USS Drum (SS-228)

Return to War Patrols index

Sixth War Patrol

June 7, 1943 - July 26, 1943

Commanding Officer - Lieutenant Commander B.F. McMahon

Drum War Patrol Six

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

Date Name
of Vessel
of Vessel
Location Assessment
17 June 1943 Myoko Maru Passenger/Cargo 5,087 5,086 2-03S, 153-44E Sunk Sunk
Myoko Maru

Image courtesy of History on CD-ROM.

Award of Submarine Combat Insignia for this patrol is authorized.

Submarine Combat Insignia

(A) Prologue
(B) Narrative
(C) Weather
(D) Tidal Information
(E) Navigational Aids
(F) Ship Contacts
(G) Aircraft Contacts
(H) Attack Data
(I) Mines
(J) Anti Submarine Measures and Evasive Tactics
(K) Major Defects and Damage
(L) Radio
(M) Radar
(N) Sound Gear and Sound Conditions
(O) Density Layers
(P) Health, Food, and Habitability
(Q) Personnel
(R) Miles Steamed - Fuel Used
(S) Duration
(T) Factors of Endurance Remaining
(U) Remarks

(A) Prologue

Returned from fifth war patrol on May 13, 1943. Normal refit by U.S.S. FULTON at Brisbane, Australia. Ready for sea, June 4, 1943. Fired 15 rounds of 4"/50 caliber at a towed target; held sound listening test; conducted three night radar training approaches; and made sound runs for destroyer. Made deep dive on June 6, 1943, and developed leak in conning tower eyeport. Returned to Brisbane for repairs. Ready for sea, June 7, 1943.

Mission: DESTROY ENEMY VESSELS in Solomons - Bismarcks - New Guinea Area.

