Thursday, August 1, 2013

#87) In Memoriam - James R. Drugan, PhD

Dr. James R. “Jim” Drugan
1938 - 2013

Jim Drugan passed away quietly on July 22. He had been suffering from Parkinson's Disease for many years. He is survived by his wife Jan, two sons and a daughter. There will not be a funeral.

Jim’s significant engineering career at Librascope began in 1958 and by 1969 he had become a Senior Staff Engineer. That year he also received a PhD in Engineering from UCLA. His thesis was on Large Scale Systems.

In 1971, he was promoted into management by Jerry Deitz, Vice President and Chief Engineer.

During his time as Supervisor, Librascope invested in an effort to expand the Company’s business from torpedo fire control into sonar. Under Jim’s direction, the “Blue Room” was built and numerous highly classified display studies were conducted for the Naval Sea System Command. The studies provided the Navy with guidelines for sonar display design that are still used today. As a result of this work, Librascope consulted on the movie “The Hunt for Red October” and received a screen credit.

In 1975, Jim was promoted to Manager, System Engineering. During his time as Manager, Librascope began marketing its torpedo fire control engineering expertise to allied navies. The first contract was with the Royal Australian Navy to study modernization of torpedo fire control system on their Oberon class submarines. At the conclusion of the study, Jim visited Australia with the Librascope team.

This led to a long relationship with the Royal Australian Navy as well as contracts with Canada and India.

After serving as Manager of System Engineering, Jim left Librascope to form Drugan Associates where he had a consulting relationship with both Librascope and the Royal Australian Navy. During this time, Jim played a significant roll in the development of the combat system for the Australian Collins Class submarines that replaced the Oberon Class.

Finally, Jim was a highly accomplished golfer -- he had a three handicap at one time. The Librazettes document his many accomplishments as a member of the Librascope Golf Team.

Jim became a member of the Oakmont Country Club in Glendale and purchased a home overlooking the golf course. Until health problems overtook him, he spent many happy hours playing golf on the Oakmont course and enjoying the view of the course from his front window.


  1. We were sorry to hear about the passing of Jim Drugan. We would like to send our condolences to the Drugan family and wish them well. Jin and I worked on the Navy ASW fire control systems for the Australia, Canadian and Indian Navies. Jim and I also spent many happy times on the golf links, he was a great golfer. Jim was a talented engineer and a wonderful person, he will be missed. Our best regards to the Drugan family and we wish them well.
    Mark and Delora Ferry

  2. Received the following e-mail from Lila Reynolds:

    "Thanks for the memories."

  3. Ray Hand, who wrote up this post, received the following thank you from Jim's wife Jan:

    Dear Ray -- Thank you for doing such a nice job on the "Librascope Memories News Blog". So much of the job information I never knew. It was something we never talked about. But the golf stuff was a never ending conservation. i.e. "the trophies need dusting and its' your turn". He loved playing the game and on many occasions friends and their families from outside Librascope would join up. Our old Lake View Terrace gang, parents and kids, would play behind the tournament guys. Got yelled at a couple of times for laughing too much. Good grief its' only a dumb game. Can't take it too seriously. Anyway, thank you - thank you for all you have done. Now the family will gather for a Mexican dinner (lots of margaritas) and a slide show of their activities with their Dad. Lot of Hugs - Jan

  4. Don Tubbs received the following message:


    Thank you for forwarding the sad news. It brought back memories of the good times we had when working on the RAN systems with the Librascope people and my time in Glendale ( I still have one of the Librasope mugs on my sideboard). I have always had a great respect for the people I met at the plant and those that worked with us in Sydney. Although I did not know Jim that well I was always impressed by his knowledge and abilities and his friendly relationship with everyone on our side of the ocean. Everyone on the team had a great respect for him.


    Robin Kup-Ferroth