The "Silent Service" is no longer Silent.
Updated: April 16, 2023
Here are comments, reviews, and new information received from those who acquired Olszewski's Tunny book.
Also, I am using this as a place to post new information found that was not included in my book.
4/16/2023: This review is a special one in that the person who did it was the Editor of my book about the Tunny I wrote and published in 2018. Former Tunny crewmember Gerry Young spent hours upon hours over an extensive period of time reviewing my writing and made considerable improvement to the book and its contents. Here is Gerry's review he wrote that was published on the Naval Historical Foundation page at one time: Note that Gerry is a very accomplished writer and author himself.
“USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute, and Memoir”
By Raymond Vance Olszewski
USS TUNNY (SSG-282) Crewmember 1958-1962
Reviewed by Gerry A. Young CAPT, USNR (Retired)
Author of the novel “Deep Secrets”
This massive book is obviously a labor of love on the part of the author. Much of it is formatted like a scrapbook, covering almost thirty years of naval history. The book covers:
TUNNY’s operations in World War II, where the boat was honored by earning two Presidential Unit Citations, making it one of the most decorated submarines of that war. Two of the Commanding Officers of TUNNY during this period received the Navy Cross.
The operations of the boat after it was converted to a Regulus-missile carrying boat and designated an ‘SSG,’ indicating that it was carrying guided missiles. These Regulus missiles were fitted with nuclear warheads. Along with several other similarly-configured submarines, TUNNY made a number of deterrent patrols in the Northeast Pacific. Those who served on TUNNY and her sister SSG’s and SSGN during those operations are eligible to wear the Deterrent Patrol insignia, as are those who made patrols on SSBN’s. These are the patrols which the author participated in as the ship’s yeoman.
TUNNY’s operations as an APSS (Amphibious Platform Submarine), later changed to LPSS (Landing Platform Submarine). These mostly involved working with UDT or SEAL teams close inshore in both South Vietnam and North Vietnam. The submarine was awarded with a Meritorious Unit Commendation and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (unit award). Both commanding officers of TUNNY during that time received Bronze Stars with a Combat ‘V.’
The final disposition of TUNNY and some sidelights on her legacy, as well as short biographies of the Commanding officers, Executive officers, and Chiefs of the Boat on TUNNY.
This book has a unique way of explaining the history of the boat, with anecdotes or sidebar information that give insights into the actions and personalities of many of those who served on TUNNY when it was an SSG and an APSS. By the time Ray started on the book most of the WWII crew had, as submariners say, gone on their ‘Eternal Patrol,’ so the WWII portion of the book is less able to offer particular insights that reveal the ‘personality’ of the crew. Where possible, Ray has inserted details on many of the officers and enlisted, including anecdotes regarding some specific situations. Some of these involve pranks or unusual actions on the part of the crew.
The author, as a former yeoman, was able to access the personnel records of the TUNNY throughout its career, and to identify which patrols the various crewmembers participated in. He was also able to include information on every one of the hundreds of submariners who served on TUNNY throughout its distinguished career.
The book is a bit overwhelming in its size, but is well worth taking the time to go through. It’s almost 700 pages long, and the page size is almost twice the size of a typical hardcover book, making this the equivalent of over a thousand ‘normal’ pages. The author was able to include photos and images of various memorabilia, which helps to break up the text and make it more readable.
The main value of the book is to bring a realistic view of what was entailed in the missile patrols and, later, the UDT/SEAL operations. To my knowledge, no other book offers these insights. It’s one thing to make a long patrol on an SSBN, but something else altogether doing it on a diesel boat that must regularly snorkel or surface, and, in the case of the SSG, operating in one of the most difficult weather areas in the world’s oceans.
So far as the discussion of the APSS/LPSS era goes, I should mention that I served on TUNNY from January 1967 to November 1968, as Weapons Officer and as Engineering Officer on her, and can testify that the author portrayed our operations quite accurately.
The primary readers of this will be those who actually served on TUNNY, which is what I believe the author intended. I think it will also be a valuable resource for those who want some unusual insights into diesel submarine operations.
THANK YOU AGAIN, GERRY! YOU 'DA BEST! Illegitimi non Carborundum
2/4/2023: Received this from a former shipmate who I served with at Naval Air Station Sanford, Florida in the '60s. Great guy then and even a better one now. This 'seasoned Yeoman Second Class YN2(SS) hopes you enjoy his review of my book.:
“ I am a Retired Navy Chief Warrant Officer (CWO4) having served 26 years. Among other things I served onboard the nuclear submarine (a boomer) USS NATHAN HALE (SSBN623)(Blue) and qualified in submarines in December 1965.
What was so special about receiving Ray’s book, is that we served together at the Naval Air Station, Sanford, Fl in the early 60’s. Sanford was my first command after a “A”school and I was a “boot” Yeoman Seaman (YNSN) compared to a seasoned Yeoman Second Class (YN2(SS)) sub sailor. How fortunate we hooked up after almost 60 years; and also how blessed to be in our 80’s and not on “eternal patrol.”
How ironic I went on to be a sub sailor like my shipmate Ray and joined a special class of men who are brothers linked by a camaraderie unknown by many.
I not only enjoyed the book but I learned so much about the life of a non-nuclear sub sailor whose service on a diesel submarine is like no other. Their services and sacrifices like those who served in TUNNY should never be forgotten. They so notably earned their saying of “DBF” Diesel Boats Forever.
This book is a well thought out researched masterpiece that is an excellent tribute not only to the men who served in TUNNY but also to the submariners throughout the fleet.
Charles G. “Van” Vanderbrink
|6/6/2022: My book USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute, and Memoir has recently been reviewed by the Online Book Club. Here is the link to if interested.|
|2/23/2022: Received from a retired Alaska Air Guard Senior Master Sargent Dana Nichols who lives in Aberdeen, SD the following comment after he received a signed copy of the TUNNY 282 History, Tribute and Memoir. "16 Feb 2022, Greetings Ray, first, I do not want to appear as a Navy vet or having served as a submarine sailor at any time. I retired as an E-8 Senior Master Sgt from the Alaska Air National Guard in Anchorage, Alaska in 2016. My specialty was Aircrew Life Support & Aircrew & Light Equipment (parachute inspecion & rigging and survival equipment maintenance: NVGs, O2 masks & helmets. I was delighted to buy your fantastic hardbound book and finally have a good, planned period of reading time to dive into it & enjoy the complicated history of the Regulus story! At 65 years old, I grew up during a lot of the era of its' & so many other submarine-launched missiles. The Tunny Story and all that you have dedicated to it will keep this old history reader anchored down to it for a good, long time! I hope you are well!, Dana Nichols."|
8/10/2021: Received from his son, Tim Turner, this photo of the Charlie Brown Award presented to Lieutenant Ed Turner who served on Tunny during the SSG Era.
|2 June 2021: More comment(s) received from Tom Petrock adding even more to Tunny's awesome history. Enjoy!
I did receive your book, and I have spent some time perusing sections of it. A surprise to me was that there no mention of the dock side conversion from SSG to APSS to conduct Marine Corps Reconnaissance Team training exercises off the western tip of O'ahu, Kaena Point.
Actually, the recon teams consisted of 5 to 6 men birthed in the Forward Torpedo Room and an 80 man reenforced rifle company birthed in the hangar. Needless to say, the After Battery Room was a very busy place and Head Watches were assigned to prevent accidents.
Anyway, I thought the dockside ships conversion was an interesting note, because the conversion was carried out by shipyard workers, ships personnel, and temporary X-division personnel (sailors in transit), all working side by side. The Tunny was re-ballasted and a series sea trials carried out, of test dives and maneuvers.
I left the Tunny when she out breasted from the pier to commence her trip to the Bremerton Naval Shipyard to be properly fitted out. When she sailed for Bremerton, she carried Captain Bob Melin's sports car in the ship's hangar along with other personnel gear.
I am sending you a thank you snail mail card. Do I send it to the, Sailing List Address, 4031 Diamond Point, Eagan, MN 55122 address?
USS Tunny SSG282, MT 63-66
|23 May 2021: From former Tunny SSG 282 crewmember Tom Petrock who writes the following:
John J. and Ray O.,
You have confirmed, to me this week, that we share a friendship of caring. I want to thank you for reaching out and sharing virtual tidbits of interest over the years to crew of the USS Tunny, their families, and other submariners; which this landlubber appreciates.
Although you and I have never met, the ability to communicate in this digital age has allowed us to form distant friendships of caring that has grown over the years through our navy ship’s haul number and the extraordinary effort and ability of a core group of shipmates to maintain the ship’s roster and opening the line of communication between shipmates.
The key to our shipmate friendship is the knowledge that we all surfaced together through teamwork and we all shared similar experiences to sail home to port. Thus, forming that kinship between us known as the Brotherhood of Submariners.
Thomas Petrock USS Tunny SSG 282 MT 63-66
|17 May 2021: From my family relative, Cousin Charles Olszewski who wrote: "Hi Ray, Thank you for your book on Tunny. I did not know uncle Chuck was in WW2 and was wounded. I knew about uncle Frank, but I like your version better. I did not see anything about our grandfather's still he had in the basement. He was very popular in the neighborhood - now, I know why. You did a great job on your book and your work history is impressive. Proud of you. Charlie Olszewski|
|10 May 2021: From my family relative, Cousin Jayne Marshall who wrote:
Wow, what a book!
That is an amazing piece of work. You should be so proud of yourself. I know my mom would be of you!
I will enjoy reading your stories and looking through your photos. Such detail!
Thanks again for being so thoughtful.
I am always happy to help you on our family's history. I know that I should have asked more questions while everyone was still alive.
Take care Raymond and thanks again.
|29 March 2021: From Keith "Buz" Sawyer, Engineman who served on Tunny 56-59 wrote the following after receiving his Tunny book: Hi Ray, What a wonderful surprise when your book The Tunny arrived. Your hard work in creating the Tunny shows dedication and respect in honoring the Tunny and all those who served! Your book is a complete work of art and it will sit proudly in my collection of books. I also enjoy reading the Tunny, and I am proud to share it with my family! Thank you for your generousity and I will always be appreciative! Your friend and shipmate, Keith "Buz".|
2/7/2021: From Richard "Dick" Dawe who served on Tunny during the SSG years. Here is what he had to say after receiving the Tunny History Book.
Ray, Your book is great. I look through it ,almost every night .Thanks for doing such a complete job of researching the Tunnys history. Attached ,are a couple of pictures from the past. (the photos Dick is referring to were taken by him at one of our annual Luau's there at Bellows Air Force Base. Who remembers those great times? Click here to take you to that page.
|12/27/2020: From my first cousin, daughter of my Uncle Walter "Shorty" Olszewski who is mentioned in my book.
I just received your book late today and only had time to skim through parts of it. What a beautiful book! I worked in the Communications Department at Westinghouse/Emerson in RIDC Park and I know how much time and effort it takes to write and layout a book like this. You did a beautiful job.
Daddy would never believe that he would ever be mentioned in a book like this. Thank you so much for including him. You will never know how much this means to my sisters and me. He was such a great dad and a wonderful husband to my mom. No matter what, his family always came first. Only when I went to college did I finally realized that there were very few people who were blessed with parents like we had.
I haven't had a chance to look at the family tree yet because of Christmas. That's something to look forward to in the next few days. Please take care and have a Happy New Year.
Again, Thank you for sending us a copy of your book. It has already brought back many memories of when I was little.
|12/12/2020: From Dan Marks, USSVI Perch Base Webmaster and a former submariner
and an accomplished historian:
10/26/2020: Dan Moss, former QM who served on Tunny wrote and presented this Eulogy for Velton Parker who departed on Eternal Patrol on 12 August 2020:
EULOGY FOR Velton Parker
TO PARAPHRASE Supreme Court JUSTICE OLIVER WENDEL HOLMES,
“TO REACH THE PORT OF HEAVEN, WE MUST
SAIL SOMETIMES WITH THE WIND AND
SOMETIMES AGAINST IT. BUT WE MUST SAIL.