(B) Narrative

7 June
1250 (K) Underway from alongside U.S.S. FULTON in company with HMAS BENALLA.
2130-2230 Conducted night radar runs.
8 June
0235 (K) Obtained "ghost" echo on radar 130° to right of escort at same range. This is the first distinct "ghost" echo ever obtained by us.
0801 Commenced sound runs for escort, followed by successful deep dive.
1309-1624 Conducted four submerged approaches. On the dive for the fourth approach, power on the port screw was lost. This casualty was caused by the failure of the 75% motor field interlock. This the fourth successive patrol on which this casualty has occurred.
1624 Set course for HORSE. Escort returned to port.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 26-12.0 S. LONG. 155-15.0 E.
DIST: 229.9
FUEL: 1699
9 June
Conducted three training dives.
1613 (K) Blew negative tank flood valve gasket on third dive. Experience proves that the "T" shaped gasket can be blown!
1200 POSIT: LAT. 21-52.5 S. LONG. 156-05.0 E.
DIST: 283.2
FUEL: 2729
10 June
Conducted three training dives. Diving time is affected but little by los of negative tank. Practiced going deep without use of negative.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 16-59.0 S. LONG. 156-35.0 E.
DIST: 319.0
FUEL: 2918
11 June
0530 (K) Submerged on first all day dive.
1805 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 13-03.0 S. LONG. 156-56.5 E.
DIST: 249.7
FUEL: 2280
12 June
0515 (K) Submerged.
0900 Changed to minus eleven (-11) zone time.
1917 (L) Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 10-22.0 S. LONG. 156-47.0 E.
DIST: 191.4
FUEL: 1624
13 June
0605 (L) Submerged.
Serviced torpedoes.
1934 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 8-36.0 S. LONG. 155-15.0 E.
DIST: 178.8
FUEL: 1685
14 June
0555 (L) Submerged.
1940 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 6-50.0 S. LONG. 154-02.0 E.
DIST: 179.8
FUEL: 1588
15 June
0215 (L) Sighted Buka Island, distance about 25 miles.
0540 Submerged.
1800 Sighted Feni Island, distance 45 miles. No enemy activity of any kind encountered while passing between the islands.
1947 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 4-18.0 S. LONG. 154-37.0 E.
DIST: 174.4
FUEL: 1396
16 June
0530 (L) Entered assigned area in Lat. 2-00.0 S., Long. 154-01.0 E.
0542 Submerged.
1945 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 01-45.0 S. LONG. 154-01.0 E.
DIST: 174.3
FUEL: 1486
17 June
0200 (L) Sighted three ships bearing 220°(T) distance 20,000 yards. (Contact No. 1) (Lat. 1-12.0 S., Long. 153-40.0 E.). Commenced tracking with the radar at ranges of 13,500 yards to 21,300 yards. Determined convoy base course as 125°(T), speed 9 knots, until 0400, then 190°(T).
0548 Submerged and commenced closing the track of the convoy at high speed.
0625 Sighted two freighters and one Mutsuki class destroyer, bearing 005°(T), distance 10,000 yards, angle on the bow 0°. Manned battle stations (Attack No. 1) (Lat. 2-03.0 S., Long. 153-44.0 E.)
0655-51" Fired #7 tube.
0656-00" Fired #8 tube.
0656-08" Fired #9 tube.
0656-15" Fired #10 tube.
0656-30" Went to deep submergence and commenced evasive tactics.
0656-59" #7 torpedo hit.
0657-07" #8 torpedo hit.
0657-12" #9 torpedo hit.
0702 First of 3 depth charges, not close.
0703 6 depth charges, close astern, overhead, forcing the boat down about 15 feet to 310 feet.
0715 Bulkheads of torpedoed ship collapsing.
0811 2 depth charges, distant, total 11.
0935 Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.
1035 Heard 4 aircraft bombs, not close, but did not see the plane. (Aircraft Contact No. 1) (Lat. 1-55.0 S., Long. 153-54.5 E.)
2010 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-50.0 S. LONG. 153-57.0 E.
DIST: 161.5
FUEL: 1365
18 June
0546 (L) Submerged.
1948 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 00-01.0 S. LONG. 154-07.0 E.
DIST: 152.4
FUEL: 1119
19 June
0534 (L) Submerged.
1945 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 00-38.5 N. LONG. 154-03.0 E.
DIST: 99.7
FUEL: 444
20 June
0543 (L) Submerged.
1946 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 00-47.0 N. LONG. 153-00.0 E.
DIST: 97.5
FUEL: 334
21 June
0548 (L) Submerged.
2005 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 2-15.5 N. LONG. 151-47.0 E.
DIST: 139.6
FUEL: 682
22 June
0550 (L) Submerged.
2005 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 3-09.0 N. LONG. 149-16.0 E.
DIST: 175.5
FUEL: 1390
23 June
0600 (L) Submerged.
Serviced torpedoes, and found one exploder completely flooded. Made magnetic feature inoperative.
2020 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 2-53.0 N. LONG. 147-34.0 E.
DIST: 148.4
FUEL: 1159
24 June
0009 (L) Sighted two dark objects bearing 095°(T), distant about 8000 yards. (Contact No. 2) (Lat. 3-35.0 N., Long. 147-23.0 E.). The radar was unable to obtain a contact.
0025 Commenced closing to investigate. One object may have been a patrolling destroyer or the U.S.S. GREENLING; while the other could not be identified as a ship. That both objects were clouds is not impossible. The rising moon, and visibility conditions unfavorable to us made further development of the contact impracticable.
