Tourists who are also into history, particularly those who are into wars and maritime battles should visit the USS Pampanito which is a Balao-type submarine used by the United States during World War II and the sole submarine of the U.S. named after a pompano fish. The submarine is now docked at Pier 45 at San Francisco?s Fisherman?s Wharf and is has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and a museum ship where guest can take self-guided tour for a reasonable amount.
USS Pampanito was assembled at New Hampshire?s Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and it made its maiden voyage in July of 1943 during the middle of World War II. She docked at Pearl Harbor on Valentine?s Day of 1944 and was able to complete six war patrols from 1944 to 1945. USS Pampanito was decommissioned from active duty at Mare Island on 1945 and remained a reserve and a training facility until 1962 and was officially taken out of the Navy Register in 1971. For her service during the World War II, Pampanito garnered six battle stars.
During it heydays, the submarine was able to sink six Japanese battleships and severely damaged four others. It was one of the most modern and up-to-date battleships of the United States with a thick exterior and a denser pressure hull which enable the submarine to submerge 100 feet deeper than its predecessor, the Gato-type boats. It also featured more advanced capacities in locating enemy ships and was loaded with state-of-the-art electronic torpedoes.
USS Pampanito was converted into a museum and memorial on November 21, 1975 and was turned over to the Maritime Park Association on May 20, 1976. The ship museum opened its doors to visitors on March 15, 1982. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1986. A broom can be seen suspended on the ship?s mast to symbolize a ?clean sweep? of enemies from the sea.
Inside the USS Pampanito can get first-hand experience of the crowded life the officers and seamen aboard the submarine had during World War II.
Visitors can go to the forward torpedo room, the engine and motor rooms, the forward battery component, the crew?s mess hall, the pump room, the viewing deck as well as the radio and control rooms. War fanatics and the more creative of the guests can imagine what it?s like to be in the middle of an intense war at sea.