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Ship Name and Designation History

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Balao Class Submarine
    Keel Laid 23 July 1942 - Launched 7 December 1942

  1. USS BOWFIN SS-287
    Commissioned 1 May 1943 - Decommissioned 12 February 1947
    Recommissioned 27 July 1951 - Decommissioned 22 April 1954

    Redesignated Auxiliary Research Submarine (AGSS) 1962 While in reserve

    Redesignated Miscellaneous Submarine (IXSS) 1971 While in reserve

    Struck from Naval Register 1 December 1971
    Museum Ship on permanent display as a memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Bowfin SS287 Crest.jpg

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

  1. USS Bowfin IXSS-287 Covers Page 1    (1981-2006)



This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.


Postmark Type
Killer Bar Text

Thumbnail Link
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link
Cover Image

1st Commissioning May 1 1943 to February 12 1947


Locy Type


JohnGermann Bowfin SS287 19460522 1a Postmark.jpg
JohnGermann Bowfin SS287 19460522 1 Front.jpg


USPS Pictorial Postmarks


Pictorial Postmark

"USS Bowfin Station"

Honolulu HI


GregCiesielski Bowfin SS287 20061207 1 Postmark.jpg
GregCiesielski Bowfin SS287 20061207 1 Front.jpg

Remembering Pearl Harbor, cachet by Stephen Decatur Chapter No. 4, USCS


Other Information

USS BOWFIN earned the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 8 Battle Stars and the World War II Victory Medal during her Naval career.

NAMESAKE - A fresh water fish of the eastern United States.



If you have images or information to add to this page, then either contact the Curator or edit this page yourself and add it. See Editing Ship Pages for detailed information on editing this page.


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