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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch on right contributed by Mike Smolinski, other patches by ussubvetsofworldwarii.org

Drum (SS-228) (AGSS-228)

Radio Call Sign: November - India - Tango - Golf

Gato Class Submarine: Laid down, 11 September 1940, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME, Launched, 12 May 1941; Commissioned USS Drum (SS-228), 1 November 1941; Decommissioned, 16 February 1946; Placed in service, 18 March 1947, as a Naval Reserve Training Vessel in the Potomac River Naval Command; Reclassified Auxiliary Research Submarine, (AGSS-228) 1 December 1962; Struck from the Naval Register, 30 June 1968; Final Disposition, sold to become a floating memorial at Mobile, AL., 14 April 1969. Drum received 12 battle stars for World War II service.
Partial data submitted by Yves Hubert.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,410 t.; Length 311' 10"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 15' 2"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Complement 6 officers, 54 enlished; Operating Depth, 300 ft; Submerged Endurance, 48 hrs at 2 kts; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Cruising Range, 11,000 miles surfaced at 10 kts; Armament, ten 21" torpedo tubes, six forward, four aft, 24 torpedoes, one 3"/50 deck gun, two .50 cal. machine guns, two .30 cal. machine guns; Propulsion, diesel electric reduction gear with four Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines, 5400 hp, Fuel Capacity, 94,400 gals., four Elliot Motor Co., electric motors, 2740 hp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, twin screws.
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Grayling 341k The Grayling (SS-209) is shown inside the old erection shed at Portsmouth just before her launching on 4 September 1940. The more leisurely building schedules prior to the war permitted the boats to be brought to an advanced stage of construction before they were launched.
The Drum (SS-228) is under construction on the adjacent ways to the left.
Photo i.d. courtesy of David Buell & Ric Hedman. Text & US Navy photo courtesy of The Fleet Submarine in the U.S. Navy: A Design and Construction History by John D. Alden.
Drum39k Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Drum's (SS-228) keel laying ceremony, 11 September 1940, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Drum162kDrum (SS-228) sliding down the lauching ways at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME, 12 May 1941. US Navy photo, courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Drum 683k Drum (SS-228) gets a tug at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME, 12 May 1941. Photo # 08 # _06_023286 & 87, courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Sean Hert & flickr.com.
Photo added 07/22/13.
Drum25k Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Drum's (SS-228) launching, 12 May 1941, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME. Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Drum25k Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Drum's (SS-228) commissioning on 1 November 1941, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME. Courtesy of petloveshack.com.
Drum507kDrum (SS-228) made her fifth war patrol between 24 March and 13 May 1943, searching the waters south of Truk after she had made a photographic reconnaissance of Nauru. She sank two freighters in April, then refitted at Brisbane, Australia.
She is seen here off the Australian coast on 4 June 1943, 3 days before her next war patrol.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
USN photo # 80-G-394380 by Cdr. Edward J. Steichen, from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Photo added 06/05/13.
Brisbane 640k Photo caption reads:
Submarines refitting alongside Fulton (AS-11) in the Brisbane River. A torpedo is being loaded onto one, and bridge modifications to reduce silhouette are in progress on another.
Boat #1: Grouper (SS-214),
Boat #2: Peto (SS-265),
Boat #3: Scamp (SS-277),
Boat #4: Albacore (SS-218),
Boat #5: Drum (SS-228), 4-7 June, 1943.

