During Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, a 26-year-old former U.S. Navy lieutenant coordinated a daring sea attack to disrupt Egypt’s siege of Gaza City, a feat described in the following excerpt from the new Naval Institute Press book The Ablest Navigator .
When U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Paul N. Shulman met David Ben-Gurion during a 1941 home leave he told the leader of the future state of Israel that he planned “a long career in the U.S. Navy.” Yet six years later Shulman—then a civilian—answered the call to Palestine: Ben-Gurion needed the ex-lieutenant—who had seen combat with the U.S. Pacific Fleet—to train officers for the new Israeli Naval Service. Just 26, Shulman set up an academy. But realizing that few Israeli naval officers were trained in command and control, Kvarnit (Commander) Shulman led the fledgling Israeli squadron into action against the Egyptian Navy.