USS Drum (SS-228)

Return to War Patrols index

Second War Patrol

July 10, 1942 - September 2, 1942

Commanding Officer - Lieutenant Commander R.H. Rice

Drum War Patrol Two

Sinkings and Damages - USS Drum (SS-228) War Patrol Two

Date Name
of Vessel
of Vessel
Location Assessment

Award of Submarine Combat Insignia for this patrol is NOT authorized.

1. Narrative
2. Weather
3. Tidal Information
4. Navigational Aids
5. Descriptions of Enemy Vessels Sighted
6. Descriptions of Planes Sighted
7. Particulars of Attack
8. Enemy A/S Measures
9. Major Defects Experienced
10. Radio Reception
11. Sound Conditions
12. Health and Habitability
13. Miles Steamed
14. Fuel Oil Expended
15. Factors of Endurance Remaining
16. Patrol Termination
17. Remarks

(1.) Narrative (All times are KING unless otherwise labeled)

10 July 1942
Left Pearl Harbor for Area ----. Conducted ship drills, fire control drills and training dives enroute.
12 July 1942
Received orders from CTF-7 to investigate an enemy vessel believed aground on Rongelap Atoll.
16 July 1942
Increased speed to full on two engines to arrive off Rongelap Atoll on the morning of the 18th, when another enemy vessel may arrive at scene of grounding.
18 July 1942
0507(L) Submerged about 25 miles north of Rongelap to reconnoiter.
1245 Made landfall.
1445 Sighted masts of grounded vessel in Lat. 11-25.0 N., Long. 166-57.0 E. Closed, and during the afternoon sighted two trawler type patrol boats and one larger steam driven craft patrolling east-west to the northward of grounded ship. The situation did not present a promising submarine opportunity. Decided to return tomorrow to take advantage of any "break" which might occur, such as refloating and towing of ship or reduction of patrol, and to proceed on our way if there were no change.
19 July 1942
Submerged observation of situation at Rongelap revealed no change. Blew out negative tank flood gasket. Opened out to surface and continue to assigned patrol area.
22 July 1942
Submerged to conduct patrol off Ponape.
0944(L) Three miles north of Ponape reef sighted enemy vessel to the eastward and started approach. At range of 4500 yards identified target as the Tagashago Maru, bearing all the correct emblems of a hospital ship. Discontinued the approach.
1600(L) A small boat passed over us.
1630(L) Sighted a steam trawler idling between us and harbor entrance.
1848(L) Sighted steamer standing out of harbor and commenced attack. Fired 2 torpedoes in gathering darkness, missed (Attack No. 1). The patrol trawler which had been accompanying target, circled us after we fired. Decided against surface pursuit because of presence of patrol boat, close proximity to Ponape air base, and wide choice of target course after clearing point of reef.
23 July 1942
Stopped gyro compass to restore vacuum.
27 July 1942
Entered Area ----.
25 July 1942
0500 Submerged on course 000°(T) to await daylight for fix, reversing course to 180°(T).
0600 Obtained fix 3 miles south of South Island, and sighted two patrol craft to the northward. Thus, we must have submerged close aboard the reef and the patrol craft.
0750-0810 Distant explosions. Spent the rest of the day dodging patrol craft close aboard.
27 July 1942
By process of elimination today established the source of constant stream of bubbles from the hull to be the forward torpedo impulse bottles. In flat seas obtaining have adopted the practice of bleeding them down before diving.
30 July 1942
0800 Made approach on 3-4000 ton armed cargo vessel standing out of Otta Pass to the southeastward. Having obtained good position for stern tube shot, lost ability to attack through combination of radical zig-zag and gyro angle limitations imposed by the Mark XV torpedo.
31 July 1942
