USS Drum (SS-228)

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Eighth War Patrol

November 2, 1943 - December 5, 1943

Commanding Officer - Commander D.F. Williamson

Drum War Patrol Eight

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

Date Name
of Vessel
of Vessel
Location Assessment
17 November 1943 Hie Maru Submarine Tender 11,621 11,621 1-48N, 148-24E Sunk Sunk
Hie 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 seventh war patrol 6 October, 1943. Normal refit by the Submarine Repair Unit at Brisbane, Australia. Docked for painting, 22-23 October, 1943. Four days intensive training with U.S.S. PC 1123 and U.S.S. COUCAL, including gun firing practice approaches submerged, and radar approaches submerged and surfaced. Ready for sea: 2 November, 1943.

(B) Narrative

All times are "LOVE".
2 November
1100 Underway from Submarine Base, Brisbane, Australia.
1337-1530 Conducted sound listening tests in Moreton Bay.
1930 Passed Cape Moreton light abeam to starboard and proceeded to sea independently.
PM Sighted two allied convoys, one outbound, one inbound. Sighted HMAS AUSTRALIA conducting night battle practice. Sighted U.S.S. RAY and HMAS BENALLA conducting training exercises.
1200 POSIT: Brisbane River
DIST: 10.0
FUEL: 60.0
3 November
Cruising on the surface, enroute Tulagi. Conducted three training dives and held fire control drills.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 24-17.5 S. LONG. 155-00.5 E.
DIST: 287.6
FUEL: 2811
4 November
Cruising on the surface. Conducted three training dives. Compensated control room magnetic compass.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 20-08.0 S. LONG. 157-05.5 E.
DIST: 296.4
FUEL: 2395
5 November
Cruising on the surface. Conducted three training dives and held fire control drills.
1200 POSIT: 15-45.0 S. LONG. 157-33.0 E.
DIST: 295.3
FUEL: 2592
6 November
0655 Sighted and exchanged recognition signals with U.S. Navy TBF Avenger. (Aircraft Contact No. 1) (Lat. 12-09.5 S., Long. 157-41.0 E.).
Conducted three training dives.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 11-12.0 S. LONG. 157-44.0 E.
DIST: 298.4
FUEL: 2291
7 November
0220 Sighted Russell Islands, distant 30 miles.
0510 Sighted and exchanged recognition signals with escort, SC729, and proceeded to Tulagi Harbor.
1045 A five minute air raid alert held up fueling.
1103 Moored to oiler YOG-41, and commenced fueling.
1310 Took 12,458 gallons of diesel oil.
1405 Moored alongside U.S.S. ALCHIBA and filled all fresh water tanks. Anything else the ALCHIBA had was made available to us, but we were satisfied with the water alone.
1507 Underway in company with SC729.
1900-1922 Conducted trim dive, and sent escort back to Tulagi.
1200 POSIT: Tulagi Harbor
DIST: 251.6
FUEL: 2091
8 November
Cruising on the surface enroute area.
0705 Sighted a small skiff awash in Lat. 6-45.0 S., Long. 158-55.0 E.
1800-1814 Conducted trim dive.
1814 Sighted Bougainville Island bearing 235°(T), distant 100 miles.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 6-13.0 S. LONG. 158-02.5 E.
DIST: 301.6
FUEL: 2416
9 November
1800-1835 Trim dive.
1900 Arrived in area, and commenced surface patrol at 10 knots.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 2-10.0 S. LONG. 155-04.0 E.
DIST. 356.6
FUEL: 3278
10 November
1115 Sighted large plane bearing 075°(T), distant 12 miles. (Aircraft Contact No. 2) (Lat. 1-04.0 N., Long. 151-43.0 E.). Avoided detection by turning away and slowing to 5 knots.
1235 Sighted one two engine bomber (Sally) bearing 060°(T), distant 6 miles. (Aircraft Contact No. 3) (Lat. 1-05.5 N., Long. 151-29.0 E.).
1236 Submerged and serviced torpedoes.
1441 Surfaced and resumed patrol at 10 knots.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-07.5 N., LONG. 151-34.0 E.
DIST: 342.5
FUEL: 2810
11 November
0605 Sighted convoy bearing 030°(T), distant 18,000 yards in early dawn. (Contact No. 1) (Lat. 00-20.0 N., Long. 148-35.0 E.).
0608 Submerged and commenced the approach.
0614 Manned battle stations submerged. (Attack No. 1) (Lat. 00-19.0 N., Long. 148-40.0 E.).
0625 Identified the convoy as three large transports with three escorting destroyers.
0710-23" Fired #1 tube.
0710-29" Fired #2 tube.
0710-36" Fired #3 tube.
0710-43" Fired #4 tube.
0710-45" Premature explosion, #1 torpedo, at 500 yards.
0710-50" Fired #5 tube.
0710-56" Fired #6 tube.
0711 Went deep, and commenced evasive action.
0711-25" #2 torpedo hit.
0711-33" #3 torpedo hit.
0716-30" First of four depth charges.
0726 Last depth charge, two of which were close aboard, overhead. No damage.
0815 At periscope depth, sighted one Asashio or Shigure class destroyer bearing 115°(T), distant 5000 yards conducting a routine supersonic search.
