There were six heads or bathrooms on the ship for enlisted men.

“Showering was wet down, shut the water off, soap up, turn the water back on, and rinse quickly. All hands knew how scarce fresh water was, so it was get in and get out. No time to dilly-dally. Privacy? You must be kidding!”

-Eugene McIntyre, Watertender 2/c

“I don’t recall any modesty. There was no reason for modesty on a ship with 2,300 sailors…certainly not in the communal shower rooms where sailors must hang out to get clean. Every sailor knows the scene–naked guys with towels draped around their neck, drooped over arms, or tied around the waist clad only in clodhoppers, carrying a toiletry bag. The problem though, often there was no hot water.”

-Gordon Knapp, Yeoman 1/c

“Sometimes the evaporators would go haywire, and it would be announced SALT WATER SHOWERS ONLY. You could either choose to take a salt-water shower or pick to wait. At the worst, it could be two days before there was fresh water, but most likely was fixed within 24 hours. Regular soap did not work on salt-water showers. There were huge bricks of salt-water soap especially made for salt water. This was the same soap used for washing hammocks out on the main deck. We perfumed ourselves up like we were going somewhere, but we were really 5,000 miles from nowhere.”

-Charles Paty, Jr., Radioman 2/c

“I hated the troughs that we were forced to use for relieving ourselves. We would not only encounter embarrassment sitting on the slats, elbow to elbow, but also suffer from flaming newspaper floating down the stream. Occasionally someone would open the valve feeding the trough and we would get a rear end wash. This one day I found a godsend. It was a head on the third deck that had actual stalls and doors! This was heaven…PRIVACY!! I used to sit in bliss and privacy for quite sometime each time I went there.”

-Paul Marko, Machinist’s Mate 2/c