When the Maritime Park Association opened USS Pampanito, a World War II fleet submarine, to the public in 1982 we knew very few specific details of the submarine's preservation history or of her current physical condition. The main concerns up until that time had been acquiring the vessel from the Navy, obtaining a berth so that she could receive visitors, designing the mooring system and setting up the administrative framework with which to operate the vessel as a public resource.

Once the submarine was open to visitors and she was generating revenue, the Association identified the need to establish a long-term action plan for preserving the submarine. It was felt that the future of all of the interpretive and educational programs that would be developed depended on the submarine surviving intact into the future. The Association was formed in 1950 around the establishment of the San Francisco Maritime Museum and later, the restoration of the square-rigged sailing ship Balclutha. We were aware of the long-term requirements of preserving a large historic vessel and had learned there was much more to preserving a ship than just saving her from being scrapped.

Preservation Problems for WW II Submarines

Setting up an Action Plan

The first dry docking - 1987

The second dry docking - 1993

The third dry docking - 1999

The fourth dry docking - 2007

Moorings Replacement - 2010

Moorings Updates - 2011 and 2015

The fifth dry docking - 2016

The sixth dry docking - 2021

Regular maintenance, Restoration

Conclusion and Summary

The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation Projects


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