1009 Reload completed. Changed course to close destroyer for attack.
1045 Sighted destroyer bearing 125°(T), distant 20,000 yards, angle on the bow 180°.
1115 Surfaced and commenced search of area of attack.
1230 Sighted two depth charge marker buoys near debris and scum from the depth charging, but no wreckage or oil. Sent contact report.
1300 Cleared the area heading for center of assigned area.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 00-20.0 N. LONG. 148-38.0 E.
DIST: 243.9
FUEL: 1715
12 November
0450 Sighted a submarine on the surface, bearing 335°(T), distant 5000 yards. (Contact No. 2) (Lat. 1-58.0 N., Long. 149-04.0 E.).
0452 Submerged.
0505 Identified submarine as friendly. It was probably the ALBACORE.
0512 Submarine disappeared, either submerging or turning away.
0520-0525 Attempted to exchange recognition signals by underwater sound, but obtained no answers to our challenges.
0745 Surfaced and resumed 10 knot patrol.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 2-16.5 N. LONG. 149-38.5 E.
DIST: 230.0
FUEL: 1338
13 November
0617-0700 Trim dive.
1010 Sighted the mast and stack of a large ship resembling a tanker, bearing 112°(T), distant 25,000 yards. (Contact No. 3) (Lat. 2-16.0 N., Long 149-20.0 E.). Commenced tracking to gain position ahead for submerged attack.
1030 Lost contact with the ship and failed to regain it in spite of closing the estimated track at flank speed. The visibility became poor due to many rain squalls. Commenced a search of the possible escape courses, covering speeds up to 15 knots.
1345 Back tracked to cover slower speeds of the tanker, but found nothing.
1715 Set a course to arrive at estimated dawn position of the tanker, assuming he was headed for Truk.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 2-27.0 N. LONG. 149-37.0 E.
DIST: 269.5
FUEL: 1896
14 November
0517-0534 Trim dive.
0630 Arrived at estimated dawn position of the tanker. Commenced a search down his track. Results negative.
0950 Commenced searching to southward, on the Rabaul-Truk route, for a heavy cruiser damage by the SCAMP.
2200 Heard an explosion through the hull resembling a torpedo. (Lat. 2-21.0 N., Long. 149-35.0 E.). Stopped and listened for echo ranging, but heard nothing.
2205 Went ahead at five knots, manning sound.
2400 Resumed 10 knot patrol, sound search having revealed nothing. Hope the Japs finished off the cruiser for us!
1200 POSIT: LAT. 4-11.5 N. LONG. 150-32.0 E.
DIST: 314.9
FUEL: 2590
15 November
0150 Sighted two or three ships, probably men o'war, bearing 195°(T), distant 24,000 yards, in squally weather. (Contact No. 4) (Lat. 2-03.0 N., Long. 149-22.0 E.). Attempted to close and track them. Estimated their course 025°(T) to 050°(T), speed about 20 knots.
0250 Lost contact when the ships entered a heavy squall. Continued searching at high speed to no avail.
0345 Resumed 10 knot patrol toward last reported position of enemy cruiser.
0521-0538 Trim dive.
1051 Sighted one float biplane ("Pete"), bearing 240°(T), distant 6 miles. (Aircraft Contact No. 4) (Lat. 1-09.0 N., Long. 149-06.0 E.). Submerged.
1130 At 50 feet, picked up definite evidence of radar interference on the SD.
1203 Surfaced and continued search for wounded cruiser in the vicinity of 1-10.0 N., 149 E. Results negative.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-08.0 N. LONG. 148-59.5 E.
DIST: 282.5
FUEL: 2060
16 November
0525-0539 Trim dive.
Surface patrol at 10 knots.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 2-27.0 N. LONG. 149-45.5 E.
DIST: 268.7
FUEL: 1549
17 November
0310 Sighted a surfaced submarine bearing 225°(T), distant 5000 yards. (Contact No. 5) (Lat. 1-34.0 N., Long. 150-02.0 E.). This probably was the SCAMP. He sighted us about the same time, and both turned away and cleared the area.
0525-0543 Trim dive.
0955 Sighted two float biplanes ("Petes"), bearing 255°(T), distant 6 miles on a northerly course. (Aircraft Contact No. 5) (Lat. 1-35.0 N., Long. 149-02.0 E.).
Submerged to avoid detection.
1015 Surfaced.
1140 Sighted smoke of three ships, bearing 205°(T), distant 24,000 yards. (Contact No. 6) (Lat. 1-34.0 N., Long. 148-37.0 E.). Commenced tracking using the low periscope. Determined base course, 345°(T); speed 7.5 knots; convoy consisted of three marus and two escorts.
1327 Submerged. Manned battle stations submerged. (Attack No. 2) (Lat. 1-48.0 N., Long. 148-24.5 E.).
1440-15" Fired #1 tube.
1440-22" Fired #2 tube.
1440-29" Fired #3 tube.
1440-35" Fired #4 tube.
1440-40" Went deep and commenced evasive action.
1441-26" #3 torpedo hit.
