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Home arrow Crew Reunions arrow 2013 arrow USS Tunny 2011 Reunions arrow 2011 Reunion News
2011 Reunion News Print E-mail
Contributed by Gerry Young   
Jul 07, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Email from USS Tunny Association President Gerry Young outlining the 2011 Tunny Reunion. The reunion is planned for October 19-23, 2011 in San Diego, Ca. Download the registration form here and follow the instructions to send it in - we'll see you there!

Here it is – the official registration for our upcoming TUNNY reunion in San Diego.

Registration Form - MS Word

Registration Form - MS Excel

Please fill out the form carefully and mail it, along your check for the various activities you choose, to Wally Womack (the Association Secretary/Treasurer) at the address shown on the registration form.  You’ll see two versions attached – one is in MS Excel, and will do some of the calculations for you, and the other is an MS Word document that you can print and fill in manually.  Whichever you choose, you’ll have to mail a completed form (and a check) to the Association Treasurer.

WARNING: This is a LONG e-mail. Sorry about that, but we want to make sure we tell you everything you’ll need to know to plan your reunion for your maximum enjoyment. Please read this whole thing before you fill out your registration form.

Remember that you have to separately make hotel reservations. If you’re staying at the hotel, you’re responsible for making your own registrations. Call the Holiday Inn Bayside at (800) 650-6660. Make sure you tell them it’s for the TUNNY reunion, so you get the special rate we negotiated. They’ll ask for your credit card information, but won’t actually charge the card until you check in at the hotel. Do this at the same time you fill in this form (if you haven’t already made your reservation) so you don’t run into any problems with a last-minute attempt to get a room.

Keep in mind that the hotel room rate, although a very good standard rate for San Diego, can certainly be beaten by using an Internet travel site to search for bargains. But please resist this temptation and use the official reunion hotel. It’ll not only make most of the events much more convenient for you, but it’ll also help us meet our commitments to the hotel. I should explain that the Holiday Inn (which is where we also had our 2007 reunion) has gone way out of their way to accommodate us in a number of ways, including transportation to and from the airport, supplying a hospitality room, providing a complimentary cocktail party, and offering help with local transportation for some of our activities. They deserve our patronage, so please use them rather than a bargain-priced alternative.

On the registration form you’ll see a number of activities. None of these are mandatory, although if you don’t attend at least the Wednesday evening welcome banquet and the Saturday evening farewell banquet, you’ll miss out on a lot of the flavor of the reunion.

The officers of the Association have spent a lot of time over the past year discussing and planning different activities. I think you’ll find them all enjoyable, but you should feel absolutely free to skip any that you don’t think will be worthwhile for you. In fact, probably the most enjoyable activity of the reunion is just hanging around the hospitality room (provided at no charge by the Holiday Inn, with liquid refreshments and light snacks supplied by your ever-helpful TUNNY Association) to swap sea stories with shipmates and meet TUNNY vets from other times.

We’ll have people there representing every era of TUNNY, from the PUC-winning WWII SS up through the pioneering SSG, the APSS days operating off Vietnam, and the days of the nuclear TUNNY, so there are lots of stories lurking.

In the hospitality suite, you’ll see mementos that various people will have brought – scrapbooks, photo albums, and other memorabilia. There will also be items displayed which will be raffled off, with the winners to be announced at the Saturday farewell banquet. You’ll be pestered to participate in the 50-50 raffle. I happen to know from personal familiarity that the winner in 2009 got $400 (I swear, the winner wasn’t me), and the prize should be much bigger this year because of higher attendance.


Start by listing the names of everyone who’ll be in your group at the reunion – you, your wife, your child, your guest.  We’ll prepare a name tag for each person, so put down the names the way each person wants them seen on the name tag.  Include your own nickname from when you were on board, if that’s the way you want people to remember you.

After your name, list the beginning and end years you were on TUNNY (such as ‘64-66’).  This will go on your name tag to help people place the time you were on board.  Since all the shipmates will have dates on their tags, it’ll also make it easier for you to spot people who were on board when you were.

Then start choosing the events you and your guests would like to go to.  Here’s some information that’ll help you do that.


Wednesday, October 19:  This is the kickoff day.  You can arrive at the hospitality suite anytime from noon on to check in, get your name tags and other paraphernalia, and start finding old shipmates or meeting people who were on TUNNY before or after you were.  Nothing organized happens until the early evening, starting with …

1.      Complimentary cocktail hour: This was offered by the Holiday Inn, contingent on us getting a minimum number of rooms reserved. I’m confident we’ll reach that level. Our local TUNNY veterans who are staying at home in the San Diego area are also welcome to attend this event, which will be held on Wednesday evening just before our welcome banquet.


