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Cdr. William Bundy

U.S. Navy Commander and Professor William F. Bundy was born on August 12, 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland to William C. Bundy and Paulyne L. Bundy. Bundy attended Henry Highland Garnet School and then Booker T. Washington Junior High School before graduating from Baltimore City College High School in 1964, after which he enlisted in the Navy. He then graduated from the University of Hawaii with his B.A. degree in liberal studies and technical journalism in 1973.

In 1964, Bundy reported to the U.S. Navy Receiving Station in Washington D.C., and then was assigned to Sonar Technician A and A1 School in Key West, Florida. Bundy was assigned overseas duty in USNS BOWDITCH where he served until 1966. He then completed submarine Cold War patrols in nuclear attack submarines on the USS STURGEON, USS RICHARD B RUSSELL and as a combat systems officer on the USS MEMPHIS. Bundy also completed Strategic Deterrent Patrols on the USS SAM HOUSTON GOLD as the assistant weapons officer, and as the navigator and operations officer on the USS LAFAYETTE BLUE. Bundy served ashore as a sonar instructor at the Naval Submarine Training Center at Pearl Harbor, and then went on to complete Officer Candidate School. In 1981, he was assigned to the Nuclear Operations Division at the U.S. Atlantic Command where he participated in directing and developing fleet ballistic missile operations.

In 1988, Bundy assumed command of USS BARBEL in Sasebo, Japan and conducted exercises in the Western Pacific as part of the Seventh Fleet and Submarine Group Seven. Bundy was assigned as Chief Staff Officer of Submarine Squadron Three in 1990. He also served as Director of the Naval Officer Candidate School in 1993. That same year, Bundy graduated from the U.S. Naval War College with his M.A. degree in national security and strategic studies. Bundy retired from active duty in 1994. Bundy was then appointed as Director of the Rhode Island State Department of Transportation and as a FleetBoston Financial vice president before returning to the U.S. Naval War College as an associate professor. In 2005, he earned his Ph.D. degree from Salve Regina University and was promoted to full professor at the U.S. Naval War College. He was also appointed as Director of the Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Naval Research Group.

Bundy’s military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal with a Gold Star, the Navy Commendation Medal with a Silver Star, and the Navy Achievement Medal with two Gold Stars. He is one of the Centennial Seven African American submarine skippers who served during the first one-hundred years of the Submarine Service. Bundy was recognized as the Black Engineer of the Year for Achievement in Government by U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine in 1993. In 1994, he received the U.S. Navy League Dalton L. Baugh Award for Inspirational Leadership, and, in 2010, Bundy was awarded the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award.

Bundy and his wife, Jeanne L. (Pacheco) Bundy, have two sons: Lieutenant Commander William F. Bundy, Jr. and Raymond M. Bundy. His daughter is Andrena M. Seawood.

William F. Bundy was interviewed by HistoryMakers on April 27, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.110

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2013

Last Name

Bundy

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F.

Occupation
Schools

Salve Regina University

U.S. Naval War College

University of Hawaii

Baltimore City College

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Weekends, need two weeks notice

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

BUN04

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

None while a U.S. government employee - Travel and lodging expenses required

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Emergency #:
Jeannie Bundy - (401) 439-0708, (401) 578-9501

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Orlando, Florida

Favorite Quote

Knowledge and courage.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Rhode Island

Birth Date

8/12/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Providence

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Crab (Blue)

Short Description

Commander Cdr. William Bundy (1946 - ) , one of the “Centennial Seven” African American submarine skippers rose from the enlisted ranks to earn a commission and command a submarine, served as a leader in the submarine force and later became a professor at the U.S. Naval War College and director of the VADM Samuel L. Gravely Research Group.