0130 Cleared the area to the westward.
0603 Submerged.
2020 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 3-38.0 N. LONG. 146-39.0 E.
DIST: 90.4
FUEL: 348
25 June
0610 (L) Submerged.
2022 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 3-30.0 N. LONG. 146-44.0 E.
DIST: 96.9
FUEL: 363
26 June
0612 (L) Submerged.
2015 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 3-29.0 N. LONG. 146-40.0 E.
DIST: 93.2
FUEL: 345
27 June
0610 (L) Submerged.
2022 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 3-23.0 N. LONG. 147-09.0 E.
DIST: 94.3
FUEL: 346
28 June
0620 (L) Submerged.
2020 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-55.0 N. LONG. 148-55.5 E.
DIST: 149.3
FUEL: 747
29 June
0700 (L) Commenced surface patrol to westward.
1921 Submerged for trim dive.
1957 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-02.5 N. LONG. 149-17.5 E.
DIST: 156.7
FUEL: 876
30 June
0700 (L) Commenced surface patrol to westward.
1920 Submerged for trim dive.
1950 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 00-57.0 N. LONG. 149-12.0 E.
DIST: 224.2
FUEL: 1213
1 July
0700 (L) Commenced surface patrol to westward.
1920 Submerged for trim dive.
1950 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 2-45.0 N. LONG. 149-13.5 E.
DIST: 266.7
FUEL: 1636
2 July
0700 (L) Commenced surface patrol to westward.
1925 Submerged for trim dive.
1950 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-58.5 N. LONG. 149-19.5 E.
DIST: 223.5
FUEL: 1517
3 July
0700 (L) Commenced surface patrol to westward.
1924 Submerged for trim dive.
1953 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-51.0 N. LONG. 149-09.5 E.
DIST: 223.7
FUEL: 1206
4 July
0700 (L) Commenced surface patrol to westward.
1915 Submerged for trim dive.
1953 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 2-04.0 N. LONG. 148-13.5 E.
DIST: 222.7
FUEL: 1228
5 July
0700 (L) Commenced surface patrol to westward.
1900 Submerged for trim dive to 200 feet.
1950 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-08.0 N. LONG. 148-15.5 E.
DIST: 217.4
FUEL: 1221
6 July
0355 (L) Made radar contact bearing 290°(T) at 5000 yards, (Contact No. 3) (Lat. 1-20.0 N., Long. 150-10.0 E.). Lost contact at 7200 yards. Closed to investigate but no further radar contact was obtained, nor was the target ever sighted.
0700 Commenced surface patrol to westward.
1115 Sighted a floating mine (Lat. 1-35.0 N., Long. 150-15.0 E.)
1155 Fired 180 rounds of 20 mm ammunition and exploded the mine at a range of 200 yards. The only casualty was the junior officer of the deck, who suffered a small scratch on his finger from a piece of shrapnel.
1253 Made aircraft contact on SD radar at 12 miles. Plane not sighted.
Submerged (Aircraft Contact No. 2) (Lat. 1-37.0 N., Long. 150-05.0 E.)
1353 Surfaced and resumed surface patrol.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-35.0 N. LONG. 150-13.0 E.
DIST: 252.9
FUEL: 1850
7 July
0701 (L) Submerged.
1330 Heard echo ranging bearing 235°(T), on 18 kilocycles at about 38,000 yards. (Contact No. 4) (Lat. 00-50.0 N., Long. 147-12.0 E.).
1350 Heard screws bearing 233°(T) at about 30,000 yards. Commenced closing track at high speed. Manned battle stations submerged.
1357 Sighted plane over target group. (Aircraft Contact No. 3) (Lat. 00-50.0 N., Long. 147-12.0 E.).
1411 Sighted masts and stack of a tanker, angle on the bow 80° port, range 24,000 yards.
1515 Secured from battle stations submerged; unable to close to less than 16,000 yards.
1607 Lost contact with echo ranging at about 40,000 yards.
1750 Heard two sharp explosions, resembling torpedo explosions.
1800 Surfaced, and headed down track of tanker at high speed. Sent contact report.
2145 Sighted smoke bearing 150°(T) (Contact No. 5) (Lat. 00-37.0 N., Long. 148-13.0 E.). Commenced closing to investigate.
2230 Sighted red light.
2348 Made radar contact on ship at 16,200 yards.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 00-53.0 N. LONG. 147-16.0 E.
DIST: 310.7
FUEL: 4343
8 July
0020 (L) Identified ship as hospital ship properly lighted in accordance with the Hague Convention Agreement of 1907. Changed course to continue search for tanker in the direction of Kavieng.
0616 Submerged.
2015 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 00-59.5 S. LONG. 148-48.5 E.
DIST: 189.2
FUEL: 1757
9 July
0623 (L) Submerged.
Serviced torpedoes.
2002 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 00-15.0 S. LONG. 150-54.0 E.
DIST: 158.7
FUEL: 1163
10 July
0700 (L) Commenced surface patrol to westward.
1925 Submerged for trim dive.
1950 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-59.5 N. LONG. 153-00.0 E.
DIST: 232.5
FUEL: 1716
11 July
0700 (L) Commenced surface patrol to westward.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 3-00.0 N. LONG. 151-14.0 E.
DIST: 232.5
FUEL: 1311
12 July
0626 (L) Submerged.
2007 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-08.0 N. LONG. 150-13.5 E.
DIST: 255.4
FUEL: 1944
13 July
0626 (L) Submerged.
1955 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 00-06.0 N. LONG. 149-09.5 E.
DIST: 101.2
FUEL: 359
14 July
0502 (L) Submerged.