1444 First of three depth charges. Paint chips and bits of cork were knocked loose.
1447-17" End of torpedo run explosion.
1448 String of twelve depth charges, fairly close, in pairs and singly.
1503 Last depth charge. A total of 15 charges were dropped, but they caused no damage.
1550 At periscope depth, sighted the damaged ship, bearing 075°(T), distant 12,000 yards, listed about 20° to port; one escort between us and the ship; and two columns of smoke to the northward. Commenced closing for kill.
1700 Another maru and the second escort are lying to near the damaged ship, range 9000 yards. Apparently they plan to tow the damaged ship, or to remove personnel should she sink. The other escort is now well to the south, conducting a routine supersonic search.
1915 Two distant explosions, apparently depth charges, but no escorts were in sight at the time. The third maru, which had been cruising at slow speed beyond the damaged ship, proceeded southward with one escort.
1920 Could not close the damaged ship by dark. Decided to pull clear, surface, and return to finish off the damaged ship, (and possibly the other ship also) using radar.
2005 Surfaced, and commenced closing the target group.
2050 Made contact on an escort bearing 090°(T), distant 3500 yards.
2053 The escort flashed the letter "A" at us, having made a radar or a sound contact, since the visibility was exceptionally poor and we had our tail toward him. Commenced a search of the area near the escort to locate the damaged ship.
2359 Completed the search and found nothing. It is believed that the damaged ship sank between our last look at about 1930 and our return to the area at 2050.
Commenced search along the probable route of the remaining ships of the convoy.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-33.0 N. LONG. 148-33.0 E.
DIST: 261.0
FUEL: 1498
18 November
0833 Sighted smoke bearing 021°(T), distant 15,000 yards. (Contact No. 7) (Lat. 3-03.0 N., Long. 148-37.0 E.).
Commenced closing and tracking.
0842 Lost contact when the "BLACKFISH" submerged, but we did not realize it was a submarine. Ran at flank speed and attempted to regain contact.
1005 Broke off chase and resumed 10 knot patrol.
1115 Sighted a submarine bearing 108°(T), distant 18,000 yards. (Lat. 3-25.0 N., Long. 148-35.0 E.).
Commenced closing.
1132 Submerged and continued closing the submarine.
1220 Determined that the submarine had also submerged. Changed course to southward, went deep and serviced all torpedoes.
1510 Surfaced.
1656 Sighted and exchanged recognition signals with the "BLACKFISH". The whole story was now clear. It was obvious that all our contacts today were with the "BLACKFISH"; and that we roared by him at about 0900, making 19 knots. Closed the BLACKFISH and asked that he remain in company until we tuned our radar with its new magnetron. He did likewise.
1945 Parted company with BLACKFISH with both radars in better condition.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 3-24.0 N. LONG. 148-35.0 E.
DIST: 214.3
FUEL: 1716
19 November
0958 Sighted the masts of three ships, bearing 061°(T), distant 20,000 yards. (Contact No. 8) (Lat. 1-16.0 N., Long. 149-34.0 E.). Tracked at high speed on the surface. Determined the course as 170°(T), speed as 7 knots. We were about 8 miles from the track at the time of sighting.
1045 Sighted one two-engine bomber ("Sally") bearing 130°(T), distant 5 miles. (Aircraft Contact No. 6) (Lat. 1-05.0 N., Long. 149-39.0 E.). Submerged and commenced closing the track at high speed.
1210 Identified convoy, much to our disappointment, as three 100-300 ton trawlers, one with a small landing barge in tow, and four small motor sampans.
Discontinued the approach at 4000 yards, when guns of about 6 pound caliber were seen mounted on the trawlers. Decided not to use the deck gun in view of: (1) The trawlers' guns; (2) the small value of the targets; (3) the presence of aircraft; (4) the unnecessary revelation of our position.
1357 Surfaced and resumed 10 knot patrol.
1425 Sighted a very large unidentified plane bearing 280°(T), distant 15 miles. (Aircraft Contact No. 7) (Lat. 1-10.0 N., Long. 149-48.0 E.). Avoided detection by turning away and slowing to five knots. This plane was headed south.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 1-03.0 N. LONG. 149-42.0 E.
DIST: 253.6
FUEL: 1897
20 November
1215-1310 Submerged during a violent rain squall.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 2-20.0 N. LONG. 148-35.0 E.
DIST: 210.1
FUEL: 1475
21 November
Patrolling to the westward at standard speed.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 2-44.0 N. LONG. 144-49.5 E.
DIST: 290.0