WE MUST NEVER DRIFT OR LIE AT ANCHOR.”
VELTON WAS NEVER ONE TO “DRIFT” OR “LIE AT ANCHOR.”
My dear friend, VELTON was born on October 8, 1929 during the HOOVER Administration- a time when a fur coat cost $95 and a new white wall tire cost $4.95…with free mounting. It was also the day Al Capone was arrested.
I first met Velton in 1957 aboard the submarine USS TUNNY (SSG 282.) He was an outstanding shipmate, friend and fellow submariner. He was one of the happiest people I have ever known. He always had a big smile on his face and a silly, infectious laugh. I can still hear that laugh and it always brings a smile to my face.
VELTON would tell his doctors that his mother had two boys. One who was light because he was born in the daytime and VELTON who was dark, was born at night. Right after that you could hear that silly laugh. I was proud to be VELTON’S brother.
VELTON was blessed with a loving wife who cared for him in every possible way. Myrta, we appreciate you and THANK YOU for all the love and caring you gave VELTON.
In closing, I would like to leave you with a short verse recounting VELTON’S recent entry into heaven. A bit of prose which I am sure VELTON would approve.
I WAS SHOCKED, CONFUSED AND BEWILDERED
AS I ENTERED HEAVEN’S DOOR-
NOT BY THE BEAUTY OF IT ALL,
NOR THE LIGHTS NOR ITS DECOR,
BUT IT WAS THE FOLKS IN HEAVEN
WHO MADE ME SPUTTER AND GASP-
THE THIEVES, THE LIARS, THE SINNERS,
THE ALCOHOLICS AND THE TRASH,
THERE STOOD THE KID FROM FIFTH GRADE
WHO STOLE MY LUNCH MONEY TWICE.
NEXT TO HIM WAS MY NEIGHBOR
WHO NEVER SAID ANYTHING NICE.
JOE, WHO I ALWAYS THOUGHT
WOULD BE ROTTING AWAY IN HELL,
WAS SITTING ON CLOUD NINE
LOOKING INCREDIBLY WELL.
I NUDGED JESUS AND ASKED, “WHATS THE DEAL??
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR TAKE ON
HOW ALL THESE SINNERS GOT UP HERE?”
GOD MUST HAVE MADE A MISTAKE.
WHY IS EVERYONE SO QUIET,
SO SOMBER? GIVE ME A CLUE.
HUSH,VELTON, JESUS SAID, “THEY’RE ALL IN SHOCK.
NO ONE THOUGHT THEY’D BE SEEING YOU”!
VELTON, WE HAVE ENJOYED YOU FOR 91 YEARS,
NOW IT IS GOD”S TURN.
THE TRUE MEASURE OF A MAN IS NOT THE
WEALTH HE HAS LEFT BEHIND, BUT RATHER THE
RICHNESS OF THE MEMORIES HE HAS GIVEN US.
AND FINALLY, ONE LAST TOAST TO MY BROTHER VELTON….
THERE ARE SHIPS OF WOOD
AND THERE ARE SHIPS OF STEEL
BUT THE GREATEST SHIPS OF ALL
ARE THE FRIENDSHIPS WE MAKE AS WE
TRAVEL THROUGH LIFE.
SAILOR, REST YOUR OAR, YOUR WATCH IS OVER.
WE SALUTE YOU, VELTON, ONE LAST TIME.
Reverend Jim. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you giving my eulogy for Velton. One more favor. Would you please give this eulogy to Myrta at the close of the service.
10/6/2020: Charles Hood, MD shared his comments about the Tunny Book as follows: am amazed at the detail and comprehensive scope of your book. What a historical document you have created! Congratulations and thanks again for the generous gift. Be sure to watch for his forthcoming book about submarines. In it is a chapter about "The Forgotten G Boats" which he discusses the Regulus boats. Comments by many former shipmates are included.
9/20/2020: Heard from my former shipmate and Leading Seaman on Tunny. Here is what Quinton Ramil has to say about my book: Your book is in my living room. I always show it to my friends. It is the most informative book ever written about any submarine. I am honored to call you my shipmate. Thanks shipmate for the kind words.
9/4/2020: Heard from former submarine officer Frank Hood, Base Commander of the Marblehead Base, Marblehead, Massachusetts regarding John Hooper "Hoop" Cutler who departed on Eternal Patrol earlier this year. Frank a former submarine officer wrote the following about Hoop's Eternal Patrol Memorial Event that was extracted from his email and thought to share it with Tunny readership: First of all, Thank You for your service on the G Boats. You guys had heavy sea time and never got the recognition that you deserved. So, from a fellow American and submarine veteran, Thank You. Hoop was a key member of our Base. A native Marbleheader, he was born, raised, and lived there all his life.He was the Chief of the Marblehead Fire Dept for years. He was respected and loved by all who knew him. Unfortunately, he passed away in late July. We held our Eternal Patrol Ceremony at the Westside Cemetery where he was laid to rest. There were about 200 people graveside. Firemen, Masonic brothers, a local Navy Reserve with flags, about 21 of us sub vets, and family and friends. All of these groups had a turn at honoring Hoop, and it lasted over 2 hours. Unfortunately also, there was a driving rainstorm throughout the entire ceremony. We all were soaked to the bone, but not one man complained. Green Board, Frank Hood.
Boat Yeo Note: Frank and his brother Charles co-authored Sub Tales: Stories that Seldom Surface which was published in 2019 and is available for purchase.
Boat Yeo Honor Bio for former Tunny crew member John Hooper Cutler.
8/14/2020: Heard from Kevin Gorby, former SSN 682 crewmembe,r who writes and sent the photos shown below of some LPSS Memorabilia. He says: I hope you are well. I was poking through your book this morning as I do from time to time. I was looking at the section of Tunny in the APSS [corrected to LPSS] years. On page 342 you write "Only patches and some coffee cups were known to have been created that contained these insignia. There were no pins or other related items known to have been created." I wanted to share with you my ash tray and lighter from APSS 282. They have been in my collection for about 4-5 years. Obtained separately on Ebay. They look period and authentic although I am no expert. Just wanted to share with you. Always love going to your book as a resource and history. Please let me know the pictures came through okaay. Take care, Kevin.
Boat Yeo's Note: I blew up the great photo of the ashtray to capture what I think is the best image of Tunny's LPSS Era Ship's Patch/Insignia. The other photo to the right is a blow up of the patch that is on the lighter. Still looking for a good image of Tunny's LPSS Era Ship's Patch if anyone has one.
|8/13/2020: Received this note from Gretchen MacLeod who is a daughter of former Tunny (SSG-282) Skipper Doug Stahl. She writes: "...Yes, I received it, thank you. A very impressive tome, which will take a while to read cover to cover. On first course through I ferreted out all Stahl references and found them quite flattering and evocative of good memories of a very formative time. Also discovered things I hadn’t known. I’ll reserve additional comments until I dive deeper."|
8/12/2020: SAD NEWS! Velton Parker, a former Steward's Mate who served on Tunny (SSG-282) departed on Eternal Patrol this day. Velton had been scheduled to go home from the hospital but God took him away. God speed Velton. You were a great submariner and truly a wonderful shipmate. More images of Velton can be found in the Tunny SSG Photo Gallery on this website.
|8/8/2020: Heard from Richard "Dick" Kanning of Sanford, North Carolina today. Vicki and I met Dick and his wife at the hotel in St. Marys last October when he and I attended the WW II (Probably the last one that will be held) annual event. Dick who had purchased a copy of my book USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute, and Memoir called me this day to let me know that he was "impressed" and said he did not find any errors in my book. Dick was a submariner veteran who had served on the USS Halibut (SSGN 587) during the Regulus years. Dick said he recently met Dr. Charles Hood of Columbia, SC who is also writing a book that is about the "G" Boats, i.e., Tunny, Barbero, Grayback, Growler, and Halibut that braved the North Pacific conducting Missile Deterrent Patrols from 1958 through 1964. He wanted to know if it was okay for Dr. Hood to hook up with me regarding my book and my time serving on Tunny (1958-1962). Dr. Hood did contact me and shared by email a copy of what he has written thus far and we agreed to continue a dialogue about the Forgotten Boats as he refers to them.|
7/24/2020: SAD NEWS! Tunny's last surviving World War II Veteran Frederick Henry Voskuhl has departed on Eternal Patrol. His obituary and some additional information:
VOSKUHL, Frederick Henry, 97, of Bloomfield, died Thursday, July 23, 2020.
Fred was a proud veteran of the US Navy who served his country with honor
and valor during WWII. He qualified in submarines on USS Tunny (SS-282) in
1944 and was EM3(SS) when he left the Navy. Beloved husband of the late Lola
F. Voskuhl, son of the late Julia Zember Voskuhl and Fredrick Henry Voskuhl
Sr.; brother of John Voskuhl (Claudia) and the late Dorothia Lorenzo (John).
Friends will be received at McCabe Bros., Inc. Funeral Home, 5300 Penn Ave,
Bloomfield on Monday, July 27, 2020, 2-4 and 6-8 pm, where Funeral will
commence on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 9 am, followed by Mass of Christian
Burial in St. Mara Goretti Parish, Immaculate Conception Mission, at 10 am.
Allegheny County mandates the wearing of masks, social distancing and
limited occupancy at one time. Condolences may be expressed at
He will be interred with his wife, Lola at the Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA.
Next of Kin: A younger brother, John Voskuhl, 437 Hillsborough Street, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361 (805)-807-9444.
I will add that he made the last five (5) of Tunny's nine (9) combat war patrols and served under both WW II Commanding Officers, John Addison Scott and George Ellis Pierce.
22 July 2020: Eureka! Another piece of USS Tunny (SSG-282)'s history found! USS Tunny (SSG-282) conducted a back-to-back Regulus Missile Deterrent Patrol from 4 November 1961 to 12 January 1962 in the North Pacific Ocean. This constitued Tunny's 6th Regulus Patrol departing from Yokosuka, Japan and returning to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. For that mission, Tunny and her crew, under the command of LCDR Douglas Stahl, and LCDR Robert D. Melim, received the following Commendation from COMSUBPAC who was Rear Admiral Roy S. Benson, USN. Herewith the citation for that award:
9 February 1962: On board during deterrent strike mission for which the following citation was presented this date by Rear Admiral Roy S. Benson, U.S. Navy:
"The Commander Submarine Force, United States Pacific Fleet takes pleasure in awarding the COMSUBPAC UNIT COMMENDATION to U.S.S. TUNNY (SSG-282) for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
"For exceptionally meritorious service as a member of the Submarine Force, United States Pacific Fleet during the Winter of 1961. In carrying out an assignment of great value to the government of the United States, U.S.S. TUNNY demonstrated outstanding performace which resulted in complete success in her endeavors. Through the combination of operational readiness, cooperation and reliability, achievements of U.S.S. TUNNY reflect great credit upon her Commanding Officer, officers and crew and are in keeping, with the highest traditions of this force and the United States Naval Service.
/S/ROY S. BENSON
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
Boat Yeo's note: This citation was found in a copy of Olszewski's personnel records (Page 13) he obtained from the National Archives. Regret that this did not get into his book, USS TUNNY's History. Everyone's name who made that patrol (#6) can be found in Tunny's History, published as USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute, and Memoir by Ray Olszewski. Everyone one of those individuals would have that in their personnel records as well.