Received information of Kenyo Maru enroute from Rabual, and decided to shift position to westward of Royalist Reef tomorrow.
1 August 1942
Sighted two small steamers which entered Aualap Pass, and one which came out the same pass. Unable to close any of them.
2 August 1942
Sighted one ship clearing Pizion Pass standing to westward out of range. Sighted masts and stacks of what appeared to be two sizeable cargo vessels standing southeast from Otta Pass but unfortunately on the opposite site of Royalist Reef from our position. Two patrol craft close aboard today.
3 August 1942
0020 South of Otta Pass sighted two dark objects which were identified as small craft. As we opened out from these at high speed, heard seven explosions.
0815 Submerged 6 miles east of South Island, heard three depth charges close enough to be personal. Nothing in sight. Assumed that plane had sighted us in glassy sea.
0822 More explosions.
0900 Came to periscope depth, saw nothing.
1319 Distant explosions end.
4 August 1942
Patrolling approaches to southeast end, Royalist Reef. Patrol craft passed within a mile during the afternoon. Received information from CTF-7 concerning running depth to be expected with various torpedoes and warheads. Decided to stand to the southward tonight, and spend part of tomorrow rearranging all torpedoes in the forward torpedo room in order to have some loaded which could be expected to run at a depth of less than 20 feet, for use against destroyers.
5 August 1942
Rearranged torpedoes.
6 August 1942
0920 Sighted enemy cargo ship, began approach.
1000 Fired 3 Mark XV torpedoes from stern tubes, one hit (Attack No. 2). Almost simultaneously with explosion of torpedo, heard several bombs close aboard. The target turned away, stopped and restarted her propellers, and was somewhat obscured by a light grey haze. When a bomb splashed not far from the periscope, concluded our observations and went deep. No positive evidence of damage to the target was seen during this minute of observation.
1028 The bombing continued until 1028, a total of 14 "sticks" or sets of explosions becoming progressively more distant. Meanwhile the Drum was running silently and deep because of doubtful sound contacts.
1630 Heard distant depth charges astern. Continued south in order to repack badly leaking port stern tube bearing tonight.
7 August 1942
Heard distant depth charges to the northward; nothing in sight. Presumably this is a systematic working over of our yesterday's attack area.
8 August 1942
Received information from CTF-7 concerning arrival of a submarine tender from the eastward on the 12th.
10 August 1942
Glassy seas. Three patrol craft.
11 August 1942
0700 Ten miles bearing 240°(T) from South Island, heavy rains, visibility zero. Sound picked up screws on port beam. Raised periscope and found an enemy submarine of the I-class, forward of our beam, northbound. She was gone in the rain before anything could be done about her. Decided that our best chance to cover all possible approaches of the expected submarine tender lay in being east of South Island, which would give us a chance at her whether she approached Otta Pass from north or south of Royalist Reef.
12 August 1942
Received information from CTF-7 that submarine tender would arrive 13th; and that enemy submarines were coming to Truk from the south.
13 August 1942
Patrolling between Royalist Reef and main reef.
0630 Two barrages of distant depth charges. During the morning one patrol craft and one small steamer stood out, the steamer too small for attack.
2130 Received orders from CTF-7 to proceed to patrol southern entrance to Kavieng. Set course 190°(T), speed 15 knots.
