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Aircraft Carriers






Torpedo Boats

Liberty Ships

Foreign Warships

Warships Associated With
World War II in the Pacific



Gato class

USS Drum
USS Drum, Mobile, AL
(Photo by USS Alabama Battleship Commission, 1985)

Name:USS Drum (SS-228)
Location:Battleship Parkway, Mobile, Alabama
Owner:USS Alabama Battleship Commission
Condition:Excellent, unaltered

Displacement:1,526 tons surface / 2,424 tons submerged
Length:312 feet
Width:27 feet (at the beam)
Mean Draft:15 feet
Machinery:Diesel-electric drive
Maximum Speed:20 knots (surface) / 9 knots (submerged)
Test Depth:300 feet
Armament:Ten Torpedo Tubes, 6 forward and 4 aft, with 14 reloads, total 24 torpedoes; 1 5"/25 caliber gun; 1-40mm gun; 1-20mm gun.
Crew:72 enlisted, 7 officers

Builder:Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Launched:May 12, 1941
Commissioned:November 1, 1941


USS Drum (SS-228) was built by the U.S Navy Yard at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She was launched on May 12, 1941, and was commissioned on November 1, 1941.

USS Drum is a fleet-type submarine (built to maintain speeds averaging 17 knots) of the Gato class. The deck is teakwood, and the submarine's exterior is painted black and haze grey. USS Drum is a pre-snorkle submarine, operating underwater on batteries, and powered by a diesel electric system.

USS Drum is now moored with the Battleship USS Alabama at Battleship Alabama Memorial park in Mobile, Alabama. USS Drum is in excellent condition and retains her World War II integrity.

Role of the Submarine in World War II

In the conflict against Japan in World War II, the role and importance of the submarine forces of the United States cannot be overestimated. American sub marines sank more than 600,000 tons of enemy warships and more than 5,000,000 tons of merchant shipping, thus destroying much of Japan's ocean commerce. This was accomplished by a force that never numbered more than two percent of naval personnel engaged in the war. The American submarine war against Japan created a blockade that denied her the oil, iron ore, food, and other raw materials she needed to continue to fight. By 1945 this submarine war made it impossible for any Japanese ship to sail the ocean. Without this commerce and the raw materials it supplied to her war effort, Japan found it impossible to continue the war outside of the homeland. [1]

USS Drum represents the U.S. submarine forces that fought against Japan in World War II for the following reasons:

  1. USS Drum was the first of the Gato class of submarines to be completed by the United States before World War II. The Gato class was the standard design for American fleet submarines at the beginning of the war. The Gato class and its successor , the Balao class, bore the brunt of the fighting against Japan during the war. Gato class submarines were successful boats that proved to be fast, strong, well armed, and suited to the long range patrols necessary to fight in the Pacific.

  2. USS Drum conducted 13 War Patrols and sank 15 Japanese ships totaling more than 80,000 tons. USS Drum was awarded 12 battle stars for her World War II service.

  3. USS Drum is in excellent condition and retains her World War II integrity.


1. Drew Middleton, Submarine--The Ultimate Navy Weapon--Its Past, Present, and Future (Chicago, Illinois: Playboy Press, 1976), pp. 109-12.

Edwin P. Hoyt, Submarines at War--The History of the American Silent Service (New York: Stein and Day, 1983), pp. 297-98.

Richard H. O'Kane, Clear the Bridge (New York: Bantam Books, 1981), pp. 465-67.


Alden, John A. The Fleet Submarine in the US Navy--A Design and Construction History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1979.

Blair, Clay, Jr. Silent Victory--The US Submarine War Against Japan. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1975.

Hoyt, Edwin P. Submarine at War--The History of the American Silent Service. New York: Stein and Day, 1983.

Middleton, Drew. Submarine--The Ultimate Naval Weapon-Its Past, Present, and Future. Chicago, Illinois: Playboy Press, 1976.

O'Kane, Richard. Clear the Bridge. New York: Bantam Books, 1981.

Roscoe, Theodore. United States Submarine Operations in World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute, 1965.


USS Drum USS Drum USS Drum

(click on the above photographs for a more detailed view)

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