"Hoop" served as a Torpedoman Third Class Petty Officer on Tunny from 1962 through 1963 and made two Regulus Deterrent Strike Patrols, #7 and #8.
|CUTLER, John "Hooper" Woodfin Martin Bartlett Chapman, 81, a lifelong resident of Marblehead, MA died June 21, 2020. He was the beloved husband, cohort in crime, and best friend of Joan (Goodwin) Doliber Cutler with whom he shared over 26 years of marriage. He was the loving father to Diane Wolf and Lee of Salem, Laura Cutler Jurasek and Joseph of Marblehead, Susan Sloan of Florida, Josene Goodwin of Marblehead, Robert Goodwin and Julie Kiernan of Marblehead; the cherished grandfather of 9; and the great-grandfather of 2; brother of the late Constance Clarke-Rathbun (Philip). Hooper was born in Marblehead, the son of the late Harry and Louise (Martin) Cutler, on June 17, 1939. He graduated from Marblehead High School with the Class of 1957, New Hampton School 1958, and attended Colby College. He was a veteran of the US Navy where he served aboard the submarine USS Tunny 1961-1963. He was a Captain on the Marblehead Fire Department from which he retired in 2000 after exactly 33 years of service to the town. He was a proud 59 year member of Marblehead Philanthropic Lodge of Masons. He was also a member of Shriners Aleppo Temple Fire Brigade, Marblehead Submarine Veteran's Base, Market Square Association, Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, International Association of Firefighters, Gerry 5 Veteran Fireman's Association, OKO's Veteran Fireman's Association, VFW Post 2005, New Hampton Alumni Association, Marblehead COA Men's Group. Having served on a submarine submerged for months at a time, only surfacing at night to recharge batteries, whether pursuing or being pursued, demanded a certain amount of courage which translated well into a career in the fire service. Being ordered to just get on the fire engine's back step as his only orientation to the job, Hooper encouraged training, education, and opportunities for every firefighter to excel. He was instrumental in forming the Marblehead Firefighters Union Local 2043. Serving on the executive board and contract negotiating team for 25 years, he enjoyed playing devil's advocate and working tirelessly for their benefit. The bond with his second family was as strong as that for his brothers on the boats. For 26 years Hooper played Santa Claus at the annual firefighter's family Christmas party. He delighted in seeing children who had watched Santa slide down the firepole, grow up and return with their own little ones; to sit on his knee, shyly hand him wish lists, whisper hopeful requests in his ear, and occasionally dampen his velvet suit. When the Marblehead Submarine Veteran's Base was created Hooper was front and center as a plank owner. He looked forward to every meeting, parade, and event. With these brothers he shared the common bonds of having served, traditions upheld, sea stories which always began with "Now this is no . . .", undying respect, honor, and love, for one another and country. Volunteering at the GAR and Abbot Hall, then becoming a docent, his passion became the telling of Marblehead treasures and history which he felt were often overlooked. Noticing how often he was repeating the story behind the painting of the Spirit of '76, he began to tally the yearly number of visitors, sharing the impressive totals with the public. He cherished his Marblehead heritage and the town. Raised in the Ocean Park neighborhood, he lived in five homes within the park, happily imparting his memories of its history with many neighbors. Whether working at the polls, teaching cribbage at the COA, serving potluck suppers at the little church in Maine, or helping Joan with her own interests, Hooper believed in giving back for the many blessings he received. Family came first for Hooper. He spoke often about the sense of goodness, self-respect, and great work ethic shared by his children. Grandchildren, even the youngest great-grandchildren, gave him the opportunity to share his fire and sea stories with a new audience. Everyone else had heard them already. For the past few years Hooper enjoyed a frequent ''Boys Night Out" with his three local grandsons. This became a rite of passage for him, if not for them. Not only could he impart words of wisdom and age, but perhaps slip in a few salty tales as well. Spending time in Maine whether at favorite B&Bs, distant island camps, or sharing the lakeside cabin with family and friends, was the highlight of summers and autumns. Yearly drives to and from Florida with Joan each winter frequently became unexpected travel adventures, well journaled, for future reminiscing and wonderment. Trips together to England and Bulgaria founded new friendships and much material for Hooper's voluminous library of tales. He loved and was loved. As God planned. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Marblehead Council on Aging, 10 Humphrey St, Marblehead, MA 01945 or to the Marblehead Food Pantry, 80 Atlantic Ave, Marblehead, MA 01945. Arrangements are under the care of Eustis & Cornell of Marblehead 781-631-0076. To share a memory or leave online condolences please visit eustisandcornellfuneralhome.com. Published on June 29, 2020|
|6/21/2020: During my continued research on Tunny 282's history, I came across this newspaper article from the McCurtin Press about former World War II crew member Captain Norm Nash, USN receiving his Silver Star. Nice write up.|
6/12/2020: Received the following from former Tunny Electrician's Mate, Greg Kerkof, who served on Tunny when she was an APSS/LPSS in 1968 and 1969. Greg reported to Tunny as an EMFN, became qualified in submarines in 6 months time, was promoted to EM3, and made 8 SPECOPS under the commands of Green and Tate. Here is Greg's email:
VA is working on my claim, and they have "conceded" that I was in fact a Blue Water Sailor. They are again asking for evidence that Tunny operated inside of that twelve mile limit. Some time ago I remember seeing a couple of maps detailing exact positions of Tunny on a couple of ops. I was on board for seven thru fourteen , all of Tates command, as documented in your wonderful book. Is there anything that might be available that would document where Tunny operated on those ops?I
I can't express how much your book has meant to me! Bringing back memories, and reminiscing about the characters in our crew!
My wife Sheryl has also enjoyed learning about that period of my young life. Seems so long ago!
I had mentioned that I would go thru the photos I have of my Tunny cruise, and I have done so. I have a small handful of color slides that I want you to see, but I am still looking for a way to transfer them to a thumb drive so I can get them to you. It can be a little tough to do some of that stuff on our island, but a friend thinks he has a machine that will do the job, just need to take the time to try it!
One correction to your book (not important) is my rating. I was rated EM3, not FM, or IC3!
Any help you can provide is appreciated!
5/30/2020: Here is a note from Dennis Urffer who served on Tunny during the APSS Era from 1968 to 1969. :
Ray, I want to thank you for sending all the email's regarding the agent orange exposure. I have now been rated 90% disabled the last thing that I was able to receive compensation was for PTSD, which was originally denied even though the VA agreed I had PTSD, as I been seeing a VA Psychologist for treatment. They denied it originally indicating that they could not determine the event. David Buehn emailed me the deck log for the day Vernon and I were washed overboard and Vernon wrote a letter outlining the event as he remembered. In the end I received the compensation for the following lost of hearing, TBI from an accident when I was serving on the Spinax, agent orange exposure and PTSD.
It only took me 50 plus years to file the application. I had a good Representative and Berks County Veterans Affairs Director.
Hope you are doing well.
5/27/2020: Former Tunny crew member William "Bill" Foley, LT(jg), USNR sent the following comments on the Tunny book and added even more to its history. Bill, who is now 91, served under both Jim Osborn and Walt Dedrick in the mid-1950s when Tunny was undergoing integration of the Regulus Missile System at Point Hueneme, CA.
GENERAL THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK
The book USS TUNNY is a monumental work. It is a history book, an encyclopedia and a reference manual. Truly a major accomplishment! I can't imagine how much time and effort it must have required to gather all of that information and put it together in this massive, coherent and monumental work.
I was struck by how many ways my career and yours overlapped, so the book brought back many memories. Both of us spent time in an out of Yokosuka, Japan; me during time on the USS Iowa before I joined Tunny and you on Tunny. We both went to submarine school in New London, Connecticut, and we share the experience of ascending to the surface from between a 50 and 100 foot depth in the Submarine Escape Tower – an experience one never forgets! I visited Pearl Harbor on several different occasions: in 1948 on the USS Springfield, again in 1952 on the USS Iowa and finally in 1955 on the USS Tunny. You were based there on Tunny. My first trip into sub-base Pearl was very exciting and something I will never forget. We both spent time in Honolulu at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, although as an officer, more of my recreation time was spent next door at the Moana. One can't serve on a vessel like Tunny without having it affect their life in a very major way.
I must admit that once I left the navy, however, I gradually forgot about submarines and missiles, because Sputnik went up and off we went with the space race. I left to return to graduate school, which had been interrupted by the call to Korean war duties This time at Stanford University in California. While at Stanford I finished both a Masters degree and PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics and then left there in 1958 for the Hartford, Connecticut, area and joined United Technologies Research Center. United Technologies was very heavily involved in all aspects of the space race. We developed the spacesuits, the solid booster rockets used to launch the space capsule into orbit, the small liquid rockets used for maneuvering in space, the fuel cells that powered the space capsule, some of the guidance systems, etc. Once in Connecticut my time was fully taken up by various aspects of the space race and I completely forgot about the missile program. I had a very rewarding career at United and after 30 years retired from there in 1986 and went into business for myself.
MY INTEREST IN TUNNY RETURNS
My first wife, who died a decade ago, and I had four sons. Number three son is a doctor based in Maine. He is an army medical corp reserve officer and when the Corona Virus hit in New York City he was called to active duty and sent to one of the hospitals there. While there he had some free time to start digging into military history and looked into both the Iowa and the Tunny, knowing that I had served on both. He's the one who located the YouTube video “USS Tunny launches Regulus” and he sent it on to his brothers and to my current wife. Both my wife and my youngest son spotted my presence in that video and that caused me to start digging back into the archives and the history which is how I found your book about the Tunny. I also pulled up Capt. Osborn's obituary and was really impressed to find out how significant a career he had; it went on for many years after he and I parted company in 1955. Digging back into all of that history has been a very enriching experience for me and it was particularly rewarding to find out what a significant role the Tunny and its sister ships played in the Cold War. At the time I was on Tunny our focus was on developing an operable cruise missile launching system, but we were already looking toward the day when ballistic missiles and nuclear powered submarines would be mated and enter service. In fact, we had more than one discussion with BuShips about the George Washington which they were then designing. As a result, I don't think we appreciated what a significant future role the Tunny and its sister ships would play for a number of years in our US deterrent strategy. It was rather rewarding to find that in a minor way I had been part of a major development in the US' strategy and tactics for the Cold War.
I was a Minnesota farm boy who graduated from high school in 1947 and that fall entered the University of Minnesota to study Aeronautical Engineering. During my program of study I was an NROTC Midshipman, which led to my graduating in the spring of 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as an Ensign, United States Naval Reserve. At that time I had already completed a year of graduate training in engineering. My first assignment was to the USS Iowa which was in Korean waters. I traveled via troop transport from San Francisco to Japan and picked up the Iowa in Yokosuka, Japan, when it came off patrol in the summer of 1952. That was it's base of operations. I spent the rest of that year and into the following year as a gunnery officer on Iowa in Korean waters. After our tour of duty was completed in Korea, we returned to the United States, passed through the Panama Canal and took up residence in Norfolk, Virginia.
As I joined the Iowa I applied for Navy flight training. While in Korea we operated with a carrier task force and I became aware of the life risks of becoming a naval aviator. At that time one out of four people who entered flight training would eventually lose their life in an aviation accident. After reflection on those risks, I canceled my application for flight training once we got to Norfolk and applied for submarine training instead. In January 1954 I entered the submarine school completing training in the end of February 1954. Because of my background as an aeronautical engineer and gunnery officer and the knowledge that the USS Tunny was now developing missile launching capability for the U.S. Navy, I requested and received assignment to the USS Tunny. On Tunny I was officially the Supply Officer with secondary duties as the Electronics Material Officer, Assistant Missile Officer and Assistant Engineering Officer. As you know, submariners all wear several hats. Because of my background, I quickly became totally engrossed in the Tunny's missile program. I hardly remember anything about my official position as Supply Officer.
