LT Paul Noah Salerni, USN (Ret.) Died 
                                      From:  The UDT SEAL Assn

LT Paul Noah Salerni, USN (Ret.) died of a stroke February 23, 2005 .  He was born in 1917 and raised in   He joined the U.S. Navy in 1937 earning $17 per month.  In 1940, Paul was transferred to the USS Guam, a Yangtze River patrol gunboat stationed in .  The Yangtze River Patrol Squadron was depicted in the movie “The Sand Pebbles.”  After a four year continuous tour on the Asiatic Station, Paul returned to the United States in December 1941 at the start of World War II.


In 1942, MM2 Salerni served aboard the USS Thomas Jefferson (APA 30) and was involved in operations is French Morocco, North Africa (Nov 1942); Scoglitti , Sicily (July 1943); and Salerno Bay , Italy (September 1943).


In 1944, Paul was promoted to Chief Petty Officer and once again returned to the Western Pacific.  In 1944 and 1945, he participated in the initial invasion of Leyte ; the initial assault and amphibious landing of Lingayen Gulf ; and the amphibious landing in Okinawa , Japan .


In 1951, Paul graduated from Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) training in Little Creek, VA – Class 7 at age 34.  He was assigned to UDT-4 for the next four years.  In 1955 Paul was assigned as a UDT instructor at Little Creek.  In 1959 he was transferred to UDT-12 in Coronado , CA , where he was assigned as officer-in-charge of the Space Shot Nose Cone Recovery Program where he jumped out of a helicopter and attached a cable to the nose cone.


In 1961, Paul was commissioned as a LTJG.  In 1963 he was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned as the Executive Officer of the Underwater Swimmer School in Key West , FL.   In 1967 Paul retired from the Navy after 30 years and for the next 10 years managed explosive safety programs for Naval Base Charleston.


In the 1980’s and 1990’s Paul was a daily visitor at the Naval Amphibious Base Swimming Pool and gym in Coronado, where he was mostly known as the friendly old frogman that always had a joke, spoke to everyone and never “knew a stranger.”


After a marriage of over 58 years, Paul is survived by his wife, Helen; son, Paul Larry Salerni; daughter, Nancy Salerni Ratcliffe; sister, Anna Lanier; brother, Joe Salerni; and eight grandchildren.


A memorial service will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Wednesday 2 March 2005 at the Naval Amphibious Base Chapel in Coronado , CA .  Friends and fellow Frogmen are encouraged to attend.  If you know of any funny or interesting stories about Paul, that you would like his son to read at the memorial service, please e-mail the stories to, or fax to (619) 437-6720.


Condolences may be mailed to Mrs. Helen Salerni941 Coronado Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118.


We thank his son Paul L. Salerni (Class 80) for this information.