The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park has received a new submarine exhibit in honor of the 75th commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Rear Adm. Frederick “Fritz” J. Roegge in partnership with Chuck Merkel, executive director of the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, unveiled the exhibit on December 6.
Roegge, commander, submarine force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, spoke to more than 150 guests, military and civilian, about the importance of the submarine force during World War II.
“Within hours of the attack, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold Stark ordered, ‘Execute against Japan unrestricted air and submarine warfare.’ Our submarines were the only forces able to immediately begin war patrols. They carried the battle across the Pacific and into Imperial Japanese home waters while the fleet was repaired.”
He explained that while the submarine forces made up only two percent of our entire Navy, they sank 30% of all Japanese warships, and 55% of all Japanese merchant ships sunk during the war.
“Submariners also paid the heavy price of the greatest casualty rate of any American branch of service in the war,” Roegge said. “Submariners are well-aware that the challenges of World War II produced some of our greatest successes, our greatest heroes, and our greatest sacrifices.”
Roegge explained the intention behind the exhibit by noting that, “It’s hard to find that important story within the existing narrative on display across the many museums and memorials that fill the horizon, and failing to highlight those details reflects a missed opportunity – not only to honor our heroes, but to share our story here at Hawaii’s most popular tourist and historical destination until today.”