A historic milestone! The USS Bowfin celebrates 9 million visitors

PEARL HARBOR (HawaiiNewsNow) - Since 1981, some 9 million visitors have walked through USS Bowfin's narrow hallways.

In fact, visitor no. 9 million stopped by this week.

The Darrell family — visitors 9,000,000 to 9,000,004 — were visiting the Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum from Australia on Thursday when they were greeted by museum staff with a lei, a big cake and lots of fanfare.

To celebrate the milestone, the family also got their own private tour of the USS Bowfin, a $100 gift certificate to the museum gift shop, and a Bowfin flag that was being flown earlier on in the day.

"This is a significant milestone for all of us here at Bowfin as we welcome our nine millionth visitor," said Chuck Merkel, president and executive director of the Pacific Fleet Submarine Memorial Association. "We are proud to share the history of our fellow submariners, and grateful that the public wants to learn more about their storied accomplishments and the sacrifices they made during combat."

Known as the "Pearl Harbor Avenger," the USS Bowfin served on nine different patrols in the Pacific Ocean during World War II and attacked 44 Japanese ships.

The submarine was donated to the Pacific Fleet Memorial Association in 1971, and in 1981 it was turned into a museum for the public to view.

Last December, the USS Bowfin celebrated its 75th anniversary.

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