USS Pampanito submarine.

USS Pampanito Submarine Museum

Field review by the editors.

San Francisco, California

Any city with a harbor tourism center knows it will slowly suffocate without that vital source of public interest and excitement: a war-battered submarine. In San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf area, the mission has been assigned to the USS Pampanito (SS-383), a World War II Balao class sub which saw action in the Pacific.

The USS Pampanito was commissioned in 1943, sank six Japanese ships and damaged four more, and was mothballed at the end of 1945. It was brought back into service as a training sub in the 1960s, then was unceremoniously stripped for spare parts in 1970. The sub eventually ended up under the stewardship of the Maritime Park Association, which opened it as a public attraction in 1982. They continue to work on restoration of the internal workings and equipment to bring the Pampanito back to its 1945 glory.

Tours are with a knowledgeable guide, or self-guided.

USS Pampanito Submarine Museum

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Address:
Beach St., San Francisco, CA
Directions:
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, on the bay behind the Musee Mechanique. At Pier 45 in the center of Fisherman's Wharf.
Hours:
Daily 9 am (Call to verify)
Phone:
415-561-6662
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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