Military Traditions

January 28, 2021 By Julie Turner

Retired Submarine Commander Shares Undersea Experiences

Northern California’s Paradise Valley Estates Life Plan Community was founded by retired military officers in 1997. In the years since, the community has been home to many honorable people who have served the United States through their experiences as military service members.

Retired United States Navy submarine commander Bill Fernow was the son of a fireman and oldest of four children. He says he always knew he wanted to go to college but wasn’t sure how he could afford it until he won an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. Learn about his experiences at the academy, on his first station on the experimental destroyer the U.S.S. Witek, and his years on diesel and nuclear submarines at sea and around the world.

Fernow is the former commander of the U.S.S. Bluefish, a Sturgeon-class attack submarine, that was in commission from 1971 until 1996. The ship, which held a crew of 12 officers and 95 enlisted men, had a nuclear propulsion system and four torpedo tubes. He detailed life and logistics undersea in Paradise Valley Estates’ Interview with Bill Fernow.


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