EB plan 2053-29, and BuShips plan 388778. Its a general outboard arrangement for SS-214-221 and SS-253-254. It shows very plainly that boats from SS-214 onwards only had the one small boat locker. Grouper only had the one small boat locker offset to port, but she carried the bulge to starboard as if she had one there too, only she didn't! The plan very clearly shows the bulge to starboard for Grouper, but then states, "DECKLINE FOR SS-214 ONLY."
Grouper being modified with her bridge being cut down after her May 29 return from patrol with a high fairwater as in the US Subs Down Under photo, which would explain the whitish look to her bridge face; it was probably primer or wet paint. The bulge to starboard that I originally thought indicated either Gato (SS-212) or Greenling (SS-213) is there, but there just isn't any locker beneath it! Why EB built Grouper like this is anyone's guess. Perhaps when the change order came, construction on Grouper was already too far ahead to stop and re-contour the deck casing? EB wasn't known for deviating from the plans lightly, so perhaps this was the best the Navy could get out of them? They then went to the single locker and no starboard bulge of any kind starting with Growler (SS-215). This might explain why the Manitowac boats had the single locker, too, since their contract was to build copies of Growler herself, portholes in the bridge face notwithstanding.
EB initially resisted pressure from the Navy to alter the plans, citing concerns about delays in production if they did. What they were really worried about was making a profit, each little change cost more and ate into their profit margin. This attitude was somewhat understandable, as EB is a civilian company and they existed to make a profit for their shareholders. However, EB's intransigence got so bad that the Bureau of Ships had to threaten the company with making them build the boats to the Government plans supplied by Portsmouth, wiping out their design capability, which would have put them in a very bad spot commercially after the war. EB backed off when they realized how serious the Bureau was. They took on a whole new attitude and their resistance to change quickly evaporated. What you are seeing with Grouper is an outgrowth of this situation. As part of an attempt to eliminate what the Bureau thought was "frivolous" peacetime equipment on the boats, an order was issued on 10 May 1942 to eliminate the motorboat. This was the official order that legitimized a practice that was already going on in the fleet. Many of the submarines beached the motorboat(s) between patrols as it became clear that they were just not needed anymore. Grouper was probably built with the original capacity of having two boats, as was the original intent for the Gato class. But she may have only gotten one boat when she was finished.
Albacore's patrol report backs up her being Boat #4. It reads, in part, "Major items accomplished during refit - alteration of bridge superstructure for mounting additional 20 mm gun." This was for her refit between 27 May and 10 June, 1943, so the dates connect up nicely with the photo.
Either way, the dates look solid, and the activity in the photo looks like a June, 1943, photo. Peto would depart on patrol on June 13th, so the boxes on her foredeck are probably supplies being loaded up.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Robert Morgan & Dave Johnston (USNR).
Photo courtesy of Robert Morgan courtesy of US Subs Down Under, 1942-1945 by David Jones & Peter Nunan.
Brisbane 391k The boats shown are all Gato's.
Boat #1: Grouper (SS-214),
Boat #2: Peto (SS-265),
Boat #3: Scamp (SS-277),
Boat #4: Albacore (SS-218),
Boat #5: Drum (SS-228), 4-7 June, 1943.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Dave Johnston (USNR).
Photo courtesy of Gerhard Mueller-Debus via Gary Priolo.
Drum112kOnly the periscope and periscope shear are seen after Drum (SS-228) conducted a crash dive on 22 March 1944 after her overhaul at Mare Island. U.S. Navy photo # 1890-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Drum352kStern view of the Drum (SS-228) off Mare Island on 22 March 1944. U.S. Navy photo # 1892-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Drum162k Broadside view of the Drum (SS-228) off Mare Island on 22 March 1944. She was in overhaul at the shipyard from 16 January until 21 March 1944. U.S. Navy photo # 1895-44, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Drum51k Drum (SS-228), entering Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, circa 1941-45. US Navy photo, courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Drum139k Bow view & crew of the Drum (SS-228), entering Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, circa 1941-45. US Navy photo, courtesy of ussubvetsofworldwarii.org.
Drum111k Twin 20mm mount on Drum (SS-228) on the 'cigarette deck' aft of the bridge, circa 1943-45. The object on the pedestal just forward of the guns is the torpedo bearing transmitter. USN photo, text courtesy of John Hummel.
Drum497kBow view of Drum (SS-228) 3 July 1945 at Mare Island, California.U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Drum70kThe Drum (SS-228) departing San Franscisco Navy Yard, at Hunter's Point in July 1945. Note her heavy armament of two 5inch/25 guns, and a 40mm mounted forward on the conning tower step. Additional 20mm and .50 calibre guns will be carried into combat. Note the two periscope shears atop the conning tower, with a separate radar mast behind them.USN photo & text from "The American Submarine" by Norman Polmar, courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Dace 58k Seven decommissioned subs berthed at New London, 1946. The second sub is the Dace (SS-247). What looks like the Drum (SS-228) lies to the port side of the Dace, with what looks to be the Lapon (SS-260) beyond her. USN photo courtesy of sealeopard.com.
