232nd Engineer Combat Company (Nisei)

Hot Showers - when and where you needed them!

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The versatility of the 232nd Combat Engineer Company (Nisei) as a service unit was demonstrated in an ingenious shower unit they voluntarily built for the comfort and morale of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The shower unit was assembled with makeshift parts, which were skillfully reconverted or adapted, into an efficient unit.

Originally the shower unit was powered with a French truck motor, but after extensive repairs were made, the French truck engine was replaced with an American 1/2-ton jeep engine that supplied power to run a German electric dynamo capable of producing 380 volts of electricity. The trailer was originally part of a mobile German electric power plant and its wheels came from salvaged American GMC 2-1/2-ton trucks. The hot water tank formerly served as a condenser of a beer factory, the electric blower came from the ventilating system of a French fort in the Maritime Alps, the fuel pump motor was adapted from an Italian diesel self-propelled Jun, and the fuel control valve was evolved from a French acetylene welding torch. Swiss thermometers controlled water temperature, while showerheads and water hoses were acquired from a demolished resort hotel and a water purification unit.

From this conglomeration of makeshift materials acquired at odd times, the Engineers built a shower unit that was capable of producing approximately 50 gallons of hot water per minute. Through the initiative, ingenuity, and ability of the Engineers, the 442nd RCT has been blessed with its own electronically run shower unit since the French Maritime Alps campaign. This extra service rendered by the Engineers has made it possible for the 442nd RCT front line men to have a shower unit set up in close proximity of their area in every campaign or in every theater and helped materially in the morale of the regiment.

Source: This story is taken from the Brief History of the 232nd Engineer Combat Company (Nisei) webpage, (http://www.katonk.com/442nd/232nd.html).

Please take the time to read more of their history and combat support.

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