FUEL: 1931
22 November
0250 Evidence of an SJ radar in the vicinity present on our screen. This remained until the radar was secured at daylight. Believe BLACKFISH was astern of us and that the interference was caused by his SJ.
0531-0549 Trim dive.
0907 Sighted smoke of three ships bearing 307°(T), distant 30,000 yards. Commenced tracking on the surface. Determined convoy to consist of four marus, on base course 130°(T). (Contact No. 9) (Lat. 2-53.0 N., Long. 141-33.0 E.).
1003 Submerged and commenced the approach.
1042 Manned battle stations submerged. (Attack No. 3) (Lat. 3-00.0 N., Long. 141-33.0 E.).
1137-39" Fired #1 tube.
1137-45" Fired #2 tube.
1137-52" Fired #3 tube.
1137-58" Fired #4 tube.
1138-30" Went deep and commenced evasive tactics.
1139-45" First of three small explosions.
1142-15" Heavy explosions, possibly end of torpedo run explosion.
1143-20" Second heavy explosion.
1215 Returned to periscope depth and sighted the four freighters lying to bearing 155°(T) to 180°(T), distant 4000 to 5000 yards, on headings between 270°(T) and 290°(T). None were visibly damaged, however. The two PC boats were between the Drum and the freighters, distant about 2500 yards, conducting a routine supersonic search.
1225 At deep submergence, having seen one PC boat heading in our general direction.
1243 First of four 600 pounders, close!
1312 Escort passed overhead from the starboard quarter. His screws were plainly audible through the hull.
1313 Four more big ones, really close, overhead abaft the conning tower. The most serious damage these caused was a crack in the conning tower door frame and plating. See paragraph (K) for all the details.
1325 Three 300 pound charges, farther away. Total 11.
1630 At periscope depth, nothing in sight, though the echo ranging was still audible bearing 245°(T).
1752 Surfaced. Headed northeast to send contact report and to report the crack in the conning tower.
1900 Changed course to attempt to regain contact with the convoy and trail it.
2107 Received orders to pull clear.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 3-02.0 N. LONG. 141-35.0 E.
DIST: 248.9
FUEL: 1418
23 November
0105 Received orders to head for Pearl Harbor. Set course 024°(T).
1100 Passed to operational control of Commander Submarine Pacific, having been under CTF-72 since 1 April 1943.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 5-29.0 N. LONG. 144-04.0 E.
DIST: 272.2
FUEL: 2606
24 November
0001 Picked up indications on the ARC of a radar station, probably on Olimarao Islands, Lat. 7-40.0 N., Long. 145-47.0 E. Went to four engine speed to be well clear of the area by dawn.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 10-15.0 N. LONG. 146-50.0 E.
DIST: 342.1
FUEL: 3933
25 November
0548-0606 Trim dive.
1800 All hands enjoyed an excellent Thanksgiving Dinner, right down to ice cream, pie and cake for dessert.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 13-11.5 N. LONG. 150-29.0 E.
DIST: 316.6
FUEL: 3266
26 November
0800-0830 Trim dive.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 14-28.0 N. LONG. 155-08.0 E.
DIST: 309.1
FUEL: 3219
27 November
0100 Changed to -12 zone time.
0616-0630 (m) Trim dive.
1200 (m) POSIT: LAT. 15-45.5 N. LONG. 159-44.5 E.
DIST: 306.9
FUEL: 3243
28 November
1255-1318 (m) Trim dive.
1200 (m) POSIT: LAT. 17-03.0 N. LONG. 164-24.0 E.
DIST: 304.1
FUEL: 3335
29 November
0806-0825 (m) Trim dive.
1200 (m) POSIT: LAT. 17-59.0 N. LONG. 169-24.0 E.
DIST: 294.6
FUEL: 3181
30 November
0630-0639 (m) Trim dive.
1200 (m) POSIT: LAT. 18-51.0 N. LONG. 174-05.0 E.
DIST: 287.9
FUEL: 3289
1 December
0610-0623 (m) Trim dive.
1530 (m) Crossed the International Date Line. Changed to -12 zone time and the date to 30 November, 1943.
1200 (m) POSIT: LAT. 19-36.5 N. LONG. 179-11.0 E.
DIST: 304.9
FUEL: 3301
30 November
2200 (Y) Changed to -11 zone time.
1 December
0806-1012 (x) Trim dive.
1200 (x) POSIT: LAT. 20-22.5 N. LONG. 175-52.5 W.
DIST: 287.2
FUEL: 2882
2 December
0400 Changed to -10 zone time.
1208-1220 (w) Trim dive.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 20-33.0 N. LONG. 171-21.5 W.
DIST: 277.6
FUEL: 2306
3 December
0808-0820 (w) Trim dive.
1200 POSIT: LAT. 20-38.5 N. LONG. 166-53.5 W.
DIST: 260.0
FUEL: 3128
4 December
1200 (w) POSIT: LAT. 20-50.0 N. LONG. 161-31.5 W.
DIST: 304.7
FUEL: 3221
5 December
0200 (w) Changed to -9.5 zone time.
0615 (VW) Sighted and exchanged recognition signals with SCORPION.
0642 Sighted and exchanged recognition signals with escort, PC586.
Proceeded at full speed to Pearl Harbor.
AM Sighted friendly planes.
1100 Moored to Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor, T.H.