Employment

Providence College School of Continuing Education

Salve Regina University

United States Naval War College

FleetBoston Financial

State of Rhode Island

Naval Education and Training Center

United States Army

United States Navy

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Bundy's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Bundy lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Bundy describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Bundy talks about his mother growing up in Stonewall and Long Island, New York, and his family's life in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Bundy describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about his first visit to his paternal hometown of Weems, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Bundy talks about his father's growing up in Virginia, and his migration to Baltimore, Maryland, where his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Bundy talks about his father's and others' service in the U.S. Army in World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about his father's job as a construction worker

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about his mother, and his resemblance to her

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Bundy talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Bundy describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Bundy talks about his first impressions of the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about his parents' divorce, and becoming involved with "The Cadets" while living in the projects in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Bundy describes his home, neighborhood and friends in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Bundy talks about his elementary school and junior high school in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Bundy talks about his teachers and his experience in music class

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William Bundy talks about swimming at the YMCA and selling newspapers and soap to fund his membership and camp fees

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William Bundy describes his decision to attend high school at Baltimore City College

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - William Bundy talks about playing football on his high school junior varsity and varsity teams

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about playing on the football and lacrosse teams in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about his relationship with his father after his parents divorced

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Bundy talks about joining the U.S. Navy's Sea Cadets in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Bundy talks about joining the U.S. Navy's Sea Cadets and becoming a seaman apprentice on the USS Darby after graduating from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Bundy describes his experience on the USS Darby, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about becoming an E-3 seaman and explains the entry-level ranks in the U.S. armed forces

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Bundy describes his experience on the USS Darby, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Bundy talks about the mentors and guardians he had as a young seaman in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Bundy talks about enlisting in the regular U.S. Navy in 1964

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William Bundy talks about missing the bus to attend the March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William Bundy talks about his exposure to the Civil Rights Movement while growing up in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - William Bundy discusses the close-knit African American community while he was growing up in Baltimore

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - William Bundy talks about his assignment on the funeral formation for Admiral Claude Ricketts and attending sonar technician school

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - William Bundy talks about his assignment on Oceanographic Unit 1 on the USNS Bowditch

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about getting married while he was at Fleet Sonar School, and becoming a father in 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about his experience in the Oceanographic Unit 1 on the USNS Bowditch in the Atlantic Ocean

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Bundy discusses his assignment to the U.S. Naval Facility in the Bahamas, and the opportunity to become a submarine sonar technician

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Bundy discusses his interest in submarine duty in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Bundy talks about his assignment on the USS Sturgeon

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about his assignment to the Naval Submarine Training Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Bundy talks about his African American colleague on the USS Sturgeon

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Bundy talks about teaching at the Naval Submarine Training Center in Hawaii, earning his bachelor's degree, and becoming a chief petty officer

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William Bundy talks about attending Officer Candidate School and becoming an unrestricted line officer in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - William Bundy talks about his mentors in the U.S. Navy, and his life at the Naval Submarine Training Center

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - William Bundy talks about his assignment and mentor on the USS Sam Houston Gold Crew

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about his assignment to the USS Ohio, the USS Richard B. Russell and attending Submarine Officer Advanced Course

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about meeting his wife, and his assignment to the USS Memphis

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Bundy talks about the capabilities of the USS Memphis

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Bundy talks about serving on the USS Memphis from 1979 to 1981

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Bundy talks about meeting his extended family in Weems, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about his assignment to nuclear missile operation systems on the staff of the commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Bundy talks about his assignment as the navigations and operations officer on the USS Lafayette

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Bundy talks about his experience as the executive officer of the USS Blueback, and author Richard Henrick's book, 'Crimson Tide'

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - William Bundy talks about his assignment as the submarine group plans officer for Submarine Group V and commanding officer of USS Barbel

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - William Bundy describes his experience as the commanding officer of USS Barbel

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - William Bundy talks about his assignment as Chief Staff Officer at Submarine Squadron III, the birth of his sons, and the U.S. Navy's diversity program

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - William Bundy talks about the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) and his involvement in its diversity program

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about attending the U.S. Naval War College in 1992

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about receiving the Black Engineer of the Year Award in 1993