LIFE ON TUNNY
On Tunny I quickly found myself working very closely with Capt. Osborn, George Clegg, who was serving as our missile officer, and Dick Whiteside, who was our engineering officer. My recollection is that George Clegg had actually been to warhead school (I thought that he had been to training for the nuclear warheads, but it is possible it was a lesser training program just for our non-nuclear warheads.) and I used to assist him in preparing the missiles for all of our launches when we were at sea. Also, Jack Welch, who work for Chance Vought, quickly became a close friend. He went to sea with us many times. He and his wife Patty lived across the corridor from us in our apartment complex in Oxnard, California. I remained a close friend of Jack for many years as he rose in rank and eventually became Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Air Force.
I was aboard Tunny when it went to Mare Island to have the Trounce Guidance System installed. It is my recollection that it incorporated the first fully electronic computer installed in a Navy ship for weapons control. When we receive the system there were no procedures for checking the accuracy of it. Capt. Osborn and I worked hard to develop such procedures so that we could be sure that the computer was working properly before each missile launch. That effort lead to many late nights when we were in port getting ready for test launches.
The missiles that we were launching were actually small aircraft with retractable landing gears so that we could do the launch and fly the mission, then an airplane would position itself in formation with the missile and take control of the it via radio link and land it on an airport at some location, generally San Nicolas Island when we were operating out of Point Mugu. This recoverable feature saved the Navy a lot of development dollars, A Naval Aviator named Robie was our primary chase pilot. Unfortunately, while on a flight to Texas, his F9F airplane exploded and Robie was killed – a big loss to the project.
In the already mentioned YouTube Video “USS Tunny launches Regulus” I appear as the Missile Guidance Officer about five minutes and 20 seconds into the video and again for a longer time at eight minutes and 37 seconds. You can see me facing the camera wearing headphones. George Clegg the Missile Officer, is on my left, your right as the viewer, in those videos. On one of the missile shoots we had a gyro failure and the missile instead of turning out to sea headed for the Hollywood Hills and I was unable get it to turn back on course. I immediately wanted to dump the missile and destroy it for fear it would hit the land, since it was operating as a low altitude cruise missile. Imagine what would have happened if we had killed John Wayne or destroyed Warner Brothers! At that point we had the Division Commander, whose name I don't remember, aboard and he resisted my dumping the missile and had the Chase airplane come alongside and see if it could take command, which he could not. Eventually, as it got close to the coast (with me feeling very uncomfortable because the missile was still airborne and headed right for Hollywood,) he allowed me to dump it into the sea, hopefully not hitting any small fishing boats that were near the California coast. We got no complaints so I guess we hit nothing! Those were the kind of tense moments that occurred periodically during the development of missile launch capabilities.
I remember operating out of Pearl Harbor in 1955 on Tunny. I found it very exciting to actually navigate in and out of historic sub-base Pearl. That was the trip in which Capt. Osborn was replaced by Capt. Dedrick who I had known previously and who I respected a great deal. As already mentioned, we had been consulting with BuShips on how to layout the missile center on the first polaris submarine, the George Washington. At that time it was understood that Capt. Osborn would be the Commissioning Officer on that submarine and he made known to me that he would like me to join him as his Missile Officer when that occurred. By then I had decided I wanted to leave the Navy and return to graduate school and pursue a scientific career. Capt. Osborne was very upset with me for making that decision, rather than remaining in the Navy and joining him on the George Washington.
In September 1955 I completed my qualification in submarines and receive my Dolphins. I don't remember the award event, but assume it was Capt. Dedrick who pinned the Dolphins on me. I left the ship soon thereafter, in August 1955, and moved to Palo Alto, California, to attend graduate school at Stanford University. I did continue to be active in the Naval reserve and was assigned to the submarine Division 12-31, at Mare Island.
My program of studies at Stanford lasted for three years. I remained active in the reserves during that period of time. In September 1956 I was assigned the USS Tunny as my active duty station for training. It was great to return to the old home and to see all of the officers I had served with during the previous two years. At that point in time LCDR Blair was the XO and CDR Walt Dedrick was CO.
After leaving California for Connecticut I did not find a suitable reserve billet, so I became inactive. The Navy did consider recalling me because of the Vietnam war, but by then my research work was considered too vital to national defense and the Navy dropped the request to return me to active duty.
Some random thoughts on the characters that I got to know on Tunny. Capt. Osborn was a “Nervous Nellie” and rather mercurial in temperament. But a very bright and stimulating person to work with. We got along very well. Walt Dedrick, on the other hand, was very calm and collected and also great to work with. Sam Bussey as Executive Officer was very laid-back, calm and again easy to work with. The same was true for George Clegg. Gerry Patten had worked with the Los Angeles Police Department before his active naval service and was always known as “Dragnet” because of that association. I didn't remember he became XO, per your book .Our cook seemed to like serving Chocolate Mousse and one night Dragenet was heard to remark “Not that Moose Shit again!” From then on Chocolate Mousse was known as “Moose Shit” in the Tunny wardroom.
Of the enlisted men on Tunny, Virgil Klotzner was the one I remember best; he was known as “Dutch”. He loved to ride pogo sticks and would put a little propeller spinner on his white sailor hat while he was riding the pogo stick. The Marines at the base gate on a couple of occasions wrote him up for being out of uniform when he showed up with his propeller hat riding a pogo stick. At one point Dutch road his pogo stick out in front of a parade in which Gov. Richard Nixon was riding in a horse-drawn carriage. The horses freaked and Dutch was arrested for disturbing the peace. As I recall, I had to go to court and bail Dutch out! He was such a character and always in trouble doing crazy things like that, but a very effective electronics technician! He saved the day for us on multiple occasions when we had a hold during a planned missile launch because the electronics were down!
Such was life on Tunny!
William M Foley, LT USNR
|5/25/2020: I received the following from Ms. Laura Rydin, Editor of the Virginia Wine Gazette.
Hi Ray, I hope this finds you and Vicki well on Memorial Day - a day of remembrance for so many of your shipmates on the USS Tunny and for all those who have served our country. I started reading your book in earnest last week and just finished it last night - what a true labor of love, loyalty and brotherhood! I was impressed by the extensive research and dedication you showed in trying to track down so many of the men who served on the Tunny as well as the other submarines in the fleet. I was given a glimpse into a world that I never knew existed and you truly brought me along to the point where I could picture exactly what was where and who was doing what. I could easily see the stealing of the Ronquil "panther" mascot scene made into a movie!
I hope that your book has been sent to the Library of Congress as well as to the United States Navy so that others who might be interested in this history will be able to read it. I am glad it also available online along with the website. Thank you for entrusting me with a copy of your book and for the wonderful mention of the Virginia Wine Gazette's role in your writing journey - I am truly honored to have been a small part in your varied and incredibly interesting career. I have one question though - were you ever reunited with your laundry from the first time you set foot on Tunny and had to leave before it could be washed and returned?
Wishing you and Vicki well - so glad you all found each other again after all that time - proof that true love endures! I'm always happy to help edit or read anything else you might be working on in the future. Take care and thanks again for sharing your book!
|3/26/2020: Found this link as a result of using the keyword "Tunny" on Google Alerts. It is about former Tunny CO, Bill Green: Click here to take you to the link of the Coronado Journal Website. Nice article for sure!|
|3/23/2020: Received this note from Edris Hanick, former wife of Tunny crew member George Sowards which was forwarded from former Tunny crew member, Ed Killius: Thank you so much for this message. I could not remember your name. I was with George the day you had lunch at Super Smokers and enjoyed all of your books and pictures. George wore a hat every day and for the last few years he alternated between a hat that said USS Tunny that his couson gave him, a hat that I brought him from the submarine museum at Pearl Harbor that says US NAVY and had a place for his Dolphins and the hat that you gave him. At this time we are not able to have a funeral because we can only have 9 people and that doesn't even allow for just his sons and grandchildren, and all burials at Jefferson Barracks have been suspended. He always said he didn't care what the boys did with him when he passed, they could burn him, plant him or whatever but his preference was " if they could find a Navy ship going by just wrap him in a sheet and dump him in the ocean". They decided to have him creamated and when the guarantine is over we will have burial at Jefferson Barracks and a Celebration of Life at the Elks Club in Eureka. I am trying to keep a list of people to notify and I have added you to the list. I am so happy that I bought him Ray's book because I was able to find both of you. God bless you and take care during this crisis.|
|3/21/2020: Received a brief note from former Lieutenant (Retired Captain) John Maclaren who received and reviewed my book: "Thanks for your hard and diligent work." Stay safe and well during the national quarantine fiasco and media-driven assault on our freedoms.|
3/21/2020: Received sad news that a former shipmate to many of us, George Walker Sowards, departed on Eternal Patrol on 20 March 2020. Here is the email I received from Edris Hanick: "I wanted you to know that George passed away in his sleep March 20, 2020 from natural causes. He was extremely happy during his last years just being a Dad and Grandpa, and absolutely thrilled when he became a great Grandpa in November. Also, one granddaughter joined the Army 2 yrs ago, and while he thought she should have joined the Navy he was so proud of her. As I have told you before we have been divorced for 40 yrs, but it was me that spent the last few months with him. Due to the medical crisis we can not have a funeral or burial at this time, but when the time comes he will be interred at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery and a Celebration of Life will follow. His will ended with: To my sons Mike and Clint, run my business cautiously, profitabily and with tight purse strings--and take care of your mother. Your book was always on the table by his chair and he spent many hours reading and looking. He was a good man and I am sorry for your loss, as well as ours." A Boat Yeo's Honor to George Walker Sowards who served on Tunny from 1958-1959 has been prepared and mailed to the family. Click here to see George's Honor and others who have departed on Eternal Patrol.
|3/5/2020: A former Supervisor and Naval Officer, Pete White of Catlett, Virginia wrote "Quite a book!!" when he received and read USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute, and Memoir. I served with Pete who retired as a Captain, USN at CINCLANTFLT HQs in the 1970s. He is mentioned on page 656.|
3/2/2020: My cousin, Bill Olszewski, who is mentioned on page 33 in USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute, and Memoir wrote the following: "I found the book very interesting and documents a slice of American history that most people know little about. With your hard work, long hours and excellent research you were able to write about the USS Tunny, its crew, your experiences and family history. I recommend your book to all those who are interested in Navy history or being a submariner, friends and family of the crews and of course all of our relatives. Your book serves as a testament to the dedication of those that served on the USS Tunny which made the United States that much safer. God bless them and God bless the USA. Bill and his wife, Joanne live in Milpitas and Bill, himself, served in the U.S. Army. He is now enjoying retirement afte retiring from CISCO.
|3/2/2020: Received a call today from former submariner and Senior Master Machinist's Mate Chief, George Taney, who lives in Carisle, PA sharing that he was a member of a 4-man crew that was aboard during the first SINKEX attempt on Tunny's 282 hull that took place in March 1970. That attempt was cancelled due to inclement weather and Tunny's hull was successfully and reluctantly I might add was sunk in June 1970. According to his USSVI Profile, Chief Taney served on USS Caiman (SS 323), USS Bergall (SSN 667), USS San Francisco (SSN-711), USS Will Rogers (SSBN 659), and the USS Gato (SSN 615). Thanks Chief for the info. I hope you will buy a copy of my book.|
|2/12/2020: President's day or Lincoln's birthday! Warren Branges (SSN 682) wrote me and said the following about my book: I haven’t had a chance to dig too deep into your book but from what I have read, I’d second Steve’s [White] assessment – Well Done!|
|2/10/2020: Received from Kathryn Seabrook Gauthier, daughter of former Tunny crewmember, Paul Delbert Seabrook who served on Tunny in 1953 as an Engineman. He became part of Tunny's Regulus Missile team who was responsible for the integration of that weapons system into Tunny. You can read in Olszewski's book about Tunny's history that Seabrook was one of several who became the Navy's first guided missilemen team. Click here to take you to a photograph that Kathryn shared which I have taken and elaborated with information about the individuals in the photograph.|
|2/9/2020: Since the end of October 2019, a review of my book, USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute, and Memoir has been posted on the Naval Historical Foundation website. If you have purchased a copy of my book, you are invited to add your comments/review to that which is already posted. Thank you for doing that.|
2/8/2020: Just received input from my newspapers auto research on the Tunny name and the following articles from the early 1950s showed up. You can simply download them as they were clipped out of www.newspapers.com.
