During WW II we know that Pampanito had a small, portable sewing machine aboard. We started with only the veteran's memories of a "Singer". During 2001-2002 our best guess was a Singer Model 66 in the luggage-style case. We acquired and restored a 1947 built Model 66.
We were wrong. We later found a photo of a Singer sewing machine in use on USS Parche during the war. We gave the photo to a professional photo-interpreter and he determined the key dimensions of the machine in the photo. It became clear that the machine in the photo was a Model 99. We updated our wish list to include a WW II built model 99.
A machine collector looked at the same photo and its proportions noting the the 99 is a 3/4-sized version of the 66. The only other 3/4 machine was a 128, but that machine used a knob instead of lever for the stitch length.
Next we found the Navy stores number (Navy part number) in an allocation list from another WW II submarine, USS Manta. She had a Type "M", General Store Stock No, 66M977 sewing machine.
When we scanned and indexed the microfilmed drawings for Pampanito we found a locker the size of a Singer bent wood case in the control room.
In 2016, Singer sewing machine historian Jerry Coble contacted the museum and confirmed what we had discovered. He also filled us in on the background of the model 99-24.
He sent us photos from two Navy manuals for sewing machine. One showed stock number 66M6 (0333-010-9000) was a Singer model 99-24 with 195 foot control, BY 15-7 motor, and #195 case, from 1943. The other a model 99-24 with 201 knee control, BY 14-7 motor, and #201 case from 1942.
He explained that Singer started painting machines with the black wrinkle in 1935, but these were Singer/Osann Standard Hybrid machines. The first Singer built machines in black wrinkle were the model 99-24s, serial numbers AF289406 to AF292405 starting in 1939. He noted that the BY 15-7 motor and the 99-24s light were their first bakelite (plastic) motor and light housings. His Navy manuals showed that these machines were used on smaller ships, some with a foot pedal, some with a knee switch.
Jerry Coble and Leo Kujat then searched for, found, and donated a beautiful, accurate, and complete WW II built Singer model 99-24. Serial Number AG105870, part of production AG103101 to AG113100 that started 9 Sep 1941.
Sewing Parts Online donated a .pdf copy of "Service Manual for Singer Sewing Machines, Classes 66, 99, and 185", Form 18034.
Jerry Coble and Leo Kujat, http://thefeatherweight221factory.com