USS Bowfin (SS-287)
The ears of the Boat
On a fully submerged submarine of World War II, radar was rendered useless, and observations through the periscope were, by necessity and design limitations, extremely limited. The submarine had to depend chiefly on listening.
Sonar (SOund Navigation And Ranging) became the ears of the boat by using hydrophones to detect and track targets. There were two main types of sonar listening gear on a World War II submarine like USS Bowfin - sonic and supersonic.
Secrets of the Sub
A critical task performed by the US submarine force during World War II, was the rescuing of downed pilots and air crews; They were so efficient at it, that they rescued 520 US airmen from the Pacific Ocean waters. One of those rescued, went on to become President of the United States.
Former US President George H. W. Bush Sr. He was rescued by the USS Finback after being shot down while he was on an air strike mission over Chichi Shima in the Bonin Islands during 2 September 1944.
Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Richard H. O'Kane (center), poses with the twenty-two aircrewmen that Tang rescued off Truk during the carrier air raids there on 29 April-1 May 1944. The photograph was taken upon Tang's return to Pearl Harbor from her second war patrol, in May 1944.