Note (1): George E. Cox served on Tunny SSG 282 from 6 March 1953 to 1 February 1955 as an Electronics Technician.
Note (2): Virgil Kirkpatrick served on Tunny SSG 282 from 21 Feb 1956 to 17 December 1956. He became qualified in submarines while serving on Tunny as a Seaman.
Note (3): Robert C. Kindley served on Tunny from 1953 to 1954 as a Seaman. He qualified in submarines while serving on Tunny.
Note (4): J.D. Harper was Jerry D. Harper, a former Guided Missileman, who served on Tunny from 1955 to 1957.
Note (5): The Bronze Star receipient was Lieutenant Commander Leland Perley Robinson, USN who served on Tunny during its first two war patrols during WW II.
|2/7/2020: Received this from a Tunny SSN 682 Plankowner, MMC (SS) Steve White:
I won a copy of your book at the Charleston reunion last year. Glad to get it, but knowing little about it, it remained on my desk until yesterday, still in it’s blue wrapping.
I finally took the time to open and study it a bit. I was totally amazed. I don’t think I have ever seen a book so thoroughly researched and well put together as yours. The quality and format are both superb and without equal.
After more study, it will go in my library alongside other autographed publications I have, including from Dick O’Kane, Isaac Asimov, Joe Foss, Tom Clancy, Ignatius Galantin, Paul Tibbets, Dan Gallery, and some others. You probably know who all these fellows are. If not, let me know and I will share. In any case, your book will be in great company.
Again, my sincere congratulations for a job very well done.
1/25/2020: Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all are doing well. I found a news article published in 1970 by the Miami Herald about former Tunny Commanding Officer, John Franklin Tate (You guys remember him, right?).
11/27/2019: Received this note from Greg Kerkof (Thorne Bay, AK) who writes: I finally got around to ordering your book, been procrastinating too long!
My wife of 39 years, Sheryl, and I retired fifteen years ago and now live on our 50' sailboat Toccata in Southeast Alaska. Our community has only 400 residents, and of those I know three of us who are submarine sailors, coincidently one of whom served on board 682!
I have many pictures from my time aboard Tunny, and hope to find time to go thru them to supplement what you have!
Thanks for putting in such effort! We will enjoy your book, which will have a dedicated space aboard!
Greg & Sheryl Kerkof. Greg served on Tunny from Feb 1968 through Tunny's Decommissioning in June 1969 as an Electrician's Mate. He also became qualified in submarines while serving on Tunny.
|11/25/2019: Received this note from a Har-Brack classmate (one year behind me) who wrote the following in response to an email broadcast about my book being donated to our hometown library (write up below): Thank you so much for sending the Har-Brack news update Ray. I am so darned proud of you. What a monumental piece of work you accomplished. Sorry I missed seeing you and Vicki when you were home last month. Many Blessings on you and your family over the upcoming Holidays. Hoping you will keep warm and healthy and happy. Again, Congratulations on your achievements. Love you my Har-Brack Brother, Terrie
|11/20/2019: Florian Palma (Omra, WI) ordered a Tunny book and wrote the following: Thanks for sending the post card reminding me about the book. I was going to order when you first sent out notification, but put it off. How about sending me copy 282? Thanks, Florian. Well Florian, as the saying goes, "you snooze, you lose." David Kelley a sonarman who served on SSG 282 Tunny asked for and received #282 about a year ago. Copy #192 is on its way to you.|
|11/4/2019: Note from Al Eckert who said he will keep in touch. [The] Reunion was great, seeing Hoop [John Hooper Cutler] again was a surprise. Hope to make the next one. Al|
|11/4/2019: Note from Al Shinn who reported he arrived home safely from the Tunny Reunion in Charlestion. Despite being considerably under the weather, we both had a great time, renewing old friendships and making new ones.Also, many thanks to Ray for his tremendous work on the book, which is truly unique.We will plan for the next one, and hope to see you all there.|
|11/2/2019: I paid a visit to Fred Voskuhl, Tunny 282's longest WW II surviving veteran. Fred, who turned 96 last March, at his home in Pittsburgh. Here is a photo I took of Fred holding his rosary beads, which he says he says his rosary every day at 11:30 am. His health is good and despite problems with his legs manages to get around his home. He enjoys visitors, has a friend who looks out for him, and enjoys the cookies that I send to him. I brought him a dozen of Eat N' Park's Halloween themed cookies. Local Pittsburgh area citizens knows about these delicious cookies.|
10/31/2019: The photo shown to the left and the write up found below was initially posted on Facebookto mark the occasion when I stopped by the Community Library located in my home town of Natrona Heights (Birdville) near Pittsburgh, PA. Vicki and I were returning to Eagan, MN after our two week trip to Savannah and St. Marys, Georgia where I had two book signings, one in St. Marys and one in Charleston at the Tunny's Reunion. Book sales were excellent and to those who purchased them, most appreciated. Here is the Facebook post:
"Author Ray Olszewski donated a copy of his book to the Allegheny Community Library, 1522 Broadview Blvd, Natrona Heights, PA on 30 October 2019. In the photo with Ray is Suzy Ruskin accepting it for the Library. Ray, a 1957 graduate of Har-Brack High School (now Highlands) and born and raised in Natrona Heights (Birdville) said it took him 10 years to write the history of the Navy’s first guided missile submarine which he served on from 1958 to 1962 in Hawaii. Ms Ruskin said the 682 page book will be made available to check out for reading. Ray who lives in Eagan, Minnesota is a supporter of the Library and has made monetary contributions in the past to the community library. Ray and Nancy Burns Ingerson were visiting the area after traveling from St Mary’s, GA where Ray attended his book signing event at the submarine museum there. A copy of Ray’s book is also on display at the Alle-Kiski Valley Historical Museum in Tarentum. For more information and book reviews and comments can be found on Ray’s website, www.olszewskienterprises.com. The Naval Historical Foundation recently posted a book review of this book titled USS Tunny: A History, Tribute, and Memoir. at the Foundation's website: www.navyhistory.org." The NHF review was posted by former Tunny crewmember, Gerry Young. Reviews and comments are welcome. Click here to take you to the NHF's website."
|9/28/2019: The following is a chat I received from Renee Miller, Ben Gorski's niece, who wrote to me after she received her copy of the Tunny Book from her Uncle Ben. Did you write the USS TUNNY? My Uncle Benjamin Gorski was on it with you! You did! Take care and stay well and safe to you and your family. Thank you for putting some pictures of Ben in it! My mother and father and two baby brothers died in a fire when he had to jump ship! He sent my son a new copy #174, thank you again for writing the true story. In response, I wrote: Yes, that is me and we were shipmates. What did you like about the book? She said: Everything about it, we like how you told the story of yous guy's and how you had to live on board, how they reprimanded and gave kitchen duty for making fun of "Pollacks"! I haven't been able to get through all of it yet, remembering your mates you lost, some parts were funny, some sad, some knowledgeable, intriguing and honorable and I could go on and on! The attention you gave my Uncle Ben Gorski (Sea Daddy)?|
8/22/2019: This is not related to a comment but an update. Tunny WW II crewmember, Donald F. Brown, YN, USN departed on Eternal Patrol on 19 August 2019. Prior to this he was thought to have departed earlier as attempts to contact him and his relations were without success. Until Brown's departure, he and former WW II Tunny Vet Fred Voskuhl were the last remaining veterans from that Era. Fred resides in Pittsburgh and turned 96 this past March. Here is an announcement found on the Internt for Brown's passing published by Keith & Keith Funeral Home.
Donald F. Brown, age 94, passed away at Brookdale Senior Living Community, Richland, Washington, Saturday, August 17th, 2019. He passed peacefully from natural causes with family at his side. Don was born on August 27th, 1924 in Yakima, WA, and was the son of Fredrick and Gertrude Brown. Don attended school in Wapato, Washington. He completed his education, graduating from Wapato Senior High School. Following high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy and was assigned to the Submarine Service in support of the World War II effort. After completing his military service, he co-owned and operated Brown and Son’s Bar #213 with his father Fredrick and brother Frasier. He accepted a county job position for Yakima County Highway District at Wapato, WA branch. While there, he also continued operating his business “Don Brown’s Archery Shop.” After years of working in Wapato he retired and moved to the Ahtanum area of Yakima, WA. He enjoyed his continuing passion of building furniture, jewelry making and tending to his Arabian horse “Ebin.” In 1947 Don married Clara E. Aasen, at the Lutheran Church in Wapato, WA. They celebrated sixty-three years of marriage, July 27th, 2010. Survivors include his son Fred L. Brown and wife RaeAnn of Yakima, WA; daughter Trudy M. Gilman of Prosser, WA; daughter Debbie (Rick) Burk of Kennewick, WA; and Don’s sister Billie Lee of Seattle, WA. Don had 17 grandchildren (and spouses) with 16 great-grandchildren. There are also numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Clara, his son Dennis, age 10, his parents, Fredrick and Gertrude Brown, brother and sisters, Frasier Brown, Edna Wardall, Lela Boucher and Betty Kechley, and of course his horses Ebin & Sox. Visitation service on Thursday, August 22, 2019 from 4 PM to 8 PM at Keith & Keith Funeral Home, 902 W. Yakima Ave. Memorial services will be held at 10 AM on Friday, August 23, 2019 at West Hill Cemetery, Yakima, WA.There are no words that can express our heart’s gratitude as to how caring the team of caregivers including Brookdale Senior Care, Heartlinks Hospice, friends and loved ones were during his final days. As you desire, a donation to Shriner’s Children Hospital can be made in lieu of sending flowers. Floral arrangements may be sent to Keith & Keith 902 W. Yakima Ave., Yakima, WA.
What the obituary does not tell you is that Donald F. Brown served on Tunny (SS 282) in 1946 as a Boat Yeoman. He reported to Tunny on 25 January 1946 and was part of Tunny's decommissioning crew. On 12 December 1946, Brown was transferred to Submarine Administration, Mare Island. Prior to Tunny, he had served on USS Bream (SS 243) (Dates unknown), USS S-32 (SS-137) (1943-1945), and after Tunny, USS Tinosa (SS 283). He was a Yeoman Third Class Petty Officer. The source of the other boats came from USSVI's Deck Log. Don Brown was one of Tunny's longest surviving crew members who had served on her during WW II. A photograph of him late in life can be found by clicking here.
|8/21/2019: Received phone call from former Tunny Torpedoman Benjamin "Ben" Gorski this date telling me he received his copy of my book and wanted to thank me for doing all the hard work getting Tunny's story published. "Well done!" were his words. Ben is living in Whitewater, Wisconsin and is not on email anymore.|
8/3/2019: My Dentist, Dr. Skare, of Wood Park Dental, Eagan, MN wrote: "Hey Ray, love chatting with you and congrats on the book you wrote. It's fantastic!" Dr. Skare bought a copy of my book and shared with his father who loves military history. The book will be on display at the Wood Park Dental Office, 4355 Nicols Road, Eagan, MN. Skare is a GREAT Dentist and his Dental Hygenist, Michele is the best..
8/2/2019: Call received from former Tunny Engineman and former Tunny Tiger Mike Burkholder who's bio can be found on page 348. Mike who served on Tunny '66-'67 and made Tunny's first three SPECOPS deployments now lives in Indiana and he thanked me for producing the book and gave me a "Well Done" for all the detailed research that went into my book. He is looking forward to meeting me personally in Charleston at the Tunny Reunion 2019.
|7/8/2019: From Nuke Tunny former CO, Denny "Big Red" Sloan who writes the following:
I have borrowed Jack Pierce's copy of your book, and it is a well
done history of the 282. I found many familiar names, and was
impressed by your research to
describe each, but I am more interested in the 282/682 interface, and
a similar volume to treat the 682. Perhaps someone will be interested
in piggybacking on your expertise in research to assist in, or author,
a similar account to close that name.
