Save Our Sub



Illustrious Service


Awaiting Disposition


SOS –Save Our Sub

Dear Drum Shipmates, Fellow Submariners and Friends,

Did you receive your tax rebate, win a lottery lately, or maybe just have lots of money?

We need your help! Can you spare $25, $50, $100, $200, or more to Save Our Sub? The MIHPF - Mare Island Historic Park Foundation - is at a point where they need additional funds to move forward with their efforts to obtain and restore the USS Drum SSN-677. So, your contribution is needed now!

The folks at the MIHPF, mostly volunteers, have been working very hard preparing proposals, making plans, meeting with Navy, Government and Political officials trying to wrestle the Drum away from the scrap yard. Some of this work gets frustrating, so imagine the encouragement they would get if financial support started flowing especially from former Crewmen and Submariners.  In addition to a personal donation, you can also help with the fundraising efforts by asking your family, friends and co-workers to consider sending in a donation. Also, please check with your employer to see if they will match your donation.

You can send your donation by check (payable to Mare Island Historic Park Foundation) to:

Mare Island Historic Park Foundation
328 Seawind Drive
Vallejo, CA 94590

If you prefer to get more information about the MIHPF, then send your name and mailing address to Ken Zadwick (e-mail:, and he will send you a pamphlet and donation application.

IMPORTANT! Please make sure you identify yourself as a Drum Crewman. We want to make sure that our shipmates are properly recognized.

The MIHPF is a 501(C)(3) publicly supported, non-profit organization, so your donation is tax deductible.

The following documents will give you some background and status of the Drum donation efforts.

Let’s Save Our Sub!

Yours truly,

Rick Wetmore (

Former ET1 (SS) Drum Plankowner
USS Drum Web Page


Message from Ken Zadwick,
Founder and President of the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation

Congress has authorized the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation and the City of Vallejo to Return the USS DRUM, (SSN 677) to MARE ISLAND where she will become a museum at the Shipyard where she was built.  The DRUM will be the only Cold War Frontline Sturgeon Class Nuclear Submarine to be  placed on public display.

Now it is critical that we all invest in the process required by the Navy before the USS DRUM can make the journey from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton Washington .

Much work has been done to prepare for the coming of the DRUM to the place where she was built in 1970.  The DRUM was the last of 513 ships to be built at the yard founded by David Glasgow Farragut in 1854.  The Foundation has in place long-term agreements to use berthing space at the Mare Island waterfront.  Plans include final placement in the Historic Drydock No. I, opened in 1891 after 17 years of construction.

The USS DRUM will be the centerpiece of  the National Historic Landmark established in 1975 to honor Mare Island ’s illustrious history in the service of our country.  Mare Island will celebrate it’s 150th birthday in September 2004.

The investment in the Drum project will bring many thousands of tourists to restore the economy lost when the Shipyard closed in 1996.  A highly experienced consulting firm, Economic Research Associates, has confirmed these projections in a report abut the DRUM display project.

The DRUM will join the Historic Landmark properties managed by the Foundation.  These include the 1901 St. Peter’s Chapel with it’s 29 Tiffany Stained Glass windows, the Shipyard Commander’s  Mansion , the 1855, 50,000 sq. ft. Artifacts Museum, and the huge Mare Island collection.

There is only limited time to raise the needed funds.  We must not miss out on the opportunity to save the DRUM from the cutting torch.  This  historic submarine represents a very important era in our Country’s history.  The display will honor the Submariners of the cold war, and the Shipyard employees who toiled to make her.  Your generous donation or multiyear pledge will assure the success of the long efforts of all the donors and volunteers.


Kenneth Zadwick , President


Letter to Congressman Miller....  enlisting political support to get the Navy to move on the Drum donation.

September 5, 2003

The Honorable George Miller
Congressman, 7th District, CA
2205 Rayburn House Office Building
, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Miller:

We are writing to request that you coordinate the joint signature of the attached letter to the Secretary of the Navy requesting that the Navy fund and perform the engineering and cost estimates necessary to refine their previous class F cost estimates for donation of the USS DRUM to the City of Vallejo (City).

You have been instrumental to date in efforts to preserve and display the USS DRUM to honor Mare Island ’s illustrious history in the service of our country as the centerpiece at the Mare Island National Historic Landmark established in 1975.  Approval of our ship application is a critical step in the acquisition of the USS DRUM; however, the Navy has withheld this approval since submission of the application in 1999, in a large part, due the inaccuracy of existing Navy estimates for the cost of donation of the ship in lieu of recycling. 

The Navy has requested that the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation fund additional Navy engineering and cost estimates on a reimbursable basis with an upfront payment of $198,000.  The point paper enclosed with the attached letter outlines why requiring the MIHPF to fund these Navy required studies is inappropriate and, further, that Navy funding of these studies is:

-         in the Best interest of Navy, the City and MIHPF

-         within  discretionary authority of the Navy

-         is consistent with the intent of Congress

Among other positive outcomes of Navy funding the refinement of their previously provided cost estimates the refined cost estimate may identify a $3,270,000 cost savings opportunity for Navy by approving the Donation in lieu of recycling the ship.