(C) Weather

There were fewer glassy days than previously experienced in the area between the Bismarck Archipelago and the Caroline Islands between longitudes 155° E. and 140° E. In general, the visibility was good both during the day and at night.

However, from the tenth to the sixteenth of November, a weather front was present near 4° North, moving slowly south to about 2° North. Squalls were frequent during this period and twice hindered the search for ships after contact had been made.

(D) Tidal Information

In the equatorial region between longitudes 140° East to 152° East, a current setting 285°(T), varying from one-half to one knot was experienced during the entire time in the area. The force and direction of the wind had little effect on this current.

(E) Navigational Aids

None sighted.

(F) Ship Contacts

No. Date Time Lat.
Description Course Masthead Init. Range Min. Range Speed
Contact By Remarks
1. 11 Nov. 0605 (L) 0-20 148-35 3 Transports
3 Destroyers
165°(T) 110 ft. 18,000 yds. 1750 yds. 7 knots
100 RPM
L.L. Attack No. 1
2. 12 Nov. 0450 (L) 1-58 149-04 1 Submarine 040°(T)
- 5000 yds. 2000 yds. 7 knots H.L. Probably U.S.S. ALBACORE
3. 13 Nov. 1015 (L) 2-16 149-20 Tanker 025°(T) - 25,000 yds. 25,000 yds. - L.L. Lost contact on attempted end around.
4. 15 Nov. 0150 (L) 2-03 149-22 3 Warships 025°-
- 25,000 yds. 20,000 yds. High L.L. Lost in a rain squall.
5. 17 Nov. 0310 (L) 1-34 150-02 1 Submarine East - 5000 yds. 5000 yds. - H.L. Probably U.S.S. SCAMP
6. 17 Nov. 1140 (L) 1-34 148-37 3 Freighters
2 PC Boats
345°(T) 95 ft. 24,000 yds. 1000 yds. 7.5 knots
100 RPM
L.L. Attack No. 2
7. 18 Nov. 0833 (L) 3-03 148-37 1 Submarine - - 15,000 yds. Rendezvous - H.P. U.S.S. BLACKFISH
8. 19 Nov. 0958 (L) 1-16 149-34 3 Trawlers
4 Motor Sampan
1 Barge
170°(T) - 20,000 yds. 4000 yds. 7 knots H.P. Not worth torpedo.
9. 22 Nov. 0907 (L) 2-53 141-36.5 4 Freighters
2 PC Boats
130°(T) 95 ft. 30,000 yds. 2000 yds. 7.5 knots
80 RPM
L.P. Attack No. 3


(1) Under "Contact By":
H.P. indicates High Periscope
L.P. indicates Low Periscope
H.L. indicates Sheers Lookout
L.L. indicates Lookout or OOD
(2) The RPM listed are for the ships chosen as the target for attack.

(G) Aircraft Contacts

No. Date Time Lat. Long.
Description Course Altitude Max. Range Min. Range Contact By Remarks
1. 6 Nov. 0655 (L) 12-09 S. 157-41 USN TBF Avenger 210° 1000 ft. 6 miles 0 S.S. Exchanged signals
2. 10 Nov. 1115 (L) 1-04 N. 151-43 Large Uniden North 1000 ft. 12 miles 12 miles S.S. Turned away & reduced speed.
3. 10 Nov. 1235 (L) 1-05.5 N. 151-29 1 "Sally" South 10,000 ft. 6 miles 6 miles S.S. Not sighted - dove.
4. 15 Nov. 1051 (L) 1-09 N. 149-06 1 "Pete" 340° 1000 ft. 6 miles 6 miles S.S. Dove.
5. 17 Nov. 0955 (L) 1-35 N. 149-02 2 "Petes" 025° 2000 ft. 6 miles 6 miles S.S. Dove.
6. 19 Nov. 1045 (L) 1-05 N. 149-39 1 "Sally" 320° 5000 ft. 5 miles 5 miles S.S. During chase - dove.
7. 19 Nov. 1425 (L) 1-10 N. 149-48 Large Uniden South 1000 ft. 15 miles 15 miles S.S. Turned away & reduced speed.


(1) Under "Contact By":
SS indicates sighted while on the surface.

(H) Attack Data

U.S.S. DRUM, Torpedo Attack No. 1, Patrol No. 8

Time: 0710 (L) Date: 11 November 1943 Lat. 0-19.0 N., Long. 148-40.0 E.

Target Data - Damage Inflicted


Three transports in column (form DOG), escorted by three destroyers, one on port bow of leading ship, one on port quarter of last ship, one on starboard beam of second ship. The leading ship was an 8000-9000 ton KMFKM freighter-transport; the second ship, the target, was a 11,000-12,000 ton passenger ship; the third ship was not well identified, but was about 6000-7000 tons. The convoy was sighted prior to dawn on the surface. Submerged and closed track in growing light. Attack made in glassy sea one-half hour after sunrise.

Ships Sunk:


Ships Damaged:

One 11,000-12,000 ton passenger ship similar to Yasukuni Maru (11,930 tons) (MFM).

Damage Determined By:

(1) Hearing two torpedo explosions 56 sec. and 57 sec. after firing #2 and #3 torpedoes
(2) The time of run of these torpedoes gives a range of 1500 yards, while the estimated range was 1750 yards. The explosions sounded similar to, but were more distant than the premature explosion of No. 1 torpedo which was seen about 500 yards ahead of the Drum.

Target Draft 25 feet, Course 190°(T), Speed 7 knots, Range 1750 yds.

Own Ship Data:

Speed 3 knots, Course 110°(T), Depth 64 ft., Angle 0°

Fire Control and Torpedo Data

Type Attack

Sighted convoy on the surface and submerged at about 18,000 yards. Closed the track of the target group, which was zig-zagging on 8 to 10 minute legs. When the range was 3800 yards, 3600 yards to the track, the target group changed course 25 degrees toward us, presenting a favorable attack opportunity.

A spread of 1.5 degrees between the torpedoes was set using the offset dial.

Bearings were fed into the TDC during the firing of the first three torpedoes, after which the attention of the Commanding Officer was directed to the closest destroyer on the starboard bow.

There were no end of run explosions.