0920 Sighted smoke bearing 304°(T). (Contact No. 6) (Lat. 1-24.0 S., Long. 147-59.5 E.).
Commenced the approach.
0938 Heard echo ranging on 17 kilocycles.
0954 Heard screws of enemy convoy.
1022 Sighted masts of four ships, with two angles on the bow port, and two, starboard. Manned battle stations submerged.
1045 Three escort vessels in sight.
1100 When the range of the left most ship in the convoy closed to 6500 yards, 2800 yards to the track, the convoy changed base course 60° to the right to 170°(T).
1115 Secured from battle stations submerged, unable to close the range to less than 5800 yards. The leading freighter (6500 tons) (KKFKK) was listed slightly to port, damaged aft. The other three freighters (4000-5000 tons) (MFM, well dock) appeared to be undamaged.
1420 Sighted two large aircraft over the convoy. (Aircraft Contact No. 4) (Lat. 1-30.0 S., Long. 148-05.0 E.).
2005 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-28.0 S. LONG. 148-00.0 E.
DIST: 164.3
FUEL: 1355
15 July
0634 (L) Submerged.
2006 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 00-11.5 S. LONG. 148-13.5 E.
DIST: 102.7
FUEL: 356
16 July
0625 (L) Submerged.
2003 Surfaced.
Received orders to terminate patrol. Set course to southeast.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 00-02.5 N. LONG. 148-22.5 E.
DIST: 103.3
FUEL: 359
17 July
0626 (L) Submerged.
2000 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-04.0 S. LONG. 150-52.0 E.
18 July
0345 (L) Sighted Lihir Island, distant 45 miles.
0625 Submerged.
0740 Sighted Tanga Island, distant 45 miles.
2002 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 2-54.0 S. LONG. 153-32.0 E.
DIST: 197.9
FUEL: 2021
19 July
0236 (L) Sighted Green Island, distant 16 miles.
0515 Submerged.
1114 Sighted four-engined monoplane (Aircraft Contact No. 5) (Lat. 5-05.0 S., Long. 154-00.0 E.).
2002 Surfaced.
No enemy surface units were encountered while passing between the islands.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 5-08.0 S. LONG. 153-59.0 E.
DIST: 174.3
FUEL: 1314
20 July
0522 (L) Received orders to search for life raft with three RAAF filers aboard. Commenced closing position at 19 knots on course 322°(T).
0730 Sighted enemy submarine on the surface, bearing 083°(T), distant 10 miles, (Contact No. 7) (Lat. 7-24.0 S., Long. 153-49.0 E.). His course was 160°(T), and he passed out of sight rapidly.
0740 Sighted plane bearing 310°(T), distant 11 miles (Aircraft Contact No. 6) (Lat. 7-22.0 S., Long. 153-47.0 E.). This plane was later identified as an RAAF "Beaufighter".
0800 Sighted enemy submarine on surface, bearing 081°(T), distant 10 miles (Contact No. 8) (Lat. 7-07.0 S., Long. 153-35.0 E.). This submarine was sighted because of his heavy black exhaust smoke. His course was 315°(T), parallel to the Drum, but he dropped astern and disappeared rapidly.
0905 Exchanged recognition signals with the "Beaufighter" (A-OH). Was informed that the life raft could not be located. Told him of the enemy submarines to the eastward, and off he went. His later actions did not indicate that he had sighted any enemy submarines, however.
1030 Sighted a second plane, unidentified, though similar to the "Beaufighter" in appearance, bearing 330°(T), distant 12 miles. (Aircraft Contact No. 7) (Lat. 6-48.0 S., Long. 153-16.5 E.).
1035 Commenced search in area to westward of reported position of raft.
1046 Sighted object resembling a submarine, bearing 331°(T), distant 5 miles.
1052 Submerged and commenced closing to investigate.
1220 Identified object as a large tree. Set a watch on the aircraft frequency, 7105 Kcs., on the periscope antenna at 50 feet. Heard numerous signals, but nothing further on the search for the raft.
1930 Surfaced and continued search for the raft.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 6-42.0 S. LONG. 153-14.0 E.
DIST: 274.1
FUEL: 3770
21 July
0147 (L) Received orders to abandon search. Set course for Brisbane.
0615 Submerged.
1955 Surfaced
POSIT: LAT. 8-26.0 S. LONG. 153-40.0 E.
DIST: 186.1
FUEL: 1651
22 July
0620 (L) Submerged.
1230 Sighted Rossel Island bearing 258°(T) distant 30 miles.
1944 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 11-16.0 S. LONG. 154-39.0 E.
DIST: 201.1
FUEL: 2178
23 July
Commenced cruising on the surface during daylight hours.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 15-12.0 S. LONG. 153-53.0 E.
DIST: 242.6
FUEL: 3133
24 July
1358 (L) Submerged, conducted one hour battery discharge. Averaged ten knots during the discharge.
1735 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 20-18.0 S. LONG: 154-51.0 E.
DIST: 330.0
FUEL: 3471
25 July
1400 (L) Submerged for training dive.
1518 Surfaced.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 24-20.0 S. LONG. 154-32.0 E.
DIST: 271.9
FUEL: 2760
26 July
0050 (L) Made radar contact on Allied convoy bearing 268°(T) distant 28,000 yards, repeat, 28,000 yards. (Lat. 26-10.0 S., Long. 154-10.0 E.).
0110 Lost contact at 29,000 yards.
0412 Exchanged recognition signals with U.S.S. BALAO. (Lat. 26-35.0 S., Long. 153-55.0 E.)
0448 Sighted Cape Moreton light bearing 230°(T), distant 25 miles.
0900 Changed to minus ten (-10) zone time.
1030 (K) Moored to U.S.S. FULTON.