2.       Welcome Banquet: This is the official kick-off event for the reunion. The menu, voted on in our preference polling, will be “Western Barbecue.” Besides good food, it’ll provide an opportunity for all our shipmates to introduce themselves to everyone else. Lee Ashcraft, the President emeritus of the Association, has planned some after-dinner activities that he promises will be amusing. Take this with a grain of salt. There may also be a written requalification test for veterans of the SSG and APSS eras, so pull out those system diagrams you’ve been hoarding and be ready for some tricky questions.

Thursday, October 20:  On this day, you can choose which of two tour groups to be on. Or if you just want to take it easy and plan your own activities for today, that’s fine too. One of these groups (we’re calling it Tour “A”) will be spending the afternoon at the Submarine Learning Center, while Tour “B” will spend the afternoon at the USS Midway Museum. Both groups will spend the morning at the San Diego Maritime Museum (website at http://www.sdmaritime.org/), where we can tour a Foxtrot-class Soviet submarine, the USS Dolphin, several other historic vessels and, time allowing, take a one-hour harbor cruise.   Some people may want to spend more time touring the ships rather than take the harbor cruise, so we’re working with the tour operator to see if we can accommodate both preferences.

On your registration form, indicate how many people in your group will be on each tour. (NOTE: The Submarine Learning Center tour is limited to 40 people. A few months ago, we sent out a preference poll to everyone on our mailing list, and the results indicated that only 31 people were interested in this tour. Those 31 will get preference on the trip in the event that more than 40 express an interest in attending. If we have a lot more than 40 who’ve decided they want to go, we’ll try to arrange an additional tour on Friday, but can’t guarantee we’ll be able to.)

3.      Tour “A”: This is the tour for people who want to attend the afternoon tour of the Submarine Learning Center at the Ballast Point Submarine Base, just a few miles from the hotel. These people will take a chartered bus down to the San Diego Maritime Museum after breakfast and spend the morning down there on the FOXTROT-class Soviet submarine or their other attractions, plus, if desired, the one-hour harbor cruise.   After lunch, we’ll head to the Base.


The SLC tour will include the trainers that are used for combating flooding and fire, and we’ll also see a film on current methods of submarine training.  It’d be nice to see a tactical trainer, but I’ve been told our lapsed security clearances won’t get us in.  We may see a diving trainer, but don’t count on it.


4.      Tour “B”: People on this tour will be spending their afternoon at the USS Midway Museum on the San Diego waterfront. The Midway offers a wide range of exhibits focusing on naval air. Check out their website at http://www.midway.org for more information.


5.      Old Town Bus Tour/Dinner at Casa Guadalajara: Buses will pick us up at the Holiday Inn at 5:30 Thursday evening and take us for a tour of famous Old Town district of San Diego. Then we’ll have dinner at Casa Guadalajara, one of the best Mexican restaurants in Southern California. During dinner we’ll be serenaded by their mariachi band, which is valiantly attempting to learn all the lyrics to “Submarines Once, Submarines Twice.”  If any of you guys know all the verses, please e-mail me.

Friday (October 21): For this day you have to choose between golf at a seaside course on North Island or an all-day tour of San Diego. Or you can relax around the hospitality suite.

  1. All-day Tour of San Diego: If you’re not a golfer, this will be a great tour. If you are a golfer, see #7 below.  This bus tour will include the Gaslight District, Cabrillo National Monument, the Submarine Base at Ballast Point, and Coronado, including the famous Del Coronado hotel. Lunch will be at the Bali Hai, overlooking San Diego harbor.
  2. Golf Outing at “Sea ‘N Air” Golf Course: The TUNNY group will have the first tee times on Friday morning, meaning that we’ll be teeing off beginning at about 7 am. This is one of only 19 U.S. golf courses on the Pacific Ocean, and it’s very nice. The green fees (including cart rental) for non-military are shown on the registration form. For anyone with a valid military ID, including retired, the fees are quite a bit less (see the note at the bottom of the registration form). Winter rules, no mulligans, and no laughing at your companions.  Overall low gross buys all the beer at lunch.

The golf group can have lunch at the clubhouse and then go back to the hospitality suite to relax and tell lies about how well they played.

