22 May 2008

Memorial Day “Lost Boat” Ceremony
Aboard San Francisco’s World War II Submarine
A bell will toll 52 times as submarine veterans gather aboard the
USS Pampanito submarine, to remember the 3,505 men and
their 52 submarines lost during World War II.

WHAT: Lost Boat Ceremony

WHEN: 5 pm, Memorial Day, Monday May 26, 2008

WHERE: USS Pampanito submarine, Pier 45, San Francisco (Taylor and Embarcadero)

WHY: To honor all those who gave their lives in the service of the U.S., as personified by submariners who never returned. They and the 52 boats lost during World War II are on what’s known as “Eternal Patrol.”

The USS Pampanito served in World War II in the Pacific Theatre; it conducted six war patrols and performed a dramatic at-sea rescue of 73 Australian and British prisoners of war

INFO: 415-775-1943,

San Francisco, Calif. -- This Memorial Day aboard San Francisco’s World War II submarine, the USS Pampanito, submarine veterans remember shipmates whose boats never returned to port.

Three decorated WWII submarine veterans will perform this solemn yet moving ceremony, which features an individual bell toll for each of 52 boats and their crew lost during World War II, and who are said to be “on Eternal Patrol.” It is a poignant and colorful Naval tradition that highlights the sacrifice of generations past.

The ceremony also features two live buglers performing “Echo Taps” -- one bugler plays a musical phrase, then the second bugler “echoes” that phrase, in what becomes a cascading performance of the distinctive 24-note Taps.

Guest Speaker is Captain Shepherd Jenks, United States Navy (Retired). Jenks was the navigator for USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear powered vessel and the first ship to reach the North Pole from beneath the Polar icecap in 1958.

More than 200 submarine veterans will also be in attendance at the ceremony.

“We need to reflect on the loss of these submarines and the men who served and died in them performing their duties,” says Harry Nystrom, a submarine veteran and trustee of the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association (SFMNPA), the organization that preserves and operates the Pampanito.

The ceremony is co-hosted by the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association, the crew of USS Pampanito, and the Submarine Veterans of World War II.

-- more --

Public information: 415-775-1943,

Click here for color photos of the submarine and historic B&W shot of the 1945 crew.

Amazing! Thrilling! Authentic! describes the USS Pampanito. This submarine is a World War II Balao class fleet boat that conducted six war patrols in the Pacific, and performed a dramatic at-sea rescue of 73 Australian and British prisoners of war. Now permanently docked at San Francisco’s Pier 45 in Fisherman’s Wharf, the Pampanito is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors from the City and around the world go down into the boat to see how the crew of 80 men lived in a miniature-like world, typically for up to 60 days at a time.

The San Francisco Maritime National Park Association (SFMNPA), which preserves and operates the USS Pampanito, has been bringing maritime history to life for more than 50 years. A community-based non-profit organization with thousands of members, SFMNPA supports the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park -- the nation’s only floating National Park at Hyde Street Pier. SFMNPA presents public education programs about the City’s maritime heritage, and also operates the Maritime Museum at Aquatic Park (closed for renovation until 2009).

Eamon O'Byrne
Executive Director
San Francisco Maritime National Park Association
4145-561-6662, x13


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Version 1.00, 22 May 2008