2240 Sighted three shapes, two to the southwest, one dead ahead (190°(T)). Stopped to listen and study. A few minutes later we were all enveloped in a downpour, -visibility zero- which lasted for 40 minutes. Contact was lost and not regained. Evidently we had at last found a convoy; but what it consisted of and which way it was going is a matter of conjecture.
2340 Resumed course to new patrol station.
15 August 1942
0645 Made landfall on Mussau Island, distant 45 miles. Decided to close to 20 miles, and conduct surface patrol around island at that distance.
1240 Course 180°(T), sighted enemy cargo vessel bearing 105°(T), distant 8-10 miles, course north. Turned to 030°(T) and increased to full speed to get into position which would permit attack.
1256 Sighted an airplane about four miles on the port bow headed toward us. Submerged; ran at 100 feet for five minutes; then came to periscope depth. Closed target at full speed. Observed airplane circling target.
1400 Abandoned approach when it was obviously hopeless. Received information from CTF-7 concerning possible arrival at Kavieng of an enemy AV and another ship on 20 and 19 August respectively.
16 August 1942
0530 Submerged on station southwest of Kavieng entrance. The attack periscope has been fogging badly for a good ten days. Today it became quite useless. Shifted No. 1 periscope to the conning tower.
17 August 1942
Submerged south of Steffen Straight.
0610 Sighted enemy destroyer, began approach.
0633 Fired 3 torpedoes - all missed (Attack No. 3).
0638 Destroyer made two depth charge attacks, both of which were very close. Minor damage: (a) radio antenna lead-in trunk flooded.
0815 Resumed periscope patrol. Received message from CTF-7 concerning arrival of an Auxiliary Carrier at Kavieng on the 19th.
20 August 1942
Submerged south of Steffen Straight, sea smooth.
0600 Sighted masts of vessel in semi-darkness, and commenced closing to investigate. Identified her as a Shinonome destroyer, speed about 19 knots, standing to the entrance. She passed at a range of 3000 yards. Did not attack.
1050 Sighted small craft standing out. Observed her for sometime. She was a small steamer, with a bow very much like our net-tenders.
1312 The same craft stood north and back into the straight.
21 August 1942
Submerged south of Steffen Straight. Rain squalls and poor visibility.
1700 Two miles south of Straight, sighted enemy destroyer evidently lying to on a westerly course in the entrance. About two minutes after our sighting her, and while we were studying her against the bad background of mist and trees, she turned south. Sound then picked up her screws, range 4000, angle on bow zero, speed 26 knots. She passed over us a few minutes later and continued to the southward.
22 August 1942
Received orders from CTF-7 to depart August 24th via point 19 for Midway.
23 August 1942
Submerged patrol east and west courses off Dyaul Island.
24 August 1942
1900 Surfaced and commenced return to Base at Midway. Decided to spend tomorrow in a submerged patrol about ten miles west of Mussau.
25 August 1942
Cruising on surface.
0450 Sighted lights of an airplane close aboard on starboard quarter. Submerged, and spent the day as planned off Mussau.
27 August 1942
0926 Cruising on surface near southeast corner Area ----. As we emerged from a rain squall sighted enemy destroyer bearing 340°, distant 6 miles, angle on bow 35° starboard. Submerged. Destroyer passed, minimum range 8000 yards. Remained submerged for two and a half hours on reverse course of destroyer's course.
1245 Surfaced, resumed return route.
30 August 1942
1008(L) Lat. 14-50.0 N., Long. 166-42.0 E. Sighted airplane distant about five miles, and submerged.
1050 Surfaced.
31 August 1942
0452(L) Sighted two airplanes about two miles on port bow, and submerged.
0530 Surfaced.
2 September 1942
(YOKE) Effected rendezvous with escort and entered Midway.

