National Liberty Ship Memorial, Pier 45, San Francisco, CA
SS Jeremiah O’Brien
The SS Jeremiah O’Brien is a big, lumbering 440-foot Liberty ship of WWII — “as ugly as they come” quipped President Franklin D Roosevelt back in the day. But what a hero. The Jeremiah O’Brien was one of the 6,939 ships that made up the D-Day armada for the invasion of France. In 1994 they cast off her lines and slipped her under the Golden Gate Bridge and sailed her all the way back to France for the 50th anniversary D-Day celebrations. She is now docked year ‘round at Pier 45 in San Francisco.
This is a tremendous opportunity to walk on an icon of World War II and explore her decks and compartments. Buy a ticket and take a self-guided tour or go on one of her regularly scheduled bay cruises and feel those engines vibrate under your feet. Docents will tell you her history and how Liberty ships served in both theaters of war (extra docents are available Wednesday through Saturday).
Street Address/GPS Address: Pershing Pier 45, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, CA 94133
Hours: Open daily 9am-4pm
USS Pampanito, Pier 45, San Francisco, CA
Moored in front of the Jeremiah O’Brien is the USS Pampanito, a Balao-class submarine. Although by todays standards her 27-foot wide hull is small, she fought like a heavyweight in the Pacific. She poured torpedoes into the side of Japanese ships, took hits from depth charges, went back and forth to Pearl Harbor for repairs only to go back and fight again. In total she sank six ships and damaged four others.
The Pampanito has been restored to her actual 1945 colors and fittings and there are audio segments for you to listen to as you tour the ship. Tours run daily. Or sleep on a sub! She hosts overnights, too.
Hours: Daily, 9AM-5PM