I am pleased to write the foreword for this tribute to the U.S.S. Tunny.  Ray has produced an exhaustive compilation of information on the history of this remarkable submarine.  What is often missing from military histories of this genre are the detailed human interest stories that for me are a critical part of the histories I not only enjoy reading but also think are very important for historians in the future.  Ray has written this kind of history in a very readable form and covers Tunny from stem to stern.

     The Regulus program had been all but ignored by the historians when I decided to write my history, Regulus: The Forgotten Weapon.  Most historians referred to it as a stopgap program superseded by the much more capable Polaris program.  This was the result of hindsight history since at the time of the conception of the Regulus air-breathing guided missile, the Polaris solid propellant concept was just an idea and a futuristic one at that.  The Regulus I nuclear armed guided missile served an important role during the early years of the Cold War in the North Pacific. The next generation Regulus II supersonic guided missile was a huge advance over Regulus I, which while not deployed due to the advent the Polaris program, would prove a formidable weapon if Polaris had failed.  Therefore Regulus was important and should not be forgotten.

     From what I could gather in my interviews of crew members for the various Regulus submarines, duty on the two World War II boats, Tunny and Barbero, was aptly depicted in the movie “Das Boot.”  Ray captures this vividly as the reader lives through the arduous conditions both in the submarine and with the harsh conditions of the North Pacific.  For those of you old enough to remember serving on a Regulus submarine, especially the diesel–electric boats, was compared to an E-ticket ride at Disneyland back in the day!

     Many of the photographs that Ray has found and included in the book would have been wonderful to have in my book and I commend him for searching them out as I know how finding such photographs is not a simple task. I also know the joy of discovering such photographs which must have been amazing for Ray.

     All in all, U.S.S. Tunny, The U.S. Navy’s First Guided Missile Submarine, is a thorough and much-needed history of a submarine and its contribution to the security of the United States during some of the most harrowing times in our nation’s history.


David K. Stumpf, PhD,

Tucson, Arizona