Attack #1
Tubes Fired #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6
Track Angle 103°S 103°S 103°S 105°S 103°S 103°S
Gyro Angle 3°R 3°R 3°R 5°R 3°R 3°R
Depth Set 15 ft. 15 ft. 15 ft. 15 ft. 15 ft. 15 ft.
Power High High High High High High
Hit or Miss Miss Hit Hit Miss Miss Miss
Erratic? Yes No No No No No
Mark Torpedo XIV-3A XIV-3A XIV-3A XIV-3A XIV-3A XIV-3A
Serial No. 24843 39798 22715 24831 24844 22713
Mark Exploder VI-1 VI-1 VI-1 VI-1 VI-1 VI-1
Serial No. 6604 6599 14670 6314 6627 6585
Actuation Set Contact
Actuation Actual Premature Contact Contact - - -
Serial No. 1738 2647 1717 1702 1831 2683
Firing Interval - 6 sec. 7 sec. 7 sec. 7 sec. 7 sec.
Type Spread 3 3/4°R 2 1/4°R 3/4°R 3/4°L 2 1/4°L 3 3/4°L

Sea conditions - glassy.

Overhaul activity - Subase Brisbane.


(1) Torpedo #24843 (#1) exploded prematurely after 20 sec., at about 500 yards.

U.S.S. DRUM, Torpedo Attack No. 2, Patrol No. 8

Time: 1440 (L) Date: 17 November 1943 Lat. 1-48.0 N., Long. 148-24.5 E.

Target Data - Damage Inflicted


Three freighters in line of bearing, escorted by two PC boats (one was #33), one on port bow of leading ship, the other on starboard beam of last ship. The target was the leading ship (MFM), 5000 tons, passenger cargo type. The other two marus were 4500 ton (MKFM) and 4000 ton (MFM) types.

The convoy's smoke was sighted on the surface in good visibility. The attack was made in a choppy sea.

Ships Sunk:

One (MFM) passenger cargo type, similar to Naminoue Maru (4731 ton).

Ships Damaged:


Damage Determined By:

(1) Hearing one torpedo explosion 57 sec. after firing the third torpedo.
(2) Seeing the ship lying to, with a 20° list to port.
(3) Finding no trace of damaged ship at 2045 (L) in spite of closing point where ship was last sighted lying to at 1930 (L).

Target Draft 18 feet, Course 018°(T), Speed 7.5 knots, Range 1350 yds.

Own Ship Data:

Speed 2 knots, Course 160°(T), Depth 64 feet, Angle 0°

Fire Control and Torpedo Data

Type Attack

Sighted the convoy on the surface at about 24,000 yards. Tracked using #1 periscope and determined the base course as 345°(T), with the convoy zig-zagging on 7 minute legs from 010°(T) to 320°(T). Submerged 20,000 yards ahead of convoy and conducted a normal approach using the bow tubes.

Gained a position inside the port screen and fired four torpedoes at the leading and largest ship using a 2° offset dial spread between torpedoes, on a 35°P track, torpedo run 1350 yards. Firing bearings were fed into the TDC during the firing of all torpedoes. Drum was not detected prior to the explosion of the torpedo.

Attack #2
Tubes Fired #1 #2 #3 #4
Track Angle 37°P 36°P 35°P 34°P
Gyro Angle 1 1/2°R 2 1/2°R 3 1/2°R 4 1/2°R
Depth Set 12 ft. 12 ft. 12 ft. 12 ft.
Power High High High High
Hit or Miss Miss Miss Hit Miss
Erratic? No No No No
Mark Torpedo XIV-3A XIV-3A XIV-3A XIV-3A
Serial No. 25555 25636 22710 22716
Mark Exploder VI-1 VI-1 VI-1 VI-1
Serial No. 6326 6628 5614 6620
Actuation Set Contact
Actuation Actual - - Contact -
Mark Warhead XVI XVI XVI XVI
Serial No. 2609 2628 2630 1994
Firing Interval - 7 sec. 7 sec. 7 sec.
Type Spread 3°L 1°L 1°R 3°R

Sea conditions - choppy, no swell.

Overhaul activity - Subase, Brisbane, Aust.


A spread of 2° between torpedoes was used. 1° spread would have undoubtedly have produced two hits. One end of run explosion occurred 6 min. 02 sec. after firing the first torpedo.

U.S.S. DRUM, Torpedo Attack No. 3, Patrol No. 8

Time: 1337 (L) Date: 22 November 1943 Lat. 3-00.0 N., Long. 141-33.0 E.

Target Data - Damage Inflicted


Four freighters in two columns, escorted by two PC boats, one on either beam of the convoy. The target was the leading ship of the starboard column, and was a MFM well deck 5000 ton freighter. Two of the others were similar, while the fourth maru was about 3500 tons. The convoy's smoke was sighted on the surface in good visibility. The attack was made in a lightly rippled sea with a slight swell.

Ships Sunk:


Ships Damaged:

Not determined.

Damage Determined By:

(1) The explosions which occurred cannot be reconciled as to time.
(2) The fact that all four freighters were lying to on the reverse of the base course one half hour after firing may indicated possible damage to one.

Target Draft 24 feet, Course 172°(T), Speed 7.5 knots, Range 2350 yds.

Own Ship Data:

Speed 2 knots, Course 240°(T), Depth 64 feet, Angle 0°

Fire Control and Torpedo Data

Type Attack

Sighted the smoke of the convoy on the surface at about 30,000 yards. Tracked, using #1 periscope, and determined the base course as 130°(T) with the convoy zig-zagging on 7-8 minute legs from 090°(T) to 170°(T). Submerged 22,000 yards ahead of convoy and conducted a normal approach using the bow tubes.