My interest in Regulus started on my first assignment from USNA
on USS Los Angeles (CA 135). I served as Assistant Fifth Division
Officer, Assistant Fire Control Officer, and subsequently Fire Control
Officer, while qualifying as OOD, (a prerequisite for Sub School). We
didn't pay much attention to the strange blue unmanned plane stowed
aft of turret three, that later affected the ship's schedule in 1958.
I also was associated with Regulus on Growler
Must have hit the wrong button and sent before ready. We can
discuss further at the upcoming reunion if you're attending. I will be
interested in purchasing a VOL II if it materializes.
Sincerely, Denny Sloan (aka Big Red)
|6/26/2019: From Nuke Tunny veteran, Kevin Gorby who wrote I had my second visit with Tudor last evening. We sat
on his back porch drinking beer and smoking a cigar together for about 3
hours. Great time. His memories from 50-75 years ago are like a steel
trap. He says it's what he did yesterday he has a hard time
remembering... Ha! Tudor Davis is the Past National President for US
Submarine Veterans WWII for 1996/1997. How about that?
I did bring your book back and we went through it a bit. He graciously signed it for me. I've attached a picture for you. He was very impressed with the detail and the amount of information in it. He even thinks some of the names are familiar to him. He showed me a set of WWII Submarine Books he has. Very similar in concept to yours, but covers all the boats of WWII. Nicely bound, embossed 5 book set. Tudor pointed out to me a 3 paragraph section in the book on him with pictures when he was around 18 years old and again around 50.
He wrote down your name and said he has a connection that can get him a copy of your book. I told him I don't think so. It is very limited edition and just came out last December, but I told him numerous time he can borrow my book whenever he wants. He is a little hesitant, but he will come around. Kevin
|5/22/2019: From Tunny's Boat QM (Dan Moss). Boat YN, finally finished your book and I must say it was quite an endeavor on your part. No wonder it took so long to complete. You have done a great service to the crew(s) of Tunny and the historical adventures they encountered on her long and varied life. I did find 2 minor mistakes, but not worth mentioning in a book of this magnitude. Aberation is the hallmark of homosepians (to error is human). I salute you ole friend and Thank You for giving us an outstanding volume of our history as young sailors. God Bless you and a preliminary Happy Birthday.|
|5/12/2019: Talked with former Tunny XO Pete Fullinwider who received a copy of the Tunny book as an early birthday gift. Pete will turn 92 in August. Pete's response when he received his copy was WoW!. A Masterful job! You done good Ski. I am looking forward to celebrating your 92nd birthday, Pete.|
|5/7/2019: Had lunch to day with shipmate Bill Benzick, former Tunny cook. He said of my book and coughed up the following endorsement: The Tunny book which you authored is a great book and brought back many great memories but most important it is a great history rendering of what the Tunny had. The sailors you wrote about and recognized them is a very important part of the book. Thank you for the research and effort putting together this publication. I was happy to see many facts that would be lost if this book was not brought forward. Congrats to you and those that supported your efforts. Shipmate William J. Benzick. 1959-1961, CS 3 (SS). See you on board the USSVI Cruise on 2 June 2019 out of Hudson, MN.|
|4/22/2019: Heard from Stuart Fullinwider who is the son of Pete Fullinwider, former Tunny XO. Says his dad is doing well at 91 still living in Norfolk, Virginia. After he received his book orde and read itr, Stuart said, "Great job on the book! I asked him for succession ownership."|
4/21/2019: Your book is incredible! Love all the history and excerpts ~ your personal story is beautiful! Ensign Megan Rosenberger, USN, USNA 2017. I am proud to say that I was her 'first salute' the day she was commissioned as an Ensign, United States Navy.
|4/12/2019: Received a letter and book order from EM1(SS) Paul Thomas who served on Tunny (1967-1969) saying he answered the last bell "Port Back 1/3. Port Stop. He left the Navy after Tunny was decommissioned and never looked back. Subic was a blast, every night was Saturday night. If you stayed in Olongapo too long you never grew up. He said he married and raised a family. His son is a retired Chief Corpsman living in San Diego, CA. I kept in touch with several of the Tunny guys over the years but I've now lost track, probably deceased. I've lived in Hawaii since 1971 where I came to start up an oil refinery here on Oahu that year.|
|3/26/2019: Former Tunny CO Bill Green wrote the following brief testimonial concerning my labor of love, the TUNNY Book. " It is truly in a class by itself. I know [it] is appreciated by all Tunny sailors who have read it and by others who are interested in submarines. My hats off to you for undertaking such a monumental project and completing it will such excellent results. Herewith Bill's testimonial: “Dear Shipmate Ray, the book you have written detailing the history of the USS TUNNY is certainly unique. I know of no other comparable submarine history. Not only is it a fact filled compendium of data about the ship, the crew, and its operations, but you also included light hearted “sea stories” which added a bit of humor and displayed the light-hearted attitude common among the men who crewed diesel submarines. For those of us who served on Tunny the book serves as a wonderful reminder of the adventures we experienced in the days of our youth. It is a testimony to the sometimes hard life and difficulties which had to be endured and overcome which at the same time extolling the spirit and pride of these hardy men.”|
|3/20/2019: From Bill Hardt who served on Tunny 1961-1964 writes: I had a quick trip back to Wisconsin and your book was there waiting for me. What a surprise! It is terrific. I never expected it to be so large and well done.|
3/19/2019: Karen Steelberg met with Rear Admiral and former Director of Naval Intelligence, Samuel Cox and personally presented to him a copy of my TUNNY book. Cox who retired from the Navy became the Director of the NHHC. He was delighted to have received the book about Tunny and remarked that he could tell it was a lot of hard work.
3/15/2019: Visited the St. Marys Submarine Museum, St. Marys, GA and learned of the Director, Keith Post, plans for the popular venue. By the way, the St. Marys Submarine Museum is the largest museum of its kind in the south, and the fifth largest in the country with nearly 5,000 square feet on 2 floors. Keith told me the museum gets about 12,000 visitors a year. One of the features the museums boasts is that it has more than 99% of all WW II War Patrol Reports are housed there. Some rennovation was being made to the street in front of the museum as well as the businesses that line the frontage of St. Marys Street. The two hour tour and discussion was most enjoyable and it was obvious from Post's enthusiasm that the museum will do well under his direction. We were then joined for lunch by Vice Admiral Al Konetzi former COMSUBPAC. And, he bought lunch for us. During lunch he mentioned former Tunny CO, Bill Green as well as a former boss of mine, Chauncy Hoffman. The admiral knew both the men very well. He was most appreciative for the donation I made of my collection of a framed display of the North Pacific Yacht Club ship's patches. As for Tunny's presence at the museum there was none but now there is and more will be sure to come to be displayed there.
Admiral "Big Al" Konetzni, Jr. served as COMSUBPAC 1998-2001.
|3/21/2019: Received the following email from the nephew of former Tunny crewmember Don O'Shea (1966-1968). This was in response to my 'reach out' to former Tunny crewmember's relations. He says, "In answer to your question: Yes. Captain Donald J. O'Shea, USN was my Uncle Don and a true friend. I am the son of his older brother Jeremiah P. O'Shea (Jerry) of New York City. My uncle did indeed serve on the U.S.S. Tunny during his career in the Navy. Over the years I have learned that his official record pales in comparison to the respect and admiration of the men and women with whom he served. I would gladly try to answer any questions or confirm any information you may have regarding my uncle's professional career. You are welcome to contact me at this email address. Sincerely, Jeremiah A. O'Shea (Jerry)." His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone would like to communicate with Jerry.|
|3/7/2019: Departed on trip to SC and GA from Eagan, MN which is about 1400 miles distance. A lot happened while I was gone to include a visit to the St. Marys Submarine Museum located in St. Marys, GA. Also, a visit was made to the NHHC by Karen Steelberg, a good friend and researcher who is mentioned in my book. Karen made the call on my behalf to present to Rear Admiral Samuel Cox, USN (Retired) who is the Director of the Naval Historical and Heritage Command (NHHC) located at the Washington Naval Yard, Washington, DC.|
|2/28/2019: Received an email from Annette Covey, the daughter-in-law of one of many Tunny Poets, former Engineman, James Phillip Covey. She thanked me for all the work that I did to keep the memory of the Tunny and it's crew members alive.Annette added that she and her husband received the Boat Yeo's Honor Bio on Jim Covey and thanked me for that and for honoring him. She added that she liked the phrase 'departed on Eternal Patrol.'" The Boat Yeo's Honor Bio that I created for James Phillip Covey can be seen by clicking here.|
|2/25/2019: This is an email I received from Keith F. Post, Executive Director and former submariner (Sonarman) of the St. Mary's Submarine Museum. "Hey Ray - "..., We did receive your book, and I have to tell you I am BLOWN AWAY!!! What an amazing piece of work you did! I had not seen the thank you that you put in for the Museum until I was showing a Naval Officer friend of mine who was visiting from Pennsylvania on Friday. THANK YOU so much for doing that. I am taking the book home so I can read more of it. It is fantastic! THANK you again for sending us this [complimentary] copy, and I will be promoting it for you on our Facebook Page this week!|
|2/24/2019: This is an email I received from Rebecca Watson, who is one of three daughters of former Tunny crewmember Frederick Manville Watson. Fred came to Tunny from the Perch and served as one of the Divers and Tigers identified in the Tunny Book and made all fourteen (14) Special Operations (SPECOPS) deployments. Rebecca added that Fred's father, George Manville Watson, also served in the Navy during 1930s. Rebecca added that George attended Tunny's decommissioning in 1969 along with his son, Fred. Rebecca attended the Tunny Reunion held in Mobile, Alabama in 2013. She could not believe that six years have passed since that time.|
|2/18/2019: When I first browsed through my copy of the "USS TUNNY" and knowing my brother, I knew I had an authoritative work in my hand. I keep a copy on my desk and can say, open any page, start reading and your going to find an interesting fact or story that will keep you reading. This book is beyond authoritative. It is a fun read while learning what submarines and the people who served on them are all about. Robert Olszewski.|
|2/12/2019: Eureka! GREAT NEWS! George Walker Sowards, Jr. who served on Tunny 57-59 is alive and well. His first wife, Edris contacted me through ancestry.com telling me he is living in Missouri. In the Tunny Book, I had George departing on Eternal Patrol in 2007. Regret the error! Still waiting to hear something from him though. Edris said when they were together he talked about Velton Parker, Bob Haley and the time when we stole the panther from the Ronquil in 1959. George is 83 and is listed in the Tunny Veteran's Roster living in Eureka, MO.|
2/8/2019: In response to my email Tunny Book Update, Major General Gordon Nash, USMC (Retired) wrote the following: I have enjoyed every page of your book on the USS Tunny. It is a fitting tribute to the brave Navy men and their families. I have one minor correction. My father and his bride were inured at the columbarium at the Naval Academy and not at Arlington National Cemetery. All the best and Bravo Zulu, Gordon Nash.
Gordon is the younger of two sons born to Norman Clarke and Mary Frances Hendrix Nash. Norm served on Tunny during World War II and as the Tunny Book points out he made the first eight of Tunny's nine combat war patrols. Gordon's older brother, Donald Hendrix Nash a 1969 Naval Academy graduate who retired as a Navy Captain, died in June 2018. He too is inured at the Naval Academy.
2/8/2019: Lowell Womack of Vestavia Hills, Alabama wrote: The finished product is way above my expectations. I am glad I bought it. Thanks for your work.
Lowell served on Tunny as a Lieutenant (junior grade) in 1962 and 1963 and he made two Regulus Deterrent Patrols.
