the former American president was rescued by a submarine after his plane was shot down in World War II. After spending time in a submarine he said battling from onboard a submarine as part of what was known in World War II as the Silent Service, was much scarier and far more demanding than flying an attack plane.
We saw the kitchen where the crew’s meals were prepared……
and the dining area where the seamen ate, played games and wrote letters home.
We saw the captain’s bunk. The dials at the end of his bed kept him informed on what was happening with his ship even during the night.
The Bowfin’s flag records how many Japanese merchant and military ships the Bowfin sank as well as the presidential citations its crew received.
I checked out the view through the large binoculars on the guns on the top deck.
After leaving the Bowfin and touring the submarine museum near it, we went out to the USS Arizona Memorial.
The memorial has been built over the wreck of the Arizona which the Japanese sank on December 7, 1941, when they attacked Pearl Harbor. You can see the partially submerged ship from the memorial.
The 1,177 men on board that day lie entombed beneath the sea, trapped in the boat forever. Here Dave reads the names of all the people who died in the Arizona which are printed on the wall of the memorial.
In 2009 Dave and I visited museums and memorials in Hiroshima Japan, that helped us learn about World War II from a Japanese perspective.
At Pearl Harbor, we were able to learn about World War II from an American perspective.