Gained a position between the two columns of the convoy, and fired four torpedoes at the leading ship in the starboard column using a 1 1/2° offset dial spread between torpedoes on a 118°P track at a range of 2350 yards, torpedo run, 2600 yards. Firing bearings were fed into the TDC during the firing. The target showed no indications of having sighted the Drum even after firing the torpedoes. However, the only explanation for the misses if misses is that the torpedoes were sighted and the target maneuvered to avoid.

Attack #3
Tubes Fired #1 #2 #3 #4
Track Angle 118°P 117°P 117°P 116°P
Gyro Angle 6°L 5°L 5°L 4°L
Depth Set 16 ft. 16 ft. 16 ft. 16 ft.
Power High High High High
Hit or Miss Miss MIss Miss Miss
Erratic? No No No No
Mark Torpedo XIV-3A XIV-3A XIV-3A XIV-3A
Serial No. 39498 22711 39543 22714
Mark Exploder VI-1 VI-1 VI-1 VI-1
Serial No. 5070 7303 6596 6625
Actuation Set Contact
Actuation Actual - - - -
Mark Warhead XVI XVI XVI XVI
Serial No. 2675 1762 1789 2631
Firing Interval - 6 sec. 7 sec. 6 sec.
Type Spread 2°L 3/4°L 3/4°R 2°R

Sea conditions - rippled, slight swell.

Overhaul activity - Subase, Brisbane, Aust.


(1) Two probable end of run explosions occurred 4 min. 36 sec. and 5 min. 41 sec. after firing the first torpedo.

(I) Mines

None encountered.

(J) Anti Submarine Measures and Evasive Tactics

Counter Attack #1

The expected heavy depth charging following attack no. 1 never materialized.

The convoy was escorted by three Asashio or Shigure type destroyers, one on the port bow, one on the port quarter, and one on the starboard beam of the column. They were echo ranging on 16, 16.5, and 17 kilocycles.

The premature explosion of the first torpedo gave the destroyers their first indication of the Drum's presence. All immediately ceased pinging and commenced a sound listening search. One distant depth charge was dropped five minutes after firing. Five minutes later a pair of close ones were dropped, and a minute later a parting shot, not close.

The three destroyers continued the search for about one half hour after which two left to rejoin the convoy. The third destroyer was seen echo ranging about 5000 yards astern one hour after the attack. No good contacts were obtained and maintained by any of the destroyers.

The sea was glassy, and a sharp gradient was noted at about 280 feet.

Evasive measures included running silent and gradually working away from the listening destroyers, leaving them well astern after one hour.

During the surface search of the area of the attack, two barrels with bamboo poles, attached (but no flags attached to poles) were sighted close to depth charge debris and foam.

Counter Attack #2

PC 33 and his pal did an excellent job of depth charging after attack no. 2.

The Drum attacked the leading ship from its port bow, going inside the escort undetected. Until the attack was made, the escorts echo-ranged on 16-20 kilocycles, using automatic keying, often shifting frequencies.

Two and a half minutes after the torpedo explosion, three depth charges exploded close overhead, jarring paint and bits of cork loose. Thereafter, the escorts maintained fair contact by listening and dropped twelve more charges, none as close as the first barrage. At 1510, one escort commenced echo ranging, but never regained contact.

One hour and ten minutes after firing, Drum commenced evading at periscope depth. Although the escort came within 2500 yards (close enough to see his "PC33"), he never made a contact.

Five hours after firing, two distant charges exploded but no escort was in sight at that time.

Counter Attack #3

The working over the PC's of attack no. 3 gave the Drum, put counter attack #2 to shame. This time the close ones were really close, and they were big!

The attack was executed from a position between the two columns of the convoy. The escorts did not know a submarine was present until numerous small and large explosions occurred after the torpedo firing. During the approach, both escorts echo-ranged on about 18 kilocycles, automatic keying, 8 second intervals.

Apparently the PC boats could not find the Drum in the melee of screws in close proximity to the convoy. For about one half hour, a supersonic search was conducted while Drum evaded at deep submergence to the northwestward, on the reverse of the convoy's base course. At that time Drum came to periscope depth to look things over.

The escorts were 2500 yards away between us and the convoy, which was apparently lying to on headings 270°(T) to 290°(T). While we were at periscope depth, one escort made sound contact and headed towards us, as we returned to deep submergence.

Twenty-eight minutes after our look four 600 pounders went off close aboard. One half hour later, one escort, having alternately listened and pinged, passed overhead just abaft the conning tower and dropped four more big ones. These were even closer than the first barrage and caused the damage listed in paragraph (K) (1).

Ten minutes later a parting shot of three 300 pounders went off farther away. After that, sound contact was not regained by the escorts who continued to listen and echo-range for about two hours, gradually pulling away.

The final evasion course was northeast, after having boxed the compass at various times during the counter attack. Six hours after the attack, four hours after the last barrage, Drum surfaced and found nothing in sight.

Sound conditions were exceptionally good. There was no temperature gradient to 300 feet.

(K) Major Defects and Damage

(1.) Damage From #3 Depth Charge Attack

(a) Cracked the conning tower door frame at the upper hinge and the plating adjacent thereto for about four inches. Water entered at about two or three gallons a minute at deep submergence.
(b) Caused the port vent riser of #7 MBT to leak at a flange.
(c) Started the maneuvering room hard patch leaking again over the center of the main control cubicle. This was a weak spot prior to the refit following the second patrol when the U.S.S. FULTON succeeded in caulking the patch. No trouble had been experienced for about one year.
(d) Caused #5 and #6 impulse bottles to leak slightly.
(e) Deranged the low power system of #2 periscope.
(f) Deranged the target speed dial of TDC.