We have enclosed a letter to the Secretary of the Navy for signature by you , Congressman Thompson and Senators Boxer and Feinstein urging the Navy to complete their required engineering studies and cost estimates.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  If we can provide you with any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact either of us.


Anthony J. Intintoli, Jr.                         Ken Zadwick
Mayor                                                 President
City of Vallejo                                      Mare Island Historic Park Foundation


cc:  Senator Dianne Feinstein

      Senator Barbara Boxer

      Congressman Mike Thompson


Mare Island Historic Park Foundation Point paper


This point paper has two purposes. 

-          To establish that it is within the authority, and in the best interest, of the Navy to fund the engineering and design studies necessary to refine their previous class F cost estimates for donation of the USS DRUM to the City of Vallejo (City) represented by the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation (MIHPF).

-          To provide a plan of action and milestones (POAM) to cause the Navy to exercise their discretion to fund and proceed with refining their cost estimates within the next fiscal year.

Navy Funding of Engineering and Design studies

The acquisition of the USS DRUM by the MIHPF on behalf of the City has been delayed since March of 2000 when the Navy responded to the City’s application for donation of the ship advising that the City’s application for the ship would not be approved until such time as the estimates for the cost of donating the ship were refined.  Further, the Navy advised that the cost of $198K needed to refine these estimates was to be borne by the City or MIHPF.  It should be noted that the estimates in question were provided by Navy in 1998 at MIHPF request specifically for the purpose of inclusion in the City’s application and related business plan.  This point paper establishes that Navy funding of engineering and design studies is in the best interest of the Navy, City and MIHPF; is within the discretionary authority of Navy; and is consistent with the intent of Congress.

As background

1.             Legislation (Public Law 104-201, Subtitle B, Section 1023) was signed into law in 1996 directing the Secretary of the Navy to donate the Drum to the City of Vallejo provided:

-               A ship donation application is satisfactorily completed

-               The donation is made at no cost to the United States (beyond the cost which the United States would otherwise incur for dismantling and recycling of the vessel).

2.             In November of 1998 the Navy advised the MIHPF that:

-               no work will be done on the DRUM to prepare it for donation until after an application is approved;

-               based on preliminary estimates the cost of donation exceeds the cost to recycle by $410K and the MIHPF would be liable for this amount.  However due to the inaccuracy associated with the estimate for the donation workload package ($9.21M ±40%) the possibility exists that either Navy could realize a significant cost savings or the MIHPF liability could increase significantly.  The possible outcomes range from a $3.27M savings for Navy to a cost to the MIHPF of  $4.09M.

-               engineering and design studies to better define unbudgeted efforts are estimated to cost $198K and would be a liability of the MIHPF to fund

3.             June 1999 City of Vallejo forwards DRUM ship application to Navy for approval.  Application capitalization costs include Navy estimate of MIHPF liability to Navy of $410K for donation of the ship.

4.             March 2000 Navy responds to application advising that:

-               a “minimum” of $198K is needed immediately from the MIHPF to fund Navy activities to refine the Navy estimates

Navy Funding is in the Best interest of Navy, the City and MIHPF

By funding the engineering and design studies necessary for the Navy to refine their estimates all parties will realize a number of positive outcomes as follows:

-          The true Navy cost of donation will be refined allowing better decision making by all parties.

-          Based on the existing Navy cost estimate, this refined cost estimate may identify a $3.27M cost savings opportunity for Navy.

-          The refined estimate will eliminate over $7M in uncertainty from the existing MIHPF business plan due to the inaccuracy of the current Navy estimates.

-          The refined cost estimate will provide the City and MIHPF will a much more accurate picture of the capitalization requirements for operating the DRUM monument.

-          The refined estimate will allow decision making process for all parties to move forward allowing either donation or recycling to proceed.

-          Expedited decision making regarding the donation will eliminate or reduce ongoing Navy caretaker costs associated with berthing and maintaining the USS DRUM.

Navy Funding is within Navy Discretionary Authority

It is clear that the Navy has the discretion/authority to fund the cost of the estimate for engineering and design studies.  It is a rather insignificant amount in the larger order of Navy’s ship recycling program.  The legislation directs the Navy to donate the ship provided the “donation” is at no increased cost to the US .  These estimates are related to normal planning activities and are not necessarily related to the act of donation as it has not been established for certain that a donation will occur.

Navy Funding is Consistent with the Intent of Congress

Congress acted in a somewhat unique manner regarding the donation of the USS DRUM in that the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) was given no discretion in the donation of the ship to the City.  Typically, legislation would authorize to SECNAV to make such a donation by using the word “may,” but in this case, Congress use the word “shall.”  The use of this language makes clear Congress’s intent and places a clear obligation on the Navy to exercise available discretion in favor of the donation.  Such discretion would include funding of the refinement of the Navy’s cost estimates.