2/7/2019: Absolutely beautiful book, Ray. I'm proud to own it. Excellent work. Jim
This note was received from Jim Hendry who served on Tunny as an Sonar Technician in 1964 and 1965 when it was ending its service as an SSG and transitioned to an SS and then on to become an APSS shortly after.
2/3/2019: Today is Super Bowl Sunday and former Lieutenant John Shaffer wrote me this email: Ok, Ray; received it [the Tunny book] in the mail yesterday. Wow, what a deal! It was packaged extremely well, and it is a very professional job. I spent a few hours checking out parts of it. Lots more to check later, for sure. It is an excellent job by you in detail and presentation, and represents a LOT of good work. Thank you for the effort. Time for you to rest your oars and watch some more football! More later; have a good one. J.
Thank you John Shaffer. Your contributions to it from the time when you served as Tunny's Missile Officer was a big help and most appreciative. Enjoy.
1/31/2019: Received this note from Al Eckert a former Interior Communications Technician (IC) who served on Tunny in 1962. Al gratiously provided the contents of his personal diary he wrote during the Cuban Missile Crisis deterrent patrol (#7). Here is what he sent about the book: "Ray, received the book today. What a surprise it was, beautifully wrapped and I couldn't believe how heavy it is. You did a great job on it and I doubt that you will get any complaints about it or the cost of it from anyone who receives it !. Iwant to thank you ever so much for all the information on me that you put in there. It sure made me feel worthwhile as to my time on that great Submarine. Thank you for all the work you put in to make this happen. It's guys like you that keep history current. I will be letting all my family read it as they really don't realize what we've done for service to OUR COUNTRY. Hope you have many more years to enjoy life, and maybe write a book of fiction that sells a million copies book about a Submarine adventure based on some of the information you've uncovered during the making of this book, your friend, Allen.
Thank you very much Allen. I feel as you do that there is not enough history our young generation is receiving in schools these days. It is guys like us who take the time to explain and share how important it was serving our country to keep it free. The sad part is that freedom is being slowly taken away every passing day. Glad you liked the book.
|1/30/2019: Received these comments from former Electronics Technician Chuck Curry. Ray, I got your book in excellent condition. And thanks so much!!
That took a lot of work, and all the research. A true jewel to be proud
of. I hope you can get it into some Navy library so future researchers
can use it.
The book answered a bunch of questions I have had regarding fellow shipmates. I always wondered, and tried to find Norman Derks, but to no avail. I see in the book that he is on Eternal Patrol. I did find Doc Moon, once at the National USSVI convention in Saratoga Springs, NY. He was living in NY state somewhere, and his car had SS282 license plates. Ran into Doc Moon at the Tunny reunion in Silverdale Washington a number of years ago. He has passed, also, I see.
I had a mini-reunion in the 90's, I think, with C.T. Hill, and Bruce Bergstrom at a Denny's in Wilkes-Barre. Pa. Bruce lived a short distance south of that in Hazleton PA, and I lived in Endicott, NY. Good reunion, with a couple of laughs. CT told me that the time we bounced off the bottom "up North" on Thanksgiving Day, he was sitting in the mess hall, trying not to fill his dungarees. I was Mess-cook at the time, with Okie O'Connor, and remember that not too many men finished their dinner.
The next day, Floyd Kuhl passed the word for dinner, as " First Call to the Last Supper". prompting Mr. Fullenwider to burst into Control, saying "who did that?"
Those were the days.....
Later in my Navy years, I served on Bashaw in Pearl Harbor, but the crew on that boat was not cohesive, and was a bunch of short-timers with a bad attitude.
I am now 81+ years old, retired, and living in a very nice in-law apartment in my youngest daughter's home. She has 6 chillun's upstairs, 2 years old to 14. Lots of action and fun. I am recently elected Vice Commander of the local USSVI base, the USS Virginia Base. There is one fellow there who was a Barbero crewman. Most of the others were Atlantic boat sailors.
When living in NY, a deacon at a local parish had been a Tunny crew member and had left the ship in early 1959, before I reported to the ship. Also met a retired Marine Major, who was a leader of insertion teams in the Viet Nam war, and rode Tunny on several insertion efforts. I gave him a Tunny patch, and told him he was an honorary crewmember.
Well, Ray, thanks again, a million times. Here's to a following sea, fair winds, and a bight star to steer by. God bless you!
Thank you Chuck for taking the time to share not only comments about the book but sharing your recalls. I hope others will enjoy them as much as I did about that time when we both served on Tunny together. Chuck Curry was an ET who served on Tunny in 1959 and 1960. He lives in Mechanicsville, Virginia. I think Chuck means Bob Corradini who lives in West Hazleton, PA. I wonder who the "deacon" was that Chuck mentions?.
|1/29/2019: Heard from Stan Jarvis who we called "Jarv" when he served on Tunny during the Regulus years. He offered up that he was born in Chloe, West Virginia on 14 September 1934 in a farmhouse. He enlisted in the Navy in Akron, Ohio at 18 years of age in February 1954. He served on Tunny as a Guided Missileman 1958 - 1959 and later served on the Robert E. Lee (SSBN 601) and a few other boats which I am checking on with him. He received his discharge from the Navy in and moved to Canada where he resides today. He received a copy of the Tunny book and he remembered he was part of the "affair" stealing the Panther from the Ronquil along with two others (no names mentioned). They were stationed as lookouts at critical spots during one of the encounters. He said he missed most of the actual fun.|
1/29/2019: Received this note from Sandy Karamol, wife of former Tunny crew member and shipmate, Ed Karamol. "Wow, did not expect it to be so big. I turned one page and couldn't stop. There is much for me to read. I cried when I read about me. My favorite is the Panther story. My granddaughter took pictures of the stories. Her husband was very impressed, also. You out did yourself Ray. A true story of history of a great sub and its crew. Always a sailors wife. Sandy.
Boat Yeo's Note: Ed Karamol served as an Electrician's Mate on Tunny during the SSG Era. Ed and Sandy live in Monclova, Ohio which is located just south of Cleveland. Ed was a member of the Ronquil's Panther Acquisition Team that is covered in Chapter Ten "The Genesis of Tunny's Mascot".
1/29/2019: Heard from Doug Stahl and his wife Joy who live in Chonburi, Thailand telling me they finally received their copy of my book. Doug said, Thank you very much.
Doug Stahl served as Tunny's Executive Officer and later served as Tunny's Commanding Officer during the Regulus (SSG) years. That's Doug in the recent photos shown below of him taken by his wife Joy.
1/27/2019: Heard the following from Vern Calen (APSS/LPSS 66-69) (Gresham, OR): Yes I did get it. Great book, only one error, I do not have Tunny klaxon! Thanks, Vern.
Boat Yeo's Note: Only one error? There are probably many more (life of publishing). Vern's point about not having one of Tunny's Klaxon's is true. I misrepresented him having it in the book because it was actually Jim Hovis, former Electrician's Mate who served on Tunny from 1966 through 1969 and part of her decommissioning crew. Hovis and I communicated about him having it in August 2016.
1/26/2019: Received the following from Judy Sims, wife of Wayne Rogers Sims (1940-2015) who served on Tunny during the SSG years. Hi Ray, I just received the book and pictures and I am looking at it right now. I am very impressed. This was so much work, a major undertaking. The picture presentation is beautiful. I'm gonna have them framed for our girls. Thank you so much. You deserve a medal for all your time and effort. Thanks again. Judy
Boat Yeo's Note. With regards to 'the picture presentation' Judy asked me for any photos we had of Sims and I put together what I could find and put a Boat Yeo Honor Bio on him for Judy. Click here to see it.
1/18/2019: If you missed it, former Tunny CO, Bill Green celebrated his 88th birthday today (18 Jan 2019). Here is what his son, Lyman wrote when he gave him a copy of the Tunny book: Dad loves the book!! And granddaughters are happy to check out their grandad’s navy record. Thank you So much! Thank you! Big smile on Dad’s face!! Recent photo sent by Bill.
|1/15/2019: This comment is from the book's cover designer, Liz Grover. "It came! It came out so beautiful! I did not expect it to be so big! Congratulations!"|
|1/15/2019: Here is what Jim Christley posted on Facebook. "I am in receipt of a book about USS Tunny. The book is large, weighing in at nearly 4 pounds (4#, 10oz, actually) and is the most complete book about a single boat I have ever seen. It, in my opinion, sets the goal to which every author of a boat's history should ascribe. It is available at: http://www.olszewskienterprises.com/. Maybe a bit pricey but extremely well done. Mr. Olszewski was a yeoman aboard the boat in the time of diesel boat WestPac cruises and Tunny's stationing in Subic Bay. He spent ten years researching, interviewing, corresponding with and obtaining the stories of the crew. It has a good yeoman's eye for detail and ability to organize. The book has first hand sea stories 'from the deck plates', from the wardroom and the CPOs. The stories bring to my old wrinkled memory WestPac at its finest. I made two trip aboard USS Sterlet in the mid 60s but recognize the places and events as if they were on my own boat. Included are the Tunny's wartime career and her conflict with the USS Ronquil over the Ronquil's mascot Panther. He has many photos and voluminous text. I noted that in the photos were many folks I seemed to recognize. (Did we all look the same or is it just in our eyes after 55 years?) I liked the book and it will be well read by me as I 'relive' old times even if they were not on my boat."|
1/14/2019: Former submariner and historian James L. Christley writes the following, Dear Mr. Olszewski, The book arrived on Saturday. Thank you very much for your kind gift. I expected, when you first approached me, a book of 20 to 25 thousand words and maybe 150 pages which told the story of Tunny. Instead you have produced the most wonderful book of submarine history I have read (actually just started) since Clay Blair's "Silent Victory". It will provide many hours of remembering how it was. I was not a crew on Tunny but made two diesel boat wespacs in the mid 60's thus can identify with many of the things of the era in your book. Viewed from the distance of 50+ years I can remember the fun times and wonderful folks better than the other side of the coin and your book brings back these memories. Thank you! We had a discussion about the accuracy of the Booklet of General Plans view of the conning tower. I had never seen the Mk101 fire control Torpedo Data Computer mounted on the starboard side in any other boat or boat drawings. However, your view and that of those you asked was completely correct. On page 110 is a photo of the conning tower. It is taken from the helm stand looking aft. There, mounted on the starboard side is the TDC. I like learning new things. Thanks for this also. Now I wonder how many other boats had this arrangement. Question: Will the book, soft bound or hard bound be available for sale? If so, where and how much. I would like to bring the book to the attention of folks on two submarine bulletin boards if you have no objections. Again I would like to thank you so very much for your work in generating this book. I feel like you have set the example of how a submarine's history should be written. When and if I ever run across another I will see if it comes up to the measure of yours. I am honored to be a part of this effort. Thank you, Very Respectfully, Jim Christley, oldsubs.
Boat Yeo's Notes: I approached Jim during my construction of the book and he agreed to provide me with the graphics which are included in it. The work Jim did significantly improved the presentation of information. His comments are most appreciative. According to the website found at www.worldcat.org, Jim Christley is listed as either the author and co-author of several books to include the following: US Nuclear Submarines: the Fast Attack, US Submarines 1941-45, US Submarines 1900-35, US Submarines 1941-45, and US Nuclear Submarines.
1/13/2019: David Buehn (Lynwood, CA) APSS1968. OMG! That is all I have to say.....Awesome book! I know the effort that you had to put forth to complete and publish it. This will definitely transcend our life....and be a testament to our service on our boat, the USS Tunny. I took it to my local Riverside County Veteran Service Guys luncheon a few days ago. They are my advocates for getting my VA benefits. They perused the book for an hour....and none of them wanted to put it down. They were in the Air Force, USMC and Army. They've told me that out of the 18,000 vets that they've helped.....only a handful were "Submariners". It's going to take a few days to read it.....lol! And....thanks for all the personal notes about everyone....it really adds a "face" and "personality" to Tunny. It was a living-breathing boat. I'm so glad you used some of my pictures. Like the one I took of the SEALS with the SDV on the rear deck. I'd just gotten a new Poraroid camera....and took it. Of course....luckily I'd scanned it to my laptop....as the fire got the original. I still tell people how blessed we were that I'd sent the deck-logs to you.....as the fire would have gotten them, too.
