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Paul Golden Saunders
Paul G. Saunders, August 1945
Nickname Swish
Born (1918-01-12)January 12, 1918
Died August 8, 2003(2003-08-08) (aged 85)
Place of birth Richmond, Virginia
Place of death Dunnellon, Florida
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1936–1962
Rank Chief Petty Officer
Unit USS Barb (SS-220)
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Silver Star (2)
Bronze Star Medal

Chief Paul Golden (Swish) Saunders (January 12, 1918 – August 8, 2003) was a highly decorated United States Navy submarine sailor who was twice awarded the Silver Star medal during World War II.

Naval careerEdit

Paul "Swish" Saunders enlisted in the Navy in 1936 and served for 26 years before retiring as GMGC(SS) (Chief Gunners Mate Guns, Submarine Service) in 1962. Prior to submarines, Chief Saunders served on the light cruiser USS Raleigh (CL-7) and on destroyers McCook (DD-252) and Sampson (DD-394).

Paul qualified in submarines aboard R-4 (SS-81) in 1940 and subsequently served in Barb (SS-220), Cusk (SS-348), Carbonero (SS-337), and Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN-600).

The only landing of US military forces on the island of Japan during hostilities included Saunders. They destroyed a 16-car train on the coastal railway with an explosive charge, using a microswitch under the rails to trigger the explosion.

Paul was highly regarded as one of the most decorated enlisted men in the Submarine Service, distinguishing himself during WWII while serving on board the Barb. Paul made all twelve of Barb’s war patrols, five in the Atlantic and seven in the Pacific and was Chief of the Boat (COB) for patrols #9–12. He was also COB for the submarines Cusk, Carbonero and Theodore Roosevelt.

He was featured in the book Thunder Below by his USS Barb skipper, Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey.


During his career, Chief Saunders was awarded the following:

Post naval careerEdit

Post WWII found Paul working in the development of the launching systems for KGW-1 Loon, which was an adaptation of the US Army's JB-2 Doodle Bug, Regulus, and Polaris missiles.

Paul Saunders was a member of Submarine Veterans of WWII and also a member of United States Submarine Veterans, Inc., Nautilus Base.

External linksEdit

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