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Updated: 21 December 2018
Tunny's Story has now been told.
Please note the earlier published in October 2017 eBook version of my book USS Tunny: A History, Tribute and Memoir has been removed from sales on Amazon.com. Thanks to all of you who purchased it. Feedback received from many preferred having a printed version. For the past year, I have been working hard to produce a printed version, which as of 20 November 2018, that manuscript is at the printers and orders are being taken for the revised and updated "first print edition." which consists of 682 pages of large readable print bound in a quality displayable "coffee table" 8.5" x 11" full-color hard bound cover. Again, this version is sold only by the author and not sold by any of the online book sales entities such as Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com, or any other, for that matter. Each book purchased will be personally autographed, gift-wrapped and shipped by Priority Mail.
About my book:
If you want to learn more about the awesome service one submarine named Tunny gave to our country, read further. If you want to know who served on Tunny, read on. If you served or know of someone who served on Tunny, you will want this book in your library and to learn about the 1,530 former crewmembers did and where known, where are they now.
About ten years ago, I began a personal journey to satisify a goal that I had set in motion sixty years ago. That goal was to write a book about a submarine, my first submarine, that I served on named the Tunny. Thanks to one fine lady, my Lady, Nancy "Vicki" Burns Ingerson, that goal has finally come true. For the past ten years, Vicki has encouraged me, supported me, and listened to me talk about the time I served for four years on the Tunny when it was the Navy's First Operational Guided Missile Submarine. In addition, many and I mean many former Tunny crewmembers contributed stories that adds to their own story and that of Tunny.
In October 2017, I published U.S.S. TUNNY: The U.S. Navy's First Guided Missile Submarine as an eBook to coincide with one of Tunny's Veterans Reunions held in San Diego, California. The eBook was available for purchase only Amazon.com. If you go to the link, you will not find it, as I have removed it. It was out of date anyway and a replacement eBook version is being considered.
The print version manuscript presents a history of the Tunny from the time its keel was laid in 1941 through 1970 when it was still serving the U.S. Navy and was as a target. I had served on Tunny during the height of the Cold War and became Tunny’s longest-serving boat yeoman (1958-1962). My book not only provides a comprehensive history, it more importantly pays tribute to 1,530 men who served on her for nearly 20 years of active duty that spanned 27 years. If you served on Tunny or know of someone who served on her between 1942 and 1969, that crewmember's name is in my book. There's more...
The Tunny had a long list of achievements and was very productive during her service career. Her crews performed extraordinary feats during nine combat war patrols in World War II making her a legend, which was not published about anywhere before. During the Cold War, Tunny's brave crews were called on to take her on ten arduous Regulus Deterrent Patrols deploying to the North Pacific Ocean where it patrolled ready to fire its two nuclear configured missiles. Again, her achievements have never before been published, until now. As the oldest boat in the Pacific Fleet, Tunny made fourteen Special Operation (SPECOPS) deployments in support of Unconventional Warfare Operations during the Vietnam War. Again, her achievements were not published.
The newly revised and updated printed book publishes for the first time the extraordinary feats she and her crews performed. As its author and a member of her crew, I have personally conducted extensive research into her past and identified those who served on her. I've included biographical information of Tunny's leadership and many of the men who served on her. Extended bios can be found in this book on the fourteen Commanding Officers, nineteen Executive Officers, and eighteen Chiefs of the Boat (COBs). These leaders managed the crews of nearly 100 men who served on this grand lady. She was referred to as the "oldest boat in the Navy" and some called her "Queen of the South China Sea." Inside my book are stories, poetry, and information about Tunny that has not previously been published. Read testimony written by her crews that tell tales and many descriptions of what it was like to serve on a diesel submarine for long periods of time at sea.