Boat Yeo's Note: David Buehn is referring to a major fire at his place of business last year. David also acquired Tunny's Deck Logs and shared them to allow me to identify the dates of the Unconventional Warfare Special Operations (SPECOPS) Tunny conducted in Vietnam and other information of historic value. The left photo shown below is David taken when he was serving on Tunny during the Vietnam Era. Note that they are on the beach. The bottom photo is David on the left posing with his former CO (Commanding Officer) William Carbine Green at one of Tunny's reunions. David and his wife, Sheila, live in Palm Desert, California.
|1/12/2019: Frederick Henry Voskuhl (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) SS 1943-1945 called me and said he received his Tunny book and thanked me for sending it to him. Fred is the last Tunny WW II survivor and he will turn 96 in March 2019. Send Fred a card and wish him a Happy Birthday if you have a mind to do so. I know he will appreciate it. Every so often I send him cookies which he appreciates receiving very much. He lives alone and his address is: 232 S. Millvale Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224-1607.|
1/12/2019: William Joseph Benzick (Le Seuer, Minnesota) SSG 1959-1961 wrote: I received my Tunny book today and want to say how I much enjoyed it. Of course there is much to digest but I want to tell you it is a wonderful publication bringing many great memories back. Thanks for the great work.
Boat Yeo's Note: Billl Benzick and the Author were shipmates on Tunny and today both live as 'neighbors' in the Twin Cities. That is, when Bill and his wife, Linda, escape the cold weather to Tucson, Arizona and Vicki and I hang in there keeping the place warm in their absence.
1/12/2019: Frank Kalinoski, son of former Tunny Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Alexander John Kalinoski (1952) wrote: Ray, I received your book in the mail this morning. WOW!! What an epic you have produced. You are to be congratulated for a most outstanding effort and achievement - 4.0 with oak leaf cluster!! I am so happy that I was able to help you in a very small way. Thank you. I wish my father was alive. I am sure he would enjoy this read immensely. He loved his submarines. Frank Kalinoski.
Boat Yeo's Note: When I came across the information about A.J. Kalinsoski was a Tunny CO, I reached out using Ancestry.com and found his son, Frank. Frank provided some of the background information about his father which is included in the Tunny book's bio. Frank lives in El Cajon, California.
1/12/2019: Edward Wight Willis, Jr. (Jacksonville, Florida) APSS 1967-1969. Ray, I just received my book today and want to tell you and Gerry how blown away I am. HOLY MOLLY and a bunch more exclamations. I don't know what I was expecting but this is way over what ever it was I expected. So.....hell of a good job. Congrats and BZ's up the 'yeng yang'. I noted that you worked with Mr. Life. While I was working with MSC, we pulled into Murmansk, and standing on the pier was Mr. Life. What a surprise!!! OK, again, great job with the book. EWW.
Boat Yeo's Note: Ed Willis is know to many former Tunny shipmates as 'Shaggy Dog." Ed lives with his wife, Jeanne, in Donalsonville, Georgia.
1/12/2019: Robert Jay Block (Sacramento, California) SSG 1957-1959. Thank you, Ray. Just got the book and it is beautiful. Thanks again, Barb would have loved it!
Boat Yeo's Note: Bob Block and his wife Barb became one of my very first 'family friends' when I first came to Tunny in 1958. Unfortunately, Barb passed away this past year. Bob lives in Mount Vernon, Washington.
1/11/2019: Robert Dale Duncan (Pocatello, Idaho) SSG 1963-1965. Ray, I received my book yesterday afternoon - thanks to the packaging department as the book was wrapped so beautifully I had to take a picture of it before I took the ribbons off. WOW is all I can about the book - I have had a hard time putting it down since I opened the package - just an amazing collection of "boat" info, operational info and last but surely not least is the biographical info of the officers and crew. I am sure you are very proud of the product you have created, and I am so happy that you found the time to create the product. GREAT JOB !!!!!!! The photo shows how the books are 'gift wrapped' when they are wrapped in bubble wrap and shipped.
Boat Yeo's Note: My fellow Yeoman, Bob Duncan and his wife, Holly, live in Cape Coral, Florida. They reviewed a very early draft of the beginnings of the manuscript which led up to the book's production. Their comments were very helpful 'getting postive and forward motion moving on the book's production.'
1/11/2019: Alda Babusek is the wife of former Tunny crewmember Richard E. Babusek (Chicago, Illinois) Tunny 1959-1962 and wrote, I just wanted to let you know that the Tunny book arrived yesterday and it is very impressive! Thank you for all of the trouble you took in getting it to us. I hope you are successful in your sales. I will for sure put it out at Dick's reception so that others might enjoy a bit of history. She added, God bless you and all of your shipmates! Alda and Dick resided in Mission Viejo, California.
Boat Yeo's Note: Dick Babusek departed on Eternal Patrol on 26 December 2018. We tried hard to get a copy from the Printer's for him to review, but his departure on that Eternal Patrol came too soon.
|1/11/2019: I learned through snail mail that John Francis O'Connell who is mentioned in my book as one of the founding members of the North Pacific Yacht Club (NPYC) departed on Eternal Patrol on December 13, 2018. If you knew John or served with him on one of many submarines he served on, please send condolences to: M.E. O'Connell at email@example.com or by snail mail to: 6300 Stevenson Ave, Apt 305, Alexandria, VA 22304. John served on the USS Perch (ASSP-313), USS Caiman (SS-323), USS Barbero (SSG-317), USS Pickerel (SS-524), and, USS Spinax (SS-489). He was also Commander Submarine Division 41 and assigned as the Defense and Naval Attache, American Embassy, Tokyo, Japan.|
1/11/2019: Gerry Arnett Young (Kansas City, Missouri) APSS 1967-1968 wrote: I got the books a few days ago, and have spent time going through the book thoroughly. You're to be congratulated on this achievement. I can only imagine the hundreds of hours you must have put in to put this together. A terrific achievement! I'll be bringing a copy of it to my USSVI breakfast meeting next Tuesday morning. I'll let you know what their reactions were. Gerry.
Boat Yeo's Note: Gerry Young volunteered to review and edit my manuscript drafts, actually several times. I cannot find the words to thank him enough for doing this for me. As a THANKS, I gave to him an "Un-numbered Complimentary" copy and a Limited Edition #003 copy of my book, plus a couple bottles of Black Label JD. Gerry and his wife, Joyce, live in Commerce Township, Michigan.
1/10/2019: Albert Ege Morgan (Coaldale, Pennsylvania) APSS 1966-1968 wrote, Hi Ray, book arrived today, lot more in it than I thought it would be. Thanks for the great write-up of the APSS years, and over all history.
Boat Yeo's Note: Al Morgan came to the Tunny from the Perch and served as an Engineman aboard the Tunny making nine (9) SPECOPS Deployments. Al resides in Orwegisburg, Pennsylvania.
1/10/2019: Robert James Roderick served on Tunny 1962-1964. He wrote, the book arrived yesterday and it is awesome. Thank you for what you have done. Tunny was my favorite boat period!!!! Have a blessed day.
|1/10/2019: Karen Steelberg wrote "Your book arrived yesterday! Thank you so very much.
You have given your shipmates and their families a wonderful gift. A legacy of your and their memories that can be treasured and shared with future generations.
Boat Yeo's Notes: Karen is a former Intelligence Specialist who worked with me during those days at Naval Intelligence. She is now retired and conducted hands on research at NARA for me in Maryland.
|1/9/2019: Kevin Gorby served on Tunny SSN 682, wrote,
I received my copy of your book. Congratulations! What a difference to hold it in my hands in a hardback edition. Below is a post I put on the Tunny page on Facebook. Maybe it will generate a few sales for you. Kevin Gorby, Sr.
"I received my hardback copy of USS Tunny by Ray Olszewski. Congrats to Ray and what a treat of a book for any submarine vet. Ray contacted me a few years ago asking me to send him a scan of the original Tunny logo JJ Jenkins had unselfishly given me. I consider myself the caretaker until it moves on. To my surprise when I went to that section in the book Ray had included a story I shared with him where I had met George Beaman who was a torpedoman on Tunny in WWII and I later had the privilege to give his eulogy at his funeral on behalf of all Tunny sailors. What an honor. Thank you, Ray, and thank you for sharing the history and stories of the 282. You guys need to get a copy!
1/9/2019: Cynthia Sowden who provided editing services on early manuscript drafts. She wrote, I received your package today, appropriately tied up in Navy blue and gold. Thank you! I didn't expect to receive a copy, so it was a very pleasant surprise. Now my husband Ralph will get to read the book. (He didn't while I was working on it.). Cynthia's editing services can be acquired by contacting her at: www.homegrowncommunications.biz.
Boat Yeo's Note: Husband Ralph was an airdale who served on Navy aircraft carriers.
|1/9/2019: Katheen Glass, the daughter-in-law, of John M. Glass, former Torpedoman who served on Tunny during SSG years of 1957-1958 wrote, Thank you, Ray! My husband is thrilled with the book. And very proud of his dad. It was gratifying to me to present it to him. Thanks again, Kathleen.|
1/8/2019: David Newell Kelley (Hartford, Connecticut) SSG (1960-1963) wrote to me about reserving copy #282 a few days after he placed his order for one of my books. I thought about it and several days later I told Dave that he could have that number. He had been talking with his wife on 1/6/2019 that he had hoped he could get that numbered book. She said "no way." Well, his wish came true. He wrote, "You made my day!"
Boat Yeo's Notes: Dave, a Sonarman, remembered me and my red hair from the Tunny days sitting in the Yeoman Shack. Hey Dave, was that you who kept hitting me on the back of my head while I sat in the Yeoman's Shack?
|1/7/2019: Alan Nebola served on Tunny SSN 682 and he wrote, I got my book. Thanks for writing it. I'm finding it very interesting.|
1/4/2019: William Pollock a former submariner and I exchanged emails about former Tunny CO, John Addison Scott. He wrote that he was "...well-acquainted with John Scott's exploits in Tunny. I read all his patrol reports when I was in SUBSCHOOL in New London in 1958. Unfortunately, I never met him. I have forwarded your web page to members of his family. Unfortunately, his son, MacGregor Scott, a Naval Academy graduate and submarine officer passed away a several years ago. His children and his sister and her children are the ones to whom I forwarded your web page link. I don't know if they will be interested in spending $150 to obtain the book. If they are you may directly hear from them."
Boat Yeo's Note: I told William Pollock that I appreciated his contacting John Scott's family about my book. I also told him that the patrol reports very seldom mentioned names and that my book provided or filled-in that kind of information about who was serviing at the time on those six combat patrols. I found a William Pollock served on the USS George Bancroft (SSBN 643) as a Lieutenant (junior grade) from 1968 to 1970.
1/3/2019: Mary Wrigely wrote the following message to me on ancestry.com, Hi Ray, just checking in on the publishing status of the book. I gave my husband the card that you sent and he is so thrilled (as also is his mother - Paul's wife - Marla Myers) to take a look at the book. Let me know...you've made a few Myers family members very happy for sharing this information.:)
Boat Yeo's Notes: The family mentioned in this message are related to Paul C. Myers who was a guided missileman who served on Tunny during the SSG era.
|1/4/2019: For the record, the Tunny Books were not received from the Printers until 1/4/2019. They were promised ten days before but were delayed and were unable to be sent in time for Christmas giving. We here at Olszewski Enterprises regret any inconvenience this delay caused you and your loved ones.|