(C) Weather

The weather during the entire time in area bounded by 2° S. to 4° N. and 146° E. to 154° E. was unfavorable for submerged attack. The unfavorable conditions included; calm to glassy seas, little or no wind, frequent rain squalls with attendant poor visibility, and partly cloudy skies. The barometer was steady at 29.76. On one, and only one, day out of thirty-three, was there a semblance of whitecaps.

(D) Tidal Information

In the patrol area, 2° S. to 4° N. and 146° E. to 154° E., currents of one-half knot setting east to southeast were experienced at times.

In the area, westward of the Solomon Islands, from 10° S. to the pass between New Ireland and Buka, currents of 1.0 to 1.5 knots setting southeasterly were encountered.

(E) Navigational Aids

None sighted.

(F) Ship Contacts

No. Time Date Lat. Long. Type Course Speed RPM Initial Range Contact By Masthead Height Length
1. 0200 (L) 17 Jun. 1-12.0 S 153-40.0 E 2 Freighters
1 Mutsuke DD
9 Kts
95 RPM
20,000 yds. Sight
2. 0009 (L) 24 Jun. 3-35.0 N 147-23.0 E Unident.
See Narr.
Southerly - 8000 yds. Sight
- -
3. 0355 (L) 6 Jul. 1-20.0 N 150-10.0 E Unident. - - 5000 yds. SJ
- -
4. 1411 (L) 7 Jul. 0-50.0 N 147-12.0 E Tanker &
100°(T) 15 Kts.
120 RPM
24,000 yds. Sight
105' 500'
5. 2230 (L) 7 Jul. 0-37.0 N 148-13.0 E Hospital Ship 140°(T) 12 Kts. 24,000 yds. Sight
- -
6. 0920 (L) 14 Jul. 1-24.0 S 147-59.5 E 4 Freighters
3 Escorts
10 Kts.
100 RPM
17,000 yds. Sight
80' 400'
7. 0730 (L) 20 Jul. 7-24.0 S 153-49.0 E Submarine 160°(T) - 20,000 yds. Sight
- -
8. 0900 (L) 20 Jul. 7-07.0 S 153.35-0 E Submarine 315°(T) - 20,000 yds. Sight
- -

The turn counts listed in contacts #1, #4, and #6 are considered reliable, as are the accompanying speeds. They are all the results of prolonged tracking.

The first speed and turn count is for a freighter similar to "Kyusyu Maru", 8666 tons; the second for a large tanker; and the third for a 4000 to 5000 ton MFM freighter.

