Dr. William F. Bundy, who won a 1993 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government, died December 15 at the age of 73. Beyond his personal achievement represented by U.S. Navy medals, stars, and citations, Bundy served as a spokesman for Navy efforts to attract science and engineering students to join the submarine and the nuclear power program.
He was responsible for several midshipmen being admitted to the Naval Academy and the highest number of applicants admitted to the Broadened Opportunities for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) Program. The BOOST program, which was incorporated into the Seaman to Admiral-21 Program in 2009, was a nine-month program that offered active-duty enlisted men and women between the ages of 18-24 the opportunity to receive 10 months of extensive academic preparation in order to become more competitive for selection to the Naval Academy, Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program, and Navy/Marine Corps Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship programs.
According to the Bundy family tribute posted on the Sansone Funeral Home website, the retired U.S. Navy commander is survived by his wife Jeanne, two sons, and a daughter, William, Raymond, and Andrena. He has three grandchildren, Matthew, Eleanor, and Annalise.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 10:00 a.m. in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 141 State Street, Bristol, Rhode Island,” the tribute says.
Burial with Military Honors will follow in the Rhode Island Memorial Veterans Cemetery on South County Trail in Exeter, Rhode Island. Visiting hours will be Friday, Dec. 20, from 4:00-8:00 p.m. in the Sansone Funeral Home, 192 Wood Street, Bristol, RI.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the National Kidney Foundation – Serving New England or online at www.kidneyhealth.org/donate
Dr. Bundy last served as associate provost for warfighting research and development in the Office of the Provost in the U.S. Naval War College. During his long career in academia, he taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels at the Naval War College, Salve Regina University and at Providence College. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Humanities with a focus in Management in 2005, and a U.S. Naval War College Masters of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies in 1993. The same year, Bundy received the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government.
Writing in Dr. Bundy’s nomination for the 1993 BEYA, a now-retired commander of the Submarine Squadron said:
“He unselfishly dedicated himself to the attainment of true equal opportunity in the Navy, including efforts to provide higher education for minority sailors and officer candidates. His exceptional leadership in the National Naval Officers Association and inspirational rise from the enlisted ranks to the highest levels of command in a highly technical submarine force exemplify his exceptional role model status.”
Below are more excerpts from Bundy’s story published in US Black Engineer magazine’s conference issue of 1993.
“His list of “firsts” is long. For example, in the entire 92-year history of the U.S. Naval Submarine force, he is the only (African American) to rise to the commissioned status from the enlisted ranks and command a submarine. Before being assigned to the College of Naval Warfare at the Naval War College in Rhode Island in 1992, he served as a chief staff officer for Submarine Squadron 3. In this capacity, he was responsible for supervision, maintenance, training, deployment, and operation of up to eight nuclear attack submarines, a submarine tender, and a floating dry dock operated by over 2500 officers and enlisted personnel. Bundy was the only chief staff officer employed as an officer in tactical command at sea and chief inspector in either the Atlantic or Pacific fleets.
“The Baltimore native began his long climb to the top when he enlisted in the Navy in 1964. A graduate of the Baltimore City College, the Leeward Community College, and the University of Hawaii with distinction, he earned a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism. After rising to a top enlisted rate as a chief sonar technician, he successfully completed Officers Candidate School in 1975. He then became the first officer in the Pacific Fleet to be certified as a strategic weapons officer.
“Along the way, his persistence and dedication earned him numerous awards, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal with Silver Star indicating six awards, and the Navy Achievement Medal with Gold Star. He also earned seventeen other campaign and service awards.”