For more than 50 years, San Francisco Maritime National Park Association has worked to bring maritime history to life. Please come and volunteer at either San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, or the USS Pampanito, our WW II submarine museum and memorial. You will not only stay active and involved, you will have the chance to teach others and learn new skills!

Does preserving an important part of our nation’s naval history appeal to you? Do you like to meet and greet people? Do you seek the satisfaction of accomplishing something that really matters? Do you have an interest in volunteering today to preserve and interpret a museum submarine that is dedicated to the memory of 52 lost submarines and 3,505 volunteers who went on Eternal Patrol during World War II?

For more information regarding volunteering, please reach out to us at: info@maritime.org


Pampanito volunteers need only a commitment to our mission, skills that we can utilize and a desire to join our crew.

We will provide all necessary training, typically by pairing you with a volunteer knowledgeable in the same service area as yours. You can even learn new skills while working side-by-side with other Pampanito volunteers.

Our program is success-oriented and we take a deep interest in ensuring that your experience is rewarding to you as you help support Pampanito‘s mission.

Pampanito volunteers are active in three general areas:

• Docent: Sharing the Pampanito Story with tens of thousands of visitors every year through our active docent program

• Repair and Restoration: Getting your hands really dirty performing repair and restoration work aboard a National Historic Landmark World War II combat veteran submarine

• Yeoman’s Work: Help in the office, curatorial, marketing, and more.


Your mission as a docent is to assist today’s generation of visitors in understanding what life was like aboard a WWII submarine such as Pampanito. You will meet people of all ages from many different countries. Interacting with children will be a highlight experience for you because their questions are simple, yet sometimes incredibly profound.

Please refer to our online docent calendar to see how your schedule can match with our current needs. Our hours are flexible and you may volunteer to serve for a few hours or a full day wherever we have a need. Pampanito is open to the public 365 days a year.

Pampanito is a floating museum that maintains high curatorial standards. This means to the maximum practicable extent, you will be using WWII-era submarine materials together with construction and repair methods that are consistent with Pampanito‘s historic fabric.

Repair and restoration projects exist across a broad range of complexity, technology, and magnitude. Some are one-time, while others are ongoing.

Some projects can beneficially use only one or two volunteers at a time while others might require several volunteers or continue for even a year or more. Work sessions are scheduled in advance because staff must assure that necessary tools and materials are on hand together with the right mix of volunteers.

Since Pampanito is typically open to visitors while work on most projects is ongoing, we attempt to break projects down to a level that requires only one or two persons. This is done to assure safety and maintain visitors’ traffic flow through the submarine.


Pampanito welcomes these corporate public service teams. However, strict insurance requirements pertain to corporate public service teams since they are serving as your employee instead of being under an individual volunteer agreement directly with SFMNPA. Pampanito‘s volunteer coordinator can provide details.