USS Drum SSN-677 Sea Trials
The Drum heads out of San Francisco Bay
on one of it's sea trials.
First sea trials were scheduled to commence on Sunday, January 16, 1972 (Super Bowl Sunday). Heavy fog shrouded Vallejo and San Francisco Bay, so the ship remained on "stand-by" waiting for the fog to lift. With Admiral Rickover on board and the "rig for Rickover Bill" set in place, the crews entertainment system was "tagged out". This meant that the crew sat around without access to the Super Bowl. Some of us ET's and RM's manned the WLR-6 (a very expensive radio receiver), and passed the "play-by-play" over the sound powered phones. The sea trials were cancelled for that day, but the ship was going to get under way the first chance on Monday morning. Since Admiral Rickover made a point to conduct first sea trials on all new boats, and his drills determined whether the boat and crew was ready to operate a nuclear reactor, the pressure was on to get underway. Finally, early afternoon on Monday, even though the fog hadn't lifted very much, DRUM got underway with two tugs escorting for radar navigation assistance. I was on the radar plotting party for this very intense transit out San Francisco Bay.
First sea trials were successful, Admiral Rickover was satisfied and spoke to the crew on the 1MC stating the importance of our jobs. We came into the Bay briefly to transfer Rickover to a YTB (tug), then continued builders trials.
By the way, the Dallas Cowboys beat Miami in Super Bowl VI, 24 to 3. Roger Staubach (ex-USN) was the MVP.
Revised: November 22, 2008