One former crewmember who served as an officer on Tunny wrote as an endorsement to my book the following:
"Ray has through monumental effort, established the detailed history of not only the boat herself but of the men who served on her. In this book, you'll learn how this valiant boat and her crews served our country. You'll also learn what these same men did while this unique submarine was performing these important missions. Over 1,500 sailors served on this boat. Almost all of them probably look at their TUNNY time as one of the most important episodes of their life. You'll learn something about their training, hard work, and their sense of humor. Over this 27 year period, many of the officers and men of TUNNY earned individual honors, ranging from the Navy Cross to Silver and Bronze Stars." Gerry Young, Captain, USNR (Retired), Author of "Deep Secrets"
Gerry Young gratiously volunteered his time to review (on several occasions) and edit many drafts of the book. Gerry served on Tunny at a different time than I did and has been extremely helpful in the book's production and in telling its history.
The Foreword to my book is written by Dr. David Karl Stumpf of Tucson, Arizona who researched and authored REGULUS: The Forgotten Weapon. He calls attention to the significance of my book's contents describing it as "a thorough and much-needed history of a submarine and its contribution to the security of the United States during some of the most harrowing times in our nation's history." Dr. Stumpf adds, "...the reader lives through the arduous conditions both in the submarine and with the harsh conditions of the North Pacific. For those of you old enough to remember serving on a Regulus submarine, especially the diesel-electric boats, this experience was compared to an E-ticket ride at Disneyland back in the day." You can read Dr. Stumpf's entire Foreword by clicking here.
This is the symbol of a Yeoman's Rating Badge many of which are displayed throughout my book. Where these appear, the information that follows with it tells the reader many "things" only a Boat Yeoman would know about the crew and the boat which he served on saying, "I ran the boat!"
Others describe the book as:
"Hearty well done. I learned a lot about my shipmates and you that I did not know. The read brought back old memories and good feelings concerning my time on Tunny. All that responsibility that was placed in our young hands was awesome. The book is an excellent reference source for us who's memory is somewhat fading. Thanks for puttin it down for us." -- Karle Leonard Butler (Boston, Massachusetts, Radioman Seaman, 1958-1960).
“No stone unturned, a MASTERPIECE. "Olszewski has established and earned the coveted "WOW FACTOR" in doing this tome!” -- John Joseph Jenkins, Jr. "JJ" (San Diego, California, Engineman, 1958-1962)
"Olszewski has taken us on a memorable journey into a well-documented and thought-provoking account of the formative years of our Navy's nuclear guided missile program and the gallant sailors who endured success and failure during this historic era. Meet the sailors ‘up close and personal’ as you re-live their adventures." -- Danny Ray Moss (Fort Collins, Colorado, Quartermaster, 1956-1959).
To aid in creating my book, a database was developed that contains the names of every crew member who ever served on Tunny from 1942 through 1969. Over 7,200 daily diary entries were tabulated which identified more than 1,500 names of officer and enlisted personnel who served on Tunny. These names were derived from Tunny's actual Personnel Diaries for that period that are on file at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
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8/28/2018: "...I am in awe of this project you have chosen. I cannot even imagine the hours and effort it is taking. When it comes time I certainly want to purchase a copy of the book. Best of luck with this incredible adventure of yours. Douglas Penny (former Tunny APSS crewmember)
3/12/2018: I have learned from reading your Tunny book a lot about the crew. I was amazed at the hardships and all the things, missiles, the maps, places you went. All should be called heroes. You were an upbeat happy fellow and good for the crew. In all your pictures I have seen you are laughing. Stay Happy! Jackie Heckathorn (wife of a former Tunny shipmate, Lieutenant Gene Heckathorn).
3/3/2018: I ordered your book. I put it on a Kindle and gave it to Dad as a gift. He really enjoyed it. Thanks. Gregg Holthus. Boat Yeo's Note: Gregg is a son of former Tunny crewmember, Burton Holthus, who served on Tunny a Lieutenant (junior grade) and was a member of its recommissioning crew in 1953.
