Aft of the staterooms is the wardroom. This area was the eleven officers’ dining area and lounge. The officers ate meals in two shifts. Through the small service window is the wardroom pantry. The wardroom mess was financed by contributions from each officer. This fund was managed by a "mess treasurer," who was elected by his peers. The quality of the food depended upon the attentiveness of the mess treasurer. This is because officers did not receive their meals as part of their pay, as the enlisted men did. Their meals were prepared here by the officers’ cook. Stewards were assigned to serve the officers' meals and provide general housekeeping duties for the officers such as making bunks, shining shoes and pressing uniforms.
Prior to World War II, the wardroom had an atmosphere similar to a gentleman’s club, complete with formal meals, proper attire and a strict code of conduct. The war necessitated a relaxation of the formalities. Officers who were more concerned with winning a war than observing etiquette often ate meals hurriedly.
The wardroom had other functions. The officers’ staterooms were cramped, and the large table was a good place to spread out paperwork. The wardroom also served as the forward battle dressing station at general quarters. The doctor, if assigned, or the pharmacist mate who served as the ship's only surgeon in the absence of a doctor, was stationed here to wait for possible casualties. The long table could serve as an operating table and was equipped with a surgical light and emergency lighting overhead.