Unusual Sighting of Pampanito

Presenting an unusual sight in the Alameda Oakland Estuary, the famed WWII submarine USS Pampanito paid a call to the Bay Ship and Yacht drydock facilities, where, with the assistance of a diver, she was slowly lifted out of the water and carefully positioned on blocks under water. Once out, the 300 foot long submarine looked more like a beached whale than the terror of the seas.

WWII submarine seen lifted completely out of water, still considered dangerous

By Graham Claytor
Published: March, 2007 

But that shouldn’t fool anyone, as the US Navy still considers the 64-year old vessel to be a potent threat, and does not allow the museum ship to have mounted propellers. Three out of four of her engines are in working condition; all but one torpedo tube is ready for action; and all systems have been checked and are functioning at their previous WWII standards.

As a result of the drydock maintenance, some 40 cubic yards of barnacles and growths were removed, and the sub was repainted inside and out. Some steel repair was made to the ballast tanks and torpedo tubes, areas subject to corrosion from sea water. Many zinc bars were applied to the hull to help slow further rusting.

Then, she was towed back to Fisherman’s Wharf, where the famed submarine is back on display at Pier 45, and open to the public for inspection, tours and even the odd private party.