(2.) Weather

(a) Truk Area

The weather was generally fair. Heavy showers were frequently encountered resulting in zero visibility. The surface of the water was disconcertingly smooth practically all the time.

(b) Kavieng Area

Same as Truk except that showers were a little more frequent. Heavy showers over the pass occurred usually about 4-5 o'clock in the afternoon, obscuring it from our view.

(3.) Tidal Information

No strong or unusual tides or currents were noted.

(4.) Navigational Aids

Peaks and tangents of Islands at both Truk and Kavieng were excellent for cutting in the ship's position and simplified position keeping.

(5.) Descriptions of Enemy Vessels Sighted

Contact No. Time Description Position Course Speed Remarks
1. 18 July 4 misc. type patrol craft 11-28.0 N., 166-57.0 E. Various -  
2. 1445 I
18 July
Grounded Maru 11-25.0 N., 166-56.0 E. - -  
3. 0930 I
22 July
Takusagao Maru BR 115 #84 07-05.0 N., 158-28.0 E. 290° 12  
4. 1848 I
22 July
Freighter 4000 ton Similar to S-48 Recognition Jap Merchantmen 07-05.0 N., 158-04.0 E. 075°(T) 8 Attack No. 1
5. 0001 K
25 July
Unidentified in darkness 06-24.0 N., 153-00.0 E. - - This was a patrol boat on station
6. 29 July Patrol craft - 200 tons 07-01.0 N., 152-01.0 E. Stationary - This boat was on station at all times
7. 0700 K
30 July
Freighter, similar to S-50 Recognition Jap Merchantmen 07-08.0 N., 151-53.0 E. 090° (ZZ) c/c to 030°(T) 10 Cleared Otta Pass
8. 0748 K
1 Aug.
Small freighter, 2000 tons MFM 07-11.0 N., 151-46.0 E. 080° and c/c to 040° ? Entered Aualap Pass
9. 0900 K
1 Aug.
Small freighter, 1500 tons MFM 07-11.0 N., 151-46.0 E. 080° and c/c to 040° ? Entered Aualap Pass
10. 1042 K
1 Aug.
Unidentified MFM 07-12.0 N., 151-48.0 E. 270° ? Cleared via Aualap Pass
11. 1924 K
1 Aug.
Patrol craft - night unidentified 06-56.0 N., 151-43.0 E. Various ?  
12. 0800 K
2 Aug.
Patrol craft, 500 tons MFM 07-05.0 N., 151-44.0 E. 180° 8 This vessel was seen several times subsequently proceeding to station
13. 1018 K
2 Aug.
Unidentified freighter MKFM 07-11.0 N., 151-49.0 E. 240°(T) ? Cleared out of Pizion Pass
14. 1400 K
2 Aug.
2 unidentified freighters MFM 07-84.0 N., 151-59.0 E. 140°(T) 10 Cleared out of Otta Pass and skirted Royalist Reef to northeastward
15. 1800 K
2 Aug.
Patrol craft 06-53.0 N., 151-57.0 E. 140°(T) ?  
16. 0200 K
3 Aug.
2 Patrol craft 06-48.0 N., 151-56.0 E. Various Various  
17. 6 Aug. Armed merchantmen about 4000 tons MFM guns forward and aft 06-53.0 N., 152-04.0 E. 290° 10 Attack No. 2
18. 10 Aug. Various 07-05.0 N., 151-50.0 E. Various 4 Patrol craft, misc.  
19. 11 Aug. I Class submarine 07-00.0 N., 151-49.0 E. North 14 Not clearly seen because of rain
20. 13 Aug. Patrol craft, 3-400 tons MFM 07-06.0 N., 151-57.0 E. 265° 6 Cleared out of Otta Pass
21. 13 Aug. Small 3 island freighter, 1000 tons MFM 07-08.0 N., 151-58.0 E. 030°(T) 8 Cleared out of Otta Pass
22. 2240 K
13 Aug.
3 vessels unidentified 06-35.0 N., 151-55.0 E. North ? Convoy, sighted in heavy rain
23. 1245 K
15 Aug.
Cargo vessel, 8-10,000 tons 01-37.0 S., 149-10.0 E. 350° 10 Escorted by plane
24. 0610 K
17 Aug.
DD, Kamikaze class 02-48.0 S., 150-36.0 E. 010° 17 Attack No. 3
25. 1200 K
19 Aug.
Small craft 02-40.0 S., 150-25.0 E. 090°(T) 10 Entered Steffen Strait
26. 0600 K
20 Aug.
DD, Shinonome class 02-51.0 S., 150-35.0 E. 025°(T) 19 Entered Steffen Strait
27. 1050 K
20 Aug.
Small craft, patrol craft or net tender 02-46.0 S., 150-38.0 E. 180°(T) 10 Came out of Steffen Strait
28. 1600 K
20 Aug.
Small steamer 02-46.0 S., 150-38.0 E. 070°(T) ? Entered Steffen Strait
29. 1700 K
21 Aug.
DD, Shinonome class 02-43.0 S., 150-39.0 E. 180°(T) 26 Cleared out of Steffen Strait
30. 0925 K
27 Aug.
DD, similar to Shinonome class 05-13.5 N., 155-17.0 E. 115°(T) 20  

