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Detailing the Interior Spaces

The restoration of the interior spaces aboard Pampanito has been a much greater, and ongoing, challenge than was the exterior of the submarine. Much of the equipment and smaller items had been removed or had been modified to suit her role as a Naval Reserve trainer. There was a lot of work to be done and also a lot of research that involved review of blueprints, tracing systems, looking at other WW II submarines on display, photographs made by wartime crew member Paul Pappas in 1945, and talking to Pampanito's veterans, both during the war and the Naval Reserve period.

Photos showing empty crew's berthing and fully restored berthing. Combined with the effort to get as many of the systems and equipment operational and replacing the missing items, the boat slowly began to look as she was during the war. Every effort was made to be as accurate and as complete as possible. Torpedoes were added to the torpedo rooms and countless layers of paint were removed to reveal identification plates shown in vintage photographs, and lockers were made to operate instead of sticking shut.

Some replicating was done. The bunks in crew's berthing were gone and only a few original bunks could be located. The bunk frames were duplicated and the steel webbing from WW II destroyer bunks was reconfigured to match the original submarine type pattern. The effect is that the bunks look as though they belong, even though frames were fabricated, because the web matrix was made from vintage materials. All replicated items are documented.

The process of restoring the interior of Pampanito has come a long way, but will be ongoing for years to come.

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Version 2.00, 11 Sep 2006