Cooks and bakers worked round the clock to feed the men. Because of the cramped
quarters, hard and dangerous work, stifling temperatures and long hours,
the Navy provided submarine crews with the best food available in the military. All the food for all 80 men was prepared in this small galley.
WWII submarine crews were typically divided into three working groups - or "sections." Each section stood four hour watches unless at Battle Stations, which was an all-hands evolution. The section that was going on watch would eat first, then the section between watches, then the section coming off watch would eat. Even so, seventy men enlisted men ate their meals here in 10-12 minutes, so it was a busy place.
See another view crew's mess.
See another view in the galley.
Below the deck are the freezer and refrigerated food storage compartments,
and a storage locker for canned goods. The benches were used for storage, the ones with the small holes
containing baked goods. However this was not enough room for all the food needed to complete a 60-90 day war patrol of 3 meals a day plus snacks for 80 men. So food was stored everywhere before the submarine left port: in the shower stalls, behind the engines, even on the deck covered with cardboard. It was crammed everywhere there was space, and when they thought the boat was absolutely packed, the crew was given the option of taking a few luxury items like canned peaches if they could find a place to put them. Each crew member got about one cubic foot of storage, plus what he could fit in his mattress cover, plus a little bag or two hung from his bunk for all his clothes and personal gear. Space was very tight, but somehow a few more cans of peaches would find a home.
The coffee pot was always going, and pastries or the makings for a sandwich were always available. When meals were not being served, this compartment was also where the crew relaxed and listened to the radio or a record player. They played checkers, cards, and acey-deucy (backgammon) was a favorite. They could
also select a book from the boat's library in the cabinet on the forward
Other Features of this Compartment:
Magazine and Ammo Scuttle: Located below this compartment
is the magazine which contained ammunition for the deck guns and small
arms. In the after overhead is the ammo passing scuttle which allowed
the ammunition to be pushed topside for use. The scuttle passes through
the pressure hull and has pressure-proof flappers at each end. The ammo
scuttle was added during the summer of 1945, when the four-inch main deck
gun was replaced with a five-inch gun mounted aft.
Main Air Induction Valve Control: The main induction valve is normally opened and shut hydraulically. It may also be manually operated with the handle with two brass grips
located in the overhead above the coffee urn.