  1. Friday “Free Night:” Continuing a several-year tradition, we’ve left Friday night free of scheduled activities. This will give an opportunity for you to put together a group of friends and have dinner together. For example, the crew of the APSS, which operated in 1966-69 off Vietnam doing sneaky things, will have a get-together dinner at a pub in Coronado which welcomes rowdy military groups. I heard rumors the SSG guys may conduct missile-firing drills at Mission Beach, but those may not be true. There are also some people interested in chartering transportation and visiting one of the Indian casinos east of San Diego. Talk to Quint Ramil ( ) about this activity.

Saturday (October 22): This is the last official day of the reunion. No tours are planned, leaving the morning free for relaxation or swapping sea stories (our motto – “They don’t have to be true, but they do have to be funny”) in the hospitality room. Lunch is wherever you want with whomever you want to eat and drink  with.  In the afternoon and evening we do have some events scheduled. Other than the farewell banquet, none of these involve fees.

  1. Memorial Service: At every TUNNY reunion, we hold a memorial service in which we read the names of shipmates who’ve passed to Eternal Patrol since the prior reunion. This year’s event will be held at about 2 pm at Navy Memorial Field, about a mile from our hotel. I should mention that since our 2009 reunion, the Association has implemented a policy of donating to the USSVI Scholarship Fund in memory of each TUNNY vet who’s passed. That’s one of our major expenditures.
  2. Association Business Meeting: Sounds dull, but you should be there. Besides, the drinks are free. It’ll be held in the hospitality suite. The main agenda items will include election of officers for the next two-year term, discussion and voting on a couple of by-law changes, and (most importantly) the decision on where the 2013 reunion will be held. All reunion attendees are welcome, but only TUNNY veterans have voting privileges.

I should tell you that the two proposed by-law amendments involve expanding the definition of the Association to explicitly include SSN 682 vets and the creation of three new Vice-President posts (one for SSG and WWII, one for APSS, and one for SSN), who will each be responsible for expanding our member  database and maximizing the attendance of their respective groups.

  1. Farewell banquet: This will be preceded by a series of group photos (photos of everyone, photos of just the TUNNY vets, photos of each era – SS, SSG, APSS, SSN – by themselves, etc.). We’ll announce the time and place (somewhere on the hotel grounds) at the reunion.  At the farewell banquet, we’ll have a speaker, who is yet to be announced. If our plans go through, it’ll be a TUNNY veteran who distinguished himself in his subsequent naval career.  Cross your fingers.

After the banquet, make it a point to go around thanking shipmates – not just from your time on TUNNY, but all of them – for coming and making this such a special occasion. If we’re lucky, we’ll see a lot of them at the 2013 reunion.

Sunday (October 23): There’s nothing formal scheduled for today, but it’s become kind of customary for people to linger at breakfast at the hotel the next morning for final goodbyes and promises to see each other again at the next reunion.

At the bottom of the form is a line for a completely voluntary donation to the TUNNY Association. The Association not only funds the reunion costs – stocking the drinks and snacks in the hospitality suites, providing banners and other memorabilia, organizing the raffle items – but also pays for the snail-mail mailings which we must make at least twice for every reunion to insure good attendance.

Right now our database has 540 veterans of service on TUNNY, broken down as follows:














Each mailing costs about one dollar, including the photocopying, envelopes, and stamps, so we spend over $1,000 just in mailing costs during each two-year period, since we’ve found that at least two mailings are required to promote the next reunion effectively. Most importantly, and on top of that, we make a donation to the US Sub Vets Scholarship Fund for each TUNNY vet who passes to Eternal Patrol. Since the 2009 reunion, this totals $1,100 so far.  And there are no required dues of any kind, so we’re dependent on voluntary donations and what the Association earns off the various raffles at the reunion to support ourselves.

So if you can afford a donation to help us, that’d be most appreciated.  If you can’t afford it, don’t worry about it – you’re still our shipmate and very welcome at all our functions.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in San Diego this October.


Gerry Young                                                Steve Hunt                            Wally Womack

President                                           Vice President                      Secretary/Treasurer


Lee Ashcraft                                     John J. Jenkins Jr.

President Emeritus                          Shipmate Database Guru




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Last Updated ( Jul 21, 2011 at 02:56 PM )
USS Tunny Association
The USS Tunny Association is an organization of former Tunny crew members. The Association sponsors a reunion every two years.
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