Damage From #2 Depth Charge Attack

(a) On several of the closer depth charges, the suction valve from the fuel oil collecting tank opened and allowed fuel to enter the after engine room in a fine spray. On the fourth such occasion, it refused to reseat, and about five hundred gallons of fuel oil went into the bilges. Heavy fumes permeated the after part of the ship. This valve was tested the following day at 275 feet and proved tight. It also held well during the heavier depth charging on 22 November, 1943.

(2.) Engineering

On two occasions November 9 and 26, #2 auxiliary engine failed to stop on diving. In both instances the engine was stopped by closing the outboard exhaust valve. This blew the gaskets on the explosion plates, but caused no other damage.

Both times the racks were found clean and showed no evidence of sticking.

(3.) Torpedoes

Torpedo #39804 flooded twice, having about six gallons of water in the afterbody each time.

Torpedoes #39601 and #22673 had about two pints in the afterbody.

In all cases the gyros were dry and no cause for flooding was apparent. The torpedoes were under pressure not over fifteen minutes.

Exploder #6604 functioned prematurely after twenty seconds of running. The depth setting was fifteen feet. The sea was glassy. The tube was flooded about one minute before firing.

(L) Radio

No material casualties were experienced. Both Belconnen and NPM schedules were copied satisfactorily. All transmissions to Australian stations were successful.

(M) Radar

(1.) SJ

The performance of the SJ during this patrol was poorer than during any previous patrols.

All material talent in the Brisbane area worked until sailing time to make the lobe switching operative. These efforts were unsuccessful. Thus in spite of operation of the lobe switching motor, the lobe switching unit failed to function properly at any time.

The magnetron installed in Brisbane was unstable and unreliable. On 18 November, a rendezvous with the BLACKFISH in the area permitted us to install and tune a new magnetron after which the SJ appeared more reliable, though the lobe switching unit was still inoperative.

(2.) SD

The operation of the SD was not consistent. Unstable plate voltage of the cathode ray tube is the apparent cause of this. A complete overhaul of the SD is necessary and has been requested during the present refit.

(3.) ARC-1

The ARC finally found an enemy radar, though efforts to do so on four previous patrols had been unsuccessful.

This radar probably was on Olimarao Islands, Lat. 7-40.0 N., Long. 145-47.0 E. Its frequency was 230 megacycles, pulse rate 900.

(N) Sound Gear and Sound Conditions

In the region near the equator between longitudes 152° E. and 140° E., sound conditions proved good. Three attacks were made, during two of which excellent sound conditions maintained. There was very little background noise present most of the time.

Screws of escorts and merchant vessels were heard at about 6000 yards on several occasions.

The sound gear functioned well throughout the patrol.

(O) Density Layers

As usual, density layers were few and far between in the area between the Bismarck Archipelago and the Carolines.

The complete lack of any kind of layer during the depth charging of 22 November 1943 no doubt made the escorts' task considerably easier.

Several bathythermograph cards were taken during the patrol.

Date Lat. Long. Surface Temp. Least Temp. Gradient At
10 Nov. 149° E. 87° 83° 230 ft.
17 Nov. 2° N. 148° E. 88° 87° -
18 Nov. 3° N. 148° E. 87° 85° 130 ft.
22 Nov. 3° N. 141° E. 88° 87.5° -

(P) Health, Food, and Habitability

Except for one slight case of heat prostration during the running silent period on 22 November 1943, the health of the crew was excellent.

The food was well prepared at all times. It was unfortunate, however, that no meat except beef and lamb were obtainable in Australia; nor were any fresh frozen vegetables or fruits available.

Since most of the patrol was spent on the surface, habitability was excellent. The supply of fresh potatoes in the forward torpedo room proved a breeding place for flies. The forward torpedo room waged an intensive, though losing, battle against them, finally resorting to the Admiral Halsey slogan, "KILL FLIES, KILL FLIES, KILL MORE FLIES, _______________ !"

(Q) Personnel

The state of training and morale of the crew is good. In spite of long hours under glaring visibility conditions, the lookouts performed very well. The lack of casualties to material speaks well for the operating personnel.

Again, as on the seventh patrol, the caliber of the personnel obtained from the Submarine Base in Brisbane and the Submarine Division 82 proved high.

(R) Miles Steamed - Fuel Used

Brisbane to Area 2097.5 Miles 17934 Gallons
In Area 3672.0 Miles 26499 Gallons
Area to Pearl Harbor 3848.4 Miles 40584 Gallons
Total 9617.9 Miles 85017 Gallons

(S) Duration

Days Enroute to Area 7
Days in Area 15
Days Enroute to Pearl Harbor 13
Days Submerged 0

(T) Factors of Endurance Remaining

Torpedoes 10
Fuel 20873 gallons
Provisions 40 days
Personnel 30 days

Limiting Factor of This Patrol:

Damage sustained during depth charging ended the patrol.

(U) Remarks

Of the fifteen days on station, only thirty-seven hours eleven minutes were spent submerged. Of this time some twenty hours were during attacks and counter attacks.

It is significant to note that all six aircraft contacts in the area were in the vicinity of 1° N. Although much time was spent near 2° N., no planes were sighted in that locality.

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