(G) Aircraft Contacts

No. Time Date Lat. Long. Type Course Altitude Initial Range Contact By Remarks
1. 1035 (L) 17 Jun. 1-55.0 S 153-54.5 E - - - - - Not sighted dropped 4 bombs
2. 1253 (L) 6 Jul. 1-37.0 N 150-05.0 E - -   12 Miles Radar Not sighted
3. 1357 (L) 7 Jul. 00-50.0 N 147-12.0 E - - Low 10 Miles Sight
Air cover for Tanker
4. 1420 (L) 14 Jul. 1-30.0 S 148-05.0 E Large - Low 10 Miles Sight
Air cover for convoy
5. 1114 (L) 19 Jul. 5-05.0 S 154-00.0 E 4 engine monoplane 090°(T) 4000' 8 Miles Sight
6. 0740 (L) 20 Jul. 7-22.0 S 153-47.0 E RAAF Beaufighter Various 1000'
12 Miles Sight
Searching for raft
7. 1030 (L) 20 Jul. 6-48.0 S 153-16.5 E Monoplane - 2000' 14 Miles Sight
During search for raft, unident.

(H) Attack Data

U.S.S. DRUM, Torpedo Attack No. 1, Patrol No. 6

Time: 0655 (L) Date: 17 June 1943 Lat. 02-03.0 S., Long. 153-44.0 E.

Target Data - Damage Inflicted


Two freighters and one destroyer in convoy. Destroyer patrolling across track astern. Larger freighter (KKFKK) similar to Kyusys Maru (8666 tons) attacked with four torpedoes. Smaller freighter (MMF) (6500 tons) was on starboard bow of larger one. Contact made by sighting on surface in good visibility with squally background after Drum. Tracked by SJ radar in varying visibility at ranges of 13,500 to 21,300 yards. Dove ahead of convoy at dawn and made submerged attack with stern tubes.

Ship Sunk:

1 Freighter, loaded with deck cargo, similar to Kyusyu Maru, 8666 tons.

Ships Damaged:


Damage Determined By:

Hearing 3 torpedo hits and ship breaking up, with compartments collapsing. The noises were the same as those heard during a sinking witnessed on the fifth patrol.

Target Draft 25 feet, Course 190°, Speed 9 knots, Range 1475 yds.

Own Ship Data:

Speed 2 knots, Course 110°(T), Depth 64 feet, Angle 0°

Fire Control and Torpedo Data

Type Attack

Tracked with TDC at 9 knots (95 RPM) perfectly. Target zigzagging from 170°(T) to 210°(T) in three to five minute legs. Fired with periscope bearings being fed into TDC before each shot. Spread set using offset dials - 5°L, 2°L, 2°R, 5°R. Sound man heard all torpedoes running to the target. The target's screws stopped immediately after the three torpedo explosions; while the screws of the second ship and destroyer were still heard.

Explosions occurred 1 min. 08 sec., 1 min. 07 sec., and 1 min. 04 sec. after firing the first three torpedoes.

Tubes Fired #7 #8 #9 #10
Track Angle 80°P 81°P 78°P 84°P
Gyro Angle 180° 179° 182° 176°
Depth Set 18' 18' 18' 18'
Hit or Miss Hit Hit Hit Miss
Erratic ? No No No No
Mark Torpedo XIV-3A XIV-3A XIV-3A XIV-3A
Serial No. 41733 20219 25155 22565
Mark Explod. VI-1 VI-1 VI-1 VI-1
Serial No. 9260 9385 9388 10052
Actuation, Set Contact & Mag. Contact & Mag. Contact & Mag. Contact & Mag.
Actuation, Actual Contact Contact Contact  
Mark Warhead XVI XVI XVI XVI
Serial No. 8976 5779 6401 4828
Firing Int. - 9 sec. 8 sec. 7 sec.
Type Spread Divergent
5°L 2°L 2°R 5°R

Sea condition - calm sea, slight swell from southeast.

Overhaul activity - U.S.S. FULTON.

(I) Mines

A floating mine was detonated by 20 mm fire in Lat. 1-30.0 N., Long. 150-15.0 E.

This mine was spherical, about three feet in diameter, and mounted four or five contact horns. No antennae were visible.

The detonation threw a shrapnel splinter about 200 yards, and produced a geyser about 100 feet high.

(J) Anti Submarine Measures and Evasive Tactics

1. The convoy of Attack No. 1 was formed with the leading ship about 1000 yards on the starboard bow of the second, and larger freighter; and was zigzagging by simultaneous ship movements in three to five minute legs. The destroyer was making 13-14 knots (160 RPM), and was patrolling across the track of the convoy about 1500 yards astern of the second ship. He had three anti-aircraft guns manned, all pointing skyward.

The approach was conducted in such a manner that the target was, in general, between the destroyer and the Drum. Thus, the three torpedo explosions were the first indications of the Drum's presence.

