Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Drum (SS-228) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Drum (SS-228) 

USS Drum (SS-228) was laid down on 11 September 1940 at Portsmouth [N.H.] Navy Yard, N. H.; launched on 12 May 1941; and sponsored by Mrs. Beatrice M. [Clover] Holcomb, the wife of Maj. Gen. Thomas Holcomb, USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps and daughter of Rear Adm. Richardson Clover (Ret.). 

Commissioned at her building yard on 1 November 1941, Lt. Cmdr. Robert H. “Bob” Rice (USNA 1927), in command, USS Drum (SS-228) conducted her shakedown between 1 November and 7 December 1941, during which she trained and ran trials out of New London, Conn., Key West, Fla., and Balboa, C.Z. On 6 April 1942, USS Drum (SS-228) departed Pearl and set a course for the first stop of her mission, Midway atoll, located near the western end of the Hawaiian archipelago.

Following a refit at Midway, USS Drum (SS-228) again put her out to sea on 23 September 1942, for her third war patrol. On 9 October 1942, USS Drum (SS-228) encountered Yawatasan Maru, a 7,000-ton Japanese freighter, off southern Honshu and fired three torpedoes. USS Drum (SS-228) stood in to Pearl Harbor on 8 November 1942, and thus ended her third war patrol. During her 46 days, of which 29 were spent on station, she sank 19,539 tons of enemy shipping and damaged 6,700 tons more. Drum left Pearl on 24 March 1943, and commenced her fifth war patrol, bearing full ahead towards the vicinity of the equator south of Truk [Chuuk] Lagoon. Later in her final action of the patrol, on 18 April 1943, USS Drum (SS-228) sank yet one more enemy cargo ship, the 6,380-ton Nisshun Maru, near 1°55'N, 148°24'E. 

On 11 February 1945, USS Drum (SS-228) cleared Guam on her thirteenth war patrol and set a course toward Nansei Shoto and Nanpo Shoto. An intrepid but certainly war weary USS Drum (SS-228) departed from Midway on 9 August 1945, for what would have been her fourteenth war patrol. However, shortly after she set out, on 14 August, USS Drum (SS-228) received a typed radio message notifying the crew of Japan’s surrender. USS Drum (SS-228) was decommissioned on 16 February 1946, at New London, Conn., and a little over a year later, on 18 March 1947, was turned over to the District of Columbia’s Naval Reserve program and moored to a pier alongside the Naval Gun Factory [the current Washington Navy Yard].

For a complete history of USS Drum (SS-228) please see its DANFS page.