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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.

Paul Golden Saunders
Paul Saunders.JPG
Paul G. Saunders, August 1945
Born(1918-01-12)January 12, 1918
Richmond, Virginia
DiedAugust 8, 2003(2003-08-08) (aged 85)
Dunnellon, Florida
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1936–1962
RankChief Petty Officer
UnitUSS Barb (SS-220)
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsSilver Star (2)
Bronze Star Medal

Naval careerEdit

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).

Saunders 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. The landing party destroyed a 16-car train on the coastal railway with an explosive charge, using a microswitch under the rails to trigger the explosion.

He was highly regarded as one of the most decorated enlisted men in the Submarine Service, distinguishing himself during World War II while serving on board the Barb. Saunders 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 World War II found Saunders 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.

Saunders was a member of Submarine Veterans of World War II and also a member of United States Submarine Veterans, Inc., Nautilus Base.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit