This compartment was the sleeping quarters for about 14 crewmen, who shared
the space with 16 torpedoes - 6 in the tubes and 10 reloads. The
torpedo tubes in the bow of the boat were always loaded and ready to fire.
Located between the tubes is the gyro angle setter.
This device took the input from the Torpedo Data Computer in the conning tower and continuously set the gyro angle in the torpedos. The depth and speed of the torpedo were set by hand on orders given by telephone from the Conning Tower.
See another view between the torpedo tubes..
Submarines were subject to attack by aircraft, surface war ships and
enemy submarines. Mines were also a real hazard. The principal World War
II anti-submarine weapon was the depth charge, essentially an underwater
bomb that exploded by a depth controlled mechanism. During Pampanito's
first war patrol, she was damaged by depth charges;
however, the crew was able to repair most of the damage at sea, and she
continued on patrol. Under attack, Pampanito would submerge to her
maximum operating depth of 400 feet, and somehow, if the truth were known,
would go beyond to about 600 feet which was 50% beyond her allowed depth. She
would maintain absolute silence to avoid detection. A submarine's best
defenses were always depth and silence. The noise of a depth charge was
earsplitting and terrifying. Probably every submariner who ever experienced
a depth charge attack yearned for the day he could climb out of the boat
into the light of the day to see the sight of his own port. But despite
all this you should know that all U.S. submariners were -and remain to this day- volunteers.
Other Features in this Compartment:
Torpedo Tubes #1 Through #6: Located in the forward bulkhead
are the 6 forward torpedo tubes.
They were operated identically to the
4 after tubes. Each tube would have been loaded, with the upper 4
tubes having storage for 2 reload torpedoes each. The lower 2 tubes
had one reload each located below the deck.
Bow Planes Tilting Motor: Located in the overhead, this Waterbury style hydraulic pump operates the rise and dive angles of the bow planes.
Escape Trunk: The escape trunk is accessed through a hatch in
the overhead in the center of the compartment. This small compartment could
be flooded and drained to allow the submarine to be evacuated should it
become disabled. Personnel could swim to the surface with breathing lungs
or enter a rescue bell lowered from a ship. The rescue bell attached to
the topside hatch and a seal was formed by sea pressure.
Instructions on the escape trunk's use are in Emergency Escape Arrangements.
See another view inside escape trunk.
WCA Sonar Gear: The WCA active sonar has its two sonar heads on either side of the hatch leading to the forward battery compartment. They could be raised and lowered with hydraulic power. On the port side are the amplifiers and an emergency operator station (the sonar was normally operated from the conning tower.)
JT Sonar: The hydrophone, a passive listening
device, is located on the main deck topside. The amplifiers, training
gear and operating station are missing from their normal location on the port bulkhead aft.
Underwater Log: The Bendix master unit, located in the after
port corner, measured the speed of the submarine and the total distance
traveled. The primary component is the rodmeter, the brass pole which is
lowered to extend through the hull three feet. There are two orifices,
one that measured static water pressure, and one that measured dynamic
water pressure. The measured differences between orifices activated electro-mechanical
devices within the master unit, to translate the information into speed
Officer's Head and Shower: At the after end of the compartment is one head (toilet) and a shower that was usually used only by the officers.
Access To Main Ballast Tank #1: Accessed through an oval hatch
in the deck on the starboard side under the tail of the torpedo, the forward-most
ballast tank forms the main deck and storage space for the lower 2 torpedoes.