Without slowing to less than 200 RPM the destroyer made two effective passes, dropping three charges six minutes after firing, not close; and a minute later dropping six more close astern, jarring the boat considerably, but causing no damage. The destroyer did not use echo ranging at any time.

Two distant depth charges were dropped one hour ten minutes later. All contact was lost two hours twenty minutes after firing. Four aircraft bombs were dropped, not close, but the plane was not seen, four hours forty minutes after firing.

2. The convoy of Contact No. 6 on July 14, 1943 consisted of four freighters with three escorts.

The freighters were in a constantly changing formation with the largest leading, and the other three loosely grouped astern. The ships zigged radically and apparently independently. In the early stages of the approach, both starboard and port angles on the bow were observed, changing frequently. The escorts were stationed ahead, astern and on the port quarter of the formation. Only the leading escort was echo ranging. He searched on 17 kilocycles continuously, employing automatic keying with an 8 second interval. Three hours after the convoy passed two planes were observed over the formation, though they were never observed during the approach.

Though the actions of the escorts in no way indicated the detection of the Drum, the "turn-away" of the convoy and the possible resumption of its former course five hours later may have been the execution of the standard Japanese convoy policy.

(K) Major Defects and Damage

(1.) C & R

A minor casualty occurred on the trim pump when a plug blew out of the rear side of the pump. The plug could not be replaced without cutting a hole in the storeroom bulkhead aft of the pump. A large manhole will be cut in this bulkhead to make the entire after side of the trim pump accessible.

(2.) Torpedoes

One exploder, #4076, was found completely flooded. This occurred when the torpedo was subjected to a depth of about 110 feet; which depth was reached (as the boat went deep) before the forward tubes were all secured.

Prior to the time the boat went deep the tubes were ready five minutes. The magnetic feature of the exploder was made inoperative and the exploder reinstalled. The torpedo was not fired.

(3.) Engineering


Several leaks in the exhaust risers developed indicating the system is generally eroded and lines in need of renewing. On one occasion a main engine exhaust valve failed to open completely necessitating adjustment of operating shaft. A plague of erratic governors occurred during which several engines "hunted" at all speeds. Adjustments were made and springs renewed to overcome this defect. On diving, July 1, 1943, #2 Aux. engine refused to stop in spite of emergency air and hand stop operation. The fuel racks were sticking. A request has been submitted to install a means of stopping the engines by cutting off the air supply. Such an installation is provided for "Winton" engines.

Main Power:

Port main motor 75% field interlock failed to function putting the port shaft out of commission. This casualty has occurred on three previous patrols.

Shafts and Reduction Gears:

The starboard stern tube still leaks excessively. This is caused by misalignment, for repacking failed to decrease the leakage in the slightest. Once again the reduction gear lub oil system became emulsified due to salt water leakage into the port sump tank. This occurred on three previous patrols.

1 MC System:

The bridge throat microphone box flooded five times, before it was discovered that the cause was a combination of oversized gasket and oversized stuffing box.

Vapor Compression Distiller:

Continued low capacity was corrected by installing proper shunt field rheostats. Oil and vapor seal rings leaked continuously until all on board spares were used. On June 15, 1943 a major derangement occurred in the starboard unit. The unit had been getting progressively noisier until it was shut down and dismantled. The assembly was found to be misaligned and the taper pins used to lock the impeller drive shaft gear on the shaft were loose and allowing the lobes to strike each other. Both lobes and both gears had to be renewed. This latter casualty is attributed to inferior tender overhaul.

Pitometer Log:

The bellows seal contact face was eroded by salt water causing inaccurate speeds. Spare parts for this unit are sorely needed.

(L) Radio

Radio reception was good. All serials sent on the Belconnen schedules were received. The high frequency, however, proved much more satisfactory than the low.

Transmission ont he 4235 kilocycle series was successful to NPM and to several Australian stations.

NPM's 16.68 kilocycle transmissions could be heard, but not copied, while on the surface; and were never heard while submerged.

Reception on the periscope antenna at 50 feet was successful on 7105 kilocycles during the search for the RAAF flyers.

Last serial sent - 220902.

Last serial received - 251326.

(M) Radar

(1.) SD Radar

The operation of the SD was satisfactory throughout the patrol. One contact was made in the area at 12 miles; and several contacts during the search for the life raft on July 20, 1943.