(6.) Descriptions of Planes Sighted

Contact No. Time Type Position Course Altitude
1. 0830 X
12 July
Navy P.B.Y. 18-15.0 N., 107-05.0 E. Parallel 1000 ft.
2. 1300 X
13 July
Navy P.B.Y. 16-37.0 N., 172-35.0 E. Parallel 1000 ft.
3. 1000 K
28 July
Enemy land plane Over Otta Pass, Truk West 1500 ft.
4. 1030 K
30 July
Enemy land plane Over Otta Pass, Truk South 1500 ft.
5. 0703 K
13 Aug.
Enemy land plane Over Otta Pass, Truk West 1500 ft.
6. 1256 K
15 Aug.
Unidentified 01-33.0 S., 149-13.0 E. Directly toward submarine 400 ft.
7. 1115 K
24 Aug.
Enemy land plane Over Steffen Strait, New Ireland Southeast 1000 ft.
8. 0450 K
25 Aug.
Unidentified 01-33.0 S., 149-17.5 E. North 500 ft.
9. 1008 L
30 Aug.
Unidentified 14-50.0 N., 166-42.0 E. Towards submarine 1000 ft.
10. 0452 L
31 Aug.
(2 planes) Unidentified 17-45.0 N., 170-00.0 E. Southwest 1000 ft.
11. 0945 M
1 Sept.
Navy P.B.Y. 22-25.0 N., 175-40.0 E. South 1000 ft.

(7.) Particulars of Attack

Attack No. No. Torp. Firing Est. Range Pt. of Aim Draft of Target Set Depth Est. Speed Track Angle Torpedo Performance
1 2 2 min. 10 secs. 1800 yds. MOT 15 ft. 14 ft. 9 knots 125°P, 132°P Normal - 2 Misses

REMARKS: This attack was begun after sunset, and the firing took place in near-darkness. Poor observations probably caused the misses.

Attack No. No. Torp. Firing Est. Range Pt. of Aim Draft of Target Set Depth Est. Speed Track Angle Torpedo Performance
2 3 8 secs. 1900 yds. MOT 15 ft. 10 ft. 9 knots 105°, 106°, 106.5° 1 Hit

REMARKS: We maneuvered deliverately to attack with stern tubes to use up our Mark XV's loaded there with a view to having available a ten torpedo salvo unrestricted as regards gyro angles for the big target we hoped to find one day soon.

Though there is every reason to believe this target was damaged, positive evidence of damage of sinking was unobtainable due to bombing attack immediately after firing.

Attack No. No. Torp. Firing Est. Range Pt. of Aim Draft of Target Set Depth Est. Speed Track Angle Torpedo Performance
3 3 8 secs. 1700 yds. MOT DD 10 ft. 10 ft. 17 knots 142°P Normal - 3 Misses

REMARKS: As the approach progressed, our fire control data looked excellent, promising a 900 yard range and 90° track. As the range closed to about 1500 yards, the TDC bearing began to lag badly. About a minute before our firing three sailors ran from the target's bridge deckhouse to her fantail. A last bearing was put on the TDC in an effort to get it in step. The delay gave us a bad track, probably a low target speed, and not much chance of hitting. Target either maneuvered to avoid or simply let our torpedoes go by.

(8.) Enemy A/S Measures

The general picture of enemy A/S measures off Otta Pass was much like the familiar one off Pearl entrance. Small craft of miscellaneous types cruised aimlessly about, stopping, starting, and changing course frequently. This, combined with the glassy sea prevailing, made observation difficulty, and kept us on pins and needles much of the time.

Probably some of the many explosions in the Truk area were embarrassing charges covering shipping we could not see. But once or twice they were sufficiently close to the result of our having been sighted by aircraft.

The depth charge counter-attack following our unsuccessful attack on the destroyer on 17 August was remarkable in the shortness of its duration and in the fact that as far as we could tell, no sound gear was used. Both attacks were smartly executed and very close. The destroyer held her course for about three minutes after we had fired, evidently to insure that all our torpedoes had passed, then she turned and came right for the periscope. Her second attack came in on the port quarter. She passed right over us, but released her charges a little too late.

