The forward engine room contains main engines #1 and #2 and is similar to the after engine room. However, instead of an auxiliary engine, it contains 2 fresh water stills. In the lower flat are also located fuel oil and lube oil transfer pumps
In the overhead is the air circulation blower .
At the forward bulkhead of this compartment, you will see 2 stainless
steel barrel shaped objects. These are the evaporators that distill sea water
into fresh water. Their invention was a tremendous boon to submarines,
but the use of fresh water was still limited by their small capacity. Rated at 1,000 gallons per day they rarely produced combined total of more than 750 gallons per day. Most of the water was needed by the storage batteries and engines, the rest for cooking. Operating the stills also consumed fuel, and conservation of fuel was one of the most important factors
in ensuring the success of the war patrol.
So, fresh water was precious and to be used sparingly. Bathing was limited on a long patrol, perhaps once every 10 days, maybe less on a long patrol. The cooks, bakers, steward and pharmacist's mate were the only enlisted men who were encouraged to take fresh-water showers regularly.
If you had come aboard Pampanito when she was in active service,
the first thing you would have noticed was the smell of the boat. The boat was permeated
with a unique odor that combined sweat, diesel fuel, hydraulic fluid, cigarettes, cooking, and sewage from the sanitary tank. Even when the crew went ashore, their uniforms carried the distinctive
odor of their submarine.
Outside the pressure hull, around the Forward Engine Room, is Main Ballast Tank 6A.