11/7/2017: Hey Ski, I'm about 3/4 through your history of SSG Tunny. I made deterrent patrol #5 on Tunny. I would love to have one of the NPYC pins. Lots of memories have been refreshed. I was Shanghaied by Bob Melim to go to NPS. I put the SSBN 634 Stonewall Jackson in commission and rode the SSBN 617 Alexander Hamilton, and SSN 583 Sargo as a NUC then had the reverse operation and sailed on SS 490 Volador, and SS 566 Trout as a real ET. All totaled I made 1 Regulus patrol and 6 Polaris patrols.
The Polaris patrols were more comfortable but the Regulus patrol was made with real shipmates. I still love the fragrance of diesel and drive a Ford diesel FL license ETC SS.
I am a member of the Central Florida USSVI and share sea stories with Ernie Goodwin at every meeting and when attending the WWII Submarine Veterans Memorial in Kings Bay GA. Mike Reed.
11/6/2017: Wow! This is amazing! Thank you for including my Grandpa and Dad in your book. Congratulations and thank you for serving our beautiful country. Purchasing today. Cousin Helen Danish.
11/1/2017: What a great read - I’m only a third of the way through but the mention of Uncle Chuck caught my eye. I never knew he was in on the Normandy invasion let alone was injured and spent a year in a British hospital recovering. My Dad and all my uncles never spoke of the war and now I wished I could ask them about their experiences. Cousin Bill Olszewski.
10/30/2017: My dad [Morris A. Christensen] figures in the history of this old diesel electric sub w/Regulus missiles in the bulbous garage, I made a short run on her from Pearl Harbor when I was a young lad. Ray should be congratulated for keeping her history alive having worked aboard her while serving his country. Thanks Ray! John Christensen.
10/29/2017: Congratulations! Fred Harrison
10/20/2017: I am definitely enjoying your manuscript! Amazing job, pulling all this info together from over the years! I'm only at pg136 so far, but reflected on Thanksgiving day after John Maclaren said a prayer over the 1MC and we bounced off a whale. I think, because we were charging batteries, that made it a little scarier when the collision alarm went off. Also, I was sitting at my sonar gear in the conning tower when the upper hatch jammed. It was pretty crowded up there! I'm thinking 6-8 guys. The Captain was right behind me. That would have been Christiansen, I think. He hit the surfacing alarm. Floyd Kuhl told me [it] was the 2nd time he heard it and was wondering what the hell was going on! The periscope wells filled up in seconds. Water got up to my knees, I think when I secured my gear. Just a few thoughts I had. Fun Read. Ole Dave Whittlesey.
10/11/2017: I stayed up past midnight yesterday reading your proof. Great story telling and great research. Bravo Zulu! Bill Green , former CO APSS TUNNY). PS: I have several other tales which would be suitable to include but you have provided enough tales in good measure.
10/11/2017: Got it! Thanks. Beautiful cover! May have to move to my laptop for this. I'll get the book on my kindle, of course. Know it will be a good read. Congrats again! Dave Thomas
10/11/2017: Great version of the Panther story. The icon would have been well tended on 682 Tunny. BZ. Tom Jordan (SSN-682)
10/11/2017: Seems like the connection between those 2 boats wasn't as strong as it could have been. Which sucks, for my guys. Sharing that legacy - even by casually knowing the 282 guys - would add depth to the emotional bond of contributing to a crew, mission, submarine force. Tom Jordan.
10/9/2017: Ray...just finished Chapter 1. What a gift you have given us! I love the way you write as it makes the reader feel right in the story with you! Congrats and wishing you well with this wonderful endeavor. Blessings. JJ Jenkins Jr.
10/8/2017: Good job on the book. It will take a while to get through it all. Interesting info on Dudley Mathis. Can you send me all the strips of Buz Sawyer? Dan Moss, Boat QM
10/8/2017: Ray, Just reading the first 15 pages was so interesting and made me want to buy the book. Put me down for one for sure and I will be glad to pay for it. Bob Olszewski, brother