Plankowner and Chief of the Boat

     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 micro switch 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.