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Bundy talks about the U.S. Navy's Centennial Seven

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Bundy talks about his involvement in science and technology in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Bundy talks about the African American four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about his post-retirement employment and his decision to accept the position as the director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William Bundy talks about his experience as the director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William Bundy describes his experience at Fleet Financial Group, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - William Bundy describes his experience at Fleet Financial Group, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - William Bundy talks about his doctoral dissertation on leadership in complex technical organizations, at Salve Regina University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William Bundy talks about teaching leadership at Providence College

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William Bundy talks about his experience as a professor at the U.S. Naval War College

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William Bundy talks about the U.S. Naval War College and his role as a research professor there

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William Bundy reflects upon race in America

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William Bundy reflects upon race relations in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William Bundy talks about Admiral Arleigh Burke

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - William Bundy talks about the importance of STEM education and his efforts to encourage the same

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - William Bundy reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - William Bundy talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - William Bundy talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$10

DATitle
William Bundy discusses his interest in submarine duty in the U.S. Navy
William Bundy describes his experience as the commanding officer of USS Barbel
Transcript
Let me just ask this, now, this seems interesting. Now, is submarine duty coveted in the [U.S.] Navy?$$Yeah.$$I'm wondering 'cause I've seen like movies, the guys in the submarines, they seem like they're awful cramped in there.$$Well, it's not--it's, that's not a problem.$$And it's, they're down--can, they really can't even see outside either, you know.$$Yeah, we'll talk about that.$$Okay, so, I mean but, so what is the attraction of being on a submarine (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$It's the, in my mind, it's the best duty in the Navy.$$Okay.$$You work with some of the smartest people in the Navy. You imagine a submarine today and when I was going in the submarines back then, they were the most advanced warships that we had, all packaged in the, you know, in the, one pretty potent package. And this is toward the, you know, the--in the middle of the Cold War. And what we were doing then with our submarines has just been declassified to some degree. And so it's a pretty exciting duty. It's, it pays better. In those days, you got quite a bit more money for submarine pay because it was hazardous duty. And it was kind of what I wanted to go do--$$Okay--$$--and it's science and technology kind of stuff.$$Now, I remember in 1962, I believe it was, it was maybe a year before or around the same time as John F. Kennedy was assassinated, there was a case of a submarine 'cause we talked about it in--I was in sixth or seventh grade, eighth grade, something like that. And we talked about a submarine going too deep and collapsing on itself in the--$$Yeah, that was USS Thresher--$$Right. That's the one.$$That was on the 10th of April, 1963.$$Yes. (Unclear) (simultaneous)--$$And so we just commemorated that again. The submarine force learned a lot about that, from that case. And it really, later on, you know, it really proved to be very important in proving what we call sub-safe, submarine safety over the years. And so, yeah, that was Thresher that went down in '63 [1963].$$I raise just because, just to emphasize the point, this could be dangerous duty from a number of different--$$Oh, it is.$$--angles, yeah.$$Yeah, it is. Yeah--$$Okay. (Laughter)$Now, before we leave the [USS] Barbel, are there any stories about being the commander and what it's like?$$I think that the really interesting part is, you know, the people. I think that the enlisted people and the officers that you have working with you really make the difference in the ship. We had a number of things that could go wrong in the ship and it was the crew that you have to credit with, you know, overcoming those periods. And you face that in just about any ship that you're in, but Barbel was a thirty-year old submarine, and it was the crew that I think about most in being able to operate that ship. We went to Subic Bay [Philippines], we went to Hong Kong. We operated the ship going into, in and out of Sasebo [Japan] quite often. And that's, that was our home port. Jean [Bundy's wife] had the opportunity to be the, you know, the captain's wife, and really take care of the families when we were away. And, you know, submarine operations are not something that I can go into great detail with you about, but it was, it was a pretty, pretty exciting time for us. We operated well, I think, and we brought the ship back to Pearl Harbor [Hawaii] to be decommissioned.