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Hugh Aloysius Drum
Hugh Aloysius Drum
Born (1879-09-19)September 19, 1879
Died October 3, 1951(1951-10-03) (aged 72)
Place of birth Fort Brady, Chippewa County, Michigan
Place of death New York City, New York
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service 1898-1943
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held Inspector General of the U. S. Army
U.S. Army, Pacific (Hawaiian Department)
Eastern Defense Command
Second Corps Area
U.S. First Army
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star
Other work President, Empire State Inc.

Hugh Aloysius Drum September 19, 1879 – October 3, 1951 was a U.S. general. Born in Fort Brady, Chippewa County, Michigan, he graduated from Boston College in 1898. Drum, an 1894 graduate of Xavier High School, first entered Boston College intending to join the Jesuit priesthood. He was admitted to the Xavier High School Hall of Fame in 1931.

Early military career[edit | edit source]

Joining the United States Army with the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, he was made a second lieutenant in the 12th Infantry Regiment. Regarded by some as one of the most adroit players of intra-service politics, Drum climbed quickly up the ranks in the Army; he became assistant Chief of Staff to General John J. Pershing in France during World War I. In 1918, he was promoted to colonel, and became Chief of Staff of the First United States Army, AEF.

Between the World Wars[edit | edit source]

After the war, Drum served as the director of training for the School of the Line at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he taught the doctrine of open warfare that he and General Pershing had practiced in France. From there he went to the War Department in Washington, D.C. where he publicly clashed with General Billy Mitchell about the disposition of the U.S. Army Air Service. General Drum successfully lobbied Congress not to have the Air Service separated into a separate service. He served as commander of the 1st Infantry Division from 1927 and as Inspector General of the US Army from 1930.

He was promoted to major general by 1931 and sent to Honolulu. It was during Drum's posting in Hawaii that he renewed acquaintance with another ambitious officer, George S. Patton, with whom he had a contentious professional relationship. Following a stint at Fort Hayes, Ohio, Drum returned to Washington in 1933 to serve as deputy to the Chief of Staff, General Douglas MacArthur. He headed a board of senior officers that again sought to suppress advocates of an independent air force by setting the ceiling on Air Corps requirements for numbers of aircraft and tying any funding for expansion of the Air Corps to prior funding of the other branches first. In 1934 all the members of the Drum Board also sat on the presidential-initiated Baker Board, again setting its agenda to preclude any discussion of air force independence.

From 1935 to 1937, Drum commanded the U.S. Army, Pacific (Hawaiian Department). In 1938, Drum took concurrent command of the newly reactivated First Army and Second Corps Area headquartered at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York. When Chief of Staff General Malin Craig retired in 1939, Drum was passed over in favor of General George Marshall. Despite this disappointment, he received a promotion to lieutenant general in August 1939. Drum became the 17th American officer to receive the permanent rank of lieutenant-general.

Drum's former residence (right) in Washington, D.C.

World War II and retirement[edit | edit source]

With the onset of World War II, he assumed command of the Eastern Defense Command, responsible for domestic defense along the Atlantic seaboard. Controversy continued to follow him after the outbreak of war. Hoping to be the General Pershing of the next great war, he was disappointed with an offer from Secretary of War Henry Stimson to go to what he perceived to be a low-profile assignment in China. After being passed over for that mission, Drum was relegated to home duty assignments until mandatory retirement in 1943. He was the commander of the New York Guard from 1943 to 1945. From 1944 until his death, he was the president of Empire State Inc.

During his career, he was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Service Medal, the [Spanish Campaign Medal], Mexican Border Service Medal, and the Croix de Guerre.disambiguation needed Fort Drum, New York is named for him.

After his death, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He left behind a widow, Mary Reaume Drum.

References[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "[1]".

Military offices
Preceded by
William C. Rivers
Inspector General of the U. S. Army
January 12, 1930-November 30, 1931
Succeeded by
John F. Preston
Preceded by
Lucius Roy Holbrook
Commandant of the Command and General Staff College
September 1920 - July 1921
Succeeded by
Hanson Edward Ely
Preceded by
none
Commanding General of the Eastern Defense Command
18 March 1941- 8 October 1943
Succeeded by
George Grunert
Preceded by
Fox Conner
Commanding General of the First United States Army
4 November 1938 - 8 October 1943
Succeeded by
George Grunert

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