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First Name: Hugh

Last Name: Drum

Birthplace: Fort Brady, MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Aloysius

Date of Birth: 19 September 1879

Date of Death: 03 October 1951

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served:
Hugh Aloysius Drum

•  Spanish-American War (1898)
•  Philippine-American War (1899 - 1902)
•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Hugh Aloysius Drum
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army

Hugh Aloysius Drum was born on 19 September 1879 in Fort Brady, Chippewa County, MI. He graduated from Boston College in 1898.

He joined the U.S. Army and was commissioned as 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, American Expeditionary Force.

After WWI, Drum served as the Director of Training for the School of the Line at Fort Leavenworth, KS, 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, DC, where he publicly clashed with Colonel Billy Mitchell about the disposition of the U.S. Army Air Corps. General Drum successfully lobbied Congress not to have the Air Corps broken out into a separate service. He served as Commander of the 1st Infantry Division from 1927 and as Inspector General of the U.S. Army from 1930.

He was promoted to Major General in 1931 and sent to Honolulu, HI. It was during Drum's posting in Hawaii that he first encountered another ambitious officer, George S. Patton, with whom he had a contentious professional relationship. Following a stint at Fort Hayes, OH, Drum returned to Washington in 1933 to serve as Deputy to the Chief of Staff, General Douglas MacArthur. From 1935-37, 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, NY. When Army Chief of Staff General Malin Craig retired in 1939, Drum was passed over in favor of General George C. Marshall. Despite this disappointment, he received a promotion to Lieutenant General in August 1939.

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 from the Army in 1943.

Medals and Awards

Silver Star Medal
Distinguished Service Medal
Mexican Border Service Medal
Croix de Guerre (France)


Fort Drum, New York is named for him.

In Retirement

After his retirement from the U.S. Army, he was Commander of the New York Guard from 1943-45. From 1944 until his death, he was the president of Empire State Inc.

Death and Burial

Lieutenant General Hugh Aloysius Drum died on 3 October 1951. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

He was survived by his wife, Mary Reaume Drum.


Honoree ID: 2438   Created by: MHOH




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