The radar mast again failed to function properly. It refused to lower while the ship dived. This is the third successive patrol on which this casualty has repeatedly occurred.

The trouble has been attributed, at various times, to: (1) uneven hoisting cables; (2) improperly functioning limit and slack wire switches; (3) misalignment of bearings; and (4) a bent mast. During this refit the mast should be pulled and completely overhauled.

(2.) SJ Radar

A new range record is claimed for the SJ radar. Bearings and ranges up to 21,300 yards were obtained on an 8666 ton freighter which were accurate enough to be plotted during the tracking of the target.

The operation of the radar was highly satisfactory, although the blower motors again caused some visual interference on the screen, and had to be overhauled periodically.

Three days out, the motor generator failed. Inspection revealed that the keyway in the shaft of the coupling between the motor and the generator was worn to the point of being completely inoperative. This motor generator had been taken out of the ship by the tender force just prior to getting underway, and the casualty is attributed to inferior work by the tender personnel. The keyway was repaired and the motor generator has operated over five hundred hours without further trouble.

(N) Sound Gear and Sound Conditions

Remarkable sound reception was experienced in the area near the equator between 150° E. and 146° E. Echo ranging was heard at about 38,000 yards and screws at about 29,000 yards during one approach. The sea was glassy during this approach. Bearings of echo ranging were obtained 30 degrees in error, when the pinging was deflected from a rain squall. Fish groans and squeaks produced the majority of the noise interference encountered during the patrol.

(O) Density Layers

The bathythermograph installed during the last refit, operated satisfactorily.

One definite density layer was noted at Lat. 2-03.0 S., Long. 153-44.0 E., in the early morning hours. A decrease in temperature of five degrees occurred between 150 and 250 feet. During the depth charge attack at this time, the destroyer made but two effective passes, maintaining good contact only about ten minutes.

(P) Health, Food, and Habitability

The health of the crew was slightly below the usual standard. Besides several severe colds, there were three mild cases of "Vincent's Angina" which were prevented from spreading by the prompt action of the pharmacist's mate.

The quality of the food obtained from the FULTON in Brisbane was definitely below par. Even a small quantity of fresh frozen foods would have enlivened an otherwise drab bill of fare.

By spreading about one can of CO2 absorbent on each all day dive, the boat was kept comfortable at all times. The air conditioning system functioned extremely well, producing about 200 gallons of water daily. A means of "sweetening" this water by filtering would be highly desirable.

(Q) Personnel

The performance of the crew was commendable during the entire patrol. The morale and the state of training are high.

(R) Miles Steamed - Fuel Used

Brisbane to Area 1965 Miles 17405 Gallons
In Area 5565 Miles 38483 Gallons
Area to Brisbane 1951 Miles 19823 Gallons
Total 9481 Miles 75711 Gallons

(S) Duration

Days Enroute to Area 9
Days in Area 33
Days Enroute to Brisbane 8
Days Submerged 32

(T) Factors of Endurance Remaining

Torpedoes 20
Fuel 17694 Gallons
Provisions 0
Water 14 days
Personnel 0

Limiting Factor This Patrol: Orders of Commander TF-72.

(U) Remarks

The failure of the port field interlock on June 8, 1943 left the port screw inoperative until the interlock was tripped out by hand. This is the fourth successive patrol on which this casualty has occurred.

The Commanding Officer cannot stress too strongly the military hazard of the inherent defect, and again recommends that a factory representative be consulted to determine the cause and remedy. The action of the convoy on July 14, 1943, in radically changing course away indicates that the Drum was sighted although no plane escort was seen until two hours afterward, and the escorts made no attack on us. The range at the time of course change was five to six thousand yards, too great a range for the ships to sight us although the sea was glassy. The escort gave two prolonged dashes on echo ranging about the time of course change. A successful attack still could have been made at long range if the Commanding Officer had realized it was a change in the base course rather than a zig away.

Attack restrictions south of 4° S. were received during the patrol. It is recommended that they be lifted for boats between Buka and New Ireland. This area is usually traversed at night when identification, except by challenge, is impossible. If our forces are in the area the submarine could be so notified.

The system of training developed by Commander TF-72 is realistic. The Commanding Officer feels that, in a shorter time, a great deal more is accomplished than at Pearl Harbor.

Previous Patrol Back to top? Next Patrol