SAUNDERS, Paul Golden, GMC

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Last Rank
Chief Petty Officer
Last Primary NEC
GM-0000-Gunner's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Gunner's Mate
Primary Unit
1961-1962, GM-0000, USS Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN-600)
Service Years
1936 - 1962
GM-Gunner's Mate
Six Hash Marks

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

313 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember SAUNDERS, Paul Golden (Swish), GMC.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Richmond, VA
Last Address
Dunnellon, FL

Location of ashes is unknown.

Date of Passing
Aug 09, 2003
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Chief Petty Officer of the Command US Navy Retired 20

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Chief Paul Golden (Swish) Saunders (January 12, 1918 - August 9, 2003) was a highly decorated United States Navy submarine sailor who was twice awarded the Silver Star medal during World War II.

Naval career 

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). Prior to submarines Paul 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 through 12. He was also COB for the Cusk, Carbonero and Theodore Roosevelt. 

Chief Saunders was awarded two Silver Star Medals, one Bronze Star Medal, and a Letter of Commendation with Ribbon in recognition of his heroic actions in combat during WWII. He also received the Submarine Combat pin, Victory Medal, American Theater medal, Philippine Liberation medal. He was further famed in the book Thunder Below by his USS Barb skipper, Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey.

Post naval career 

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.

Chief Saunders received his final set of orders 09 Aug 2003 and departed on Eternal Patrol from his home in Dunnellon, Florida following a lengthy illness. Sailor, rest your oars.
Other Comments:

Service number: 2657219

Submarine war patrols:
USS Barb (S-220) - 1st through 12th
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Enlisted Badge
Submarine Combat Patrol Badge - 7 Patrols
Submarine Combat Patrol Badge - 5 Patrols

 Duty Stations
USS Raleigh (CL-7)US NavyNAVSUBASE New London/GrotonUSS Barb (SS-220)
USS Cusk (SS-348)USS Carbonero (SS-337)USS Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN-600)
  1936-1939, S1c-0000, USS Raleigh (CL-7)
  1939-1939, S1c-0000, USS Sampson (DD-394)
  1940-1940, S1c-0000, USS Mccook (DD-252)
  1940-1940, S1c-0000, NAVSUBASE New London/Groton
  1940-1941, GM-0000, USS R-4 (SS-81)
  1942-1942, GM-0000, NAVSUBASE New London/Groton
  1942-1946, GM-0000, USS Barb (SS-220)
  1946-1946, GM-0000, NAVSUBASE New London/Groton
  1946-1950, GM-0000, USS Cusk (SS-348)
  1953-1957, GM-0000, USS Carbonero (SS-337)
  1961-1962, GM-0000, USS Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN-600)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Algeria-French Morocco Campaign (1942)
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Western Caroline Islands Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  A good story...3
  Feb 16, 1939, Promoted to S1c
  Feb 16, 1941, Promoted to GM3
  Dec 01, 1941, Promoted to GM2
  Jan 01, 1943, Promoted to GM1
  Jun 01, 1944, Promoted to CGM
 Military Association Memberships
United States Navy Memorial
  2019, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
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