(9.) Major Defects Experienced

"A" Engineering

#1 Lighting Motor Generator ran away when speed regulator grounded. Damaged field coils, armature windings, and ventilation impeller. Temporary repairs effected by ship's force.

Pitometer Log - erratic performance commencing July 11th and eventually becoming completely inoperative submerged during the last week on station. Cause unknown.

Main engine exhaust valves leaked throughout patrol. Serious defect developed in #3 M.E. exhaust valve which on three occasions failed to close until after ship had submerged. Valve was finally closed by repeated attempts with hydraulic power. Subsequent inspection topside revealed no apparent defect. #2 M.E. exhaust valve froze in the closed position on one occasion, and was finally opened with a crowbar under the rocker arm to valve topside. This type exhaust valve appears to be too delicate and temperamental for submarine use.

"B" C. & R.

Negative tank flood valve gasket was blown prior to arrival on station. Tank was carried full thereafter. Loss of the use of negative tank is a definite military deficiency.

The attack periscope (No. 906; type 89KA40/1.414) fogged up so badly after twenty days on station that it was necessary to shift No. 1 periscope (No. 856; type 89KA40/1.99) to the conning tower. No difficulty was experienced in this operation which was completed in six hours.

Excessive air leakage from the forward impulse bottles necessitated the adoption of the practice of bleeding them down each morning prior to diving.

During the depth charge attack of 17 August, the radio antenna trunk flooded. Most of the leakage was stopped by tightening up on the improperly locked studs of the handhole plate just above the pressure hull. The small leakage which persisted throughout the remainder of the patrol was probably due to damaged insulators.

"C" Radio, Sound, and Radar

On August 23, the radar developed a ground which rendered it inoperative. After two days searching several burned out resistors and capacitors were located and replaced. The radar was again made operative, but its efficiency was doubtful.

(10.) Radio Reception

Communications were very good between this task unit and Commander Task Force SEVEN through NPM.

Radio reception was complete at all times; however, when NPM shifted from the 8 thousand to the 12 and 16 thousand bands at 1900 G.C.T., radio reception off Kavieng became very difficult.

Last Consecutive Serial Sent - 2

Last Consecutive Serial Received - 8

(11.) Sound Conditions

Sound conditions off Truk were from fair to good. The maximum range at which bearings were obtained was about 6000 yards. At Kavieng sound conditions were excellent. Bearings and screw counts were obtained on destroyer screws at 10,000 yards. During the heavy rain storms which occurred frequently in this area the sound gear was nearly useless because of the heavy background noise caused by the rain.

There were no definite density layers observed.

(12.) Health and Habitability

The health of the crew was excellent. The habitability of the ship was very good thanks to the efficient operation of the air conditioning plant.

During submerged operations the following meal hours were observed:

0330 - 0430 Breakfast
1130 Dinner (cold meal)
1800 Supper

The food was good and well prepared.

(13.) Miles steamed enroute to and from station - 8500.

(14.) Fuel oil expended - 74,800.

(15.) Factors of Endurance Remaining

Torpedoes Fuel Provisions (days) Fresh Water Personnel (days)
16 18,600 gallons 30 Unlimited 7

(16.) The patrol was ended by orders of Task Force Commander.

(17.) Remarks

"A" Radar

In the vicinity of Truk, there appeared intermittently on the normal radar line log, thin, vertical lines topped with small blocks which curved continuously back and forth across the screen. In addition, there were brilliant half moon shaped interferences which blocked out half the normal line. Both of these indications were present several times during dark nights when our own submarines nearby would not, presumably, have had their radars in operation. Possibly the explanation is the presence of enemy shore radar or radar detector.


It is not possible for one submarine effectively to cover Otta Pass. Royalist Reef lies close athwart the pass, necessitating submerged patrol on one side or the other; or leads one, as it did us at times, to try to be in two places at once by covering the approaches to Royalist Reef itself.

Previous Patrol Back to top? Next Patrol