post WW 2 476k Bow view of submarines post WW II at New London, Conn.
From inboard to outboard are six boats, four identified by hull numbers: Drum (SS-228), Halibut (SS-232), Haddo (SS-255) and Paddle (SS-263). Outboard of her are two numberless boats.
All the boats are decommissioned: none are flying colors or union jack. Date is after 16 February 1946 when Drum was decommissioned and before Halibut was sold for scrap on 10 January 1947. Halibut had suffered major damage by the Japanese and was considered beyond economical repair. She is the only one of the group not freshly painted, and has been stripped of deck guns and other gear, probably in preparation for sale.
The outboard boat has a small pennant flying from her jackstaff. The boats in commission popped up with numbers right away soon after VJ Day, so the outboard boats may just be getting painted up in Haze Grey in preparation for mothballing, with the numbers to follow. These two boats are older EB-built boats.
The inboard of the two numberless boats is likely the Gabilan (SS-252). It has a very distinct cutdown of the fairwater. The only similar picture I could find is the Gabilan (look at the last pic from the bottom of the Gabilan page). Same bridge cut down low like most other Gato's but the sides of the wagon train were not cut out so it is solid, not open like most other Gato's that were cut down that low. Also location of SJ and SD radar antennas is the same as the latest pic of Gabilan . Also venturi looks the same. Gabilan was decommissioned in 1946 and laid up at New London which would match the timing and location.
US Navy photo & text courtesy of David Buell.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of John Hart.
post WW 2 380k Stern view of submarines post WW II at New London, Conn.
From inboard to outboard is the reverse of the above.
US Navy photo & text courtesy of David Buell.
Photo i.d. & text courtesy of John Hart.
Archerfish 279k Line up of decommissioned subs at Groton, CT., circa 1947. From left to right:Archerfish (SS-311), Flasher (SS-249), Cobia (SS-245), Croaker (SS-246), Drum (SS-228) & what looks like the Cavalla (SS-244). U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Ric Hedman.
Drum294k Picture from Norfolk Naval Shipyard newspaper of 25 April 1969. Show shop 38 (Marine Machinist) and shop 72 (Rigger) installing 5"/25 deck gun aboard Drum (SS-228) in preparation for the boats trip to the Park, Mobile, Alabama.U.S. Navy photo, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Drum343k Pages 4 & 5 of the Drum (SSN-677) Commissioning Program covering the history and picture of the World War II submarine Drum (SS-228).U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Drum668kCDR James Willis (CO, Drum (SSN-677)) presented plaques following the commissioning to RADM Maurice H. Rindskopf, commissioning speaker and former CO of Drum (SS-228), and Capt. Newton B. Foss who accepted the plaque in behalf of the ship's sponsor Mrs. Henry Bringle.U.S. Navy photo # 110102-4-72 courtesy of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Drum114kBuilder's plaque (Fleet Introduction Site) fis on display during the commissioning ceremonies for the Drum (SSN-677) on 15 April 1972 at Mare Island, detailing the history of the first Drum (SS-228) and her awards. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Drum41kDrum (SS-228), dockside at Mobile, Alabama. Courtesy of John Hummel.
Drum147k Deck of the Drum (SS-228) dockside at Mobile, Alabama. Courtesy of Judson Phillips.
Drum142k Very deteriorated stern section of the Drum (SS-228) at Mobile, Alabama. Courtesy of Judson Phillips.
Drum127k Drum (SS-228) in her shoreside cradle. Courtesy of Jim Richardson.
Drum170k Main hydraulic control manifolds of the Drum (SS-228). Courtesy of Jim Richardson.
Drum160k This photo of the Drum (SS-228) shows the advanced state of rust which has opened up on the starboard aft side of the boat, 28 January 2004. Courtesy of Jim Richardson.
Drum179k This photo of the Drum (SS-228) shows the advanced state of rust which has opened up on the starboard bow side of the boat, January 28, 2004. Courtesy of Jim Richardson.
Drum168k Aft torpedo tubes of the Drum (SS-228). Courtesy of Jim Richardson.
Drum136k Diesel engine of the Drum (SS-228) with the cut open top revealing the rocker arms. Courtesy of Jim Richardson, text courtesy of John Hummel.
Drum107k Drum's (SS-228) forward engine room. Courtesy of Jim Richardson, text courtesy of John Hummel.
Drum45k Starboard bow of the Drum (SS-228) in her shoreside cradle, 3 March 2004. Courtesy of Eric Dahlstrom.
Drum47k Port quarter view the Drum (SS-228) in her shoreside cradle, 3 March 2004. Courtesy of Eric Dahlstrom.
Drum150k Information Systems Technician 1st Class Joshua Shepard works inside a torpedo tube aboard the decommissioned World War II-era diesel submarine Drum (SS-228) to help prepare the submarine for the upcoming film "USS Seaviper." Mighty Moments Motion Pictures will begin filming in March 2009 and later plans to highlight Drum in a documentary. U.S. submarines which made up only 2 percent of the U.S. fleet during the war were responsible for 65 percent of all Japanese ships sunk. Drum sank 15 enemy ships. U.S. Navy photo # N-2555N-313 by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alec J. Noe, courtesy of navy.mil.

View the Drum (228)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
drum228.org
drum228 restoration
World War II Submarine Warfare - rare footage
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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