Paul M. Sutton. Upon graduation from Minerva
High School in 1939, attended Harvard University
on a four-year full-expense National Scholarship,
graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science
degree in physics. War duty in the U.S. Navy followed,
then a return to academics. From 1946 to 1951, he
continued his education at Columbia University where
he earned both an M.A. and Ph.D degrees in physics
and served as a graduate instructor and research
associate in the physics department.
On active duty for three and a half years, during
and after World War II, Sutton served a total of
11 years in the U.S. Naval Reserve. His post war
service was as Training Officer for Division 3-72,
3rd Naval District, New York City. During the Korean
War he also served as Commanding Officer of the
72nd Division of the New York State Naval Militia.
In World War II, following officer's training, he
spent five months learning the operation and maintenance
of a Top Secret acoustic homing torpedo, a successful
weapon used against German submarines. He and his
crew operated from Ascension Island, a volcanic
cone in the center of the South Atlantic. The crew
served a Naval B-24 squadron, VB-107, and, in 14
months, demolished four submarines with these torpedos.
As the war wound down, the B-24 squadron was transferred
to England, and Sutton and crew were sent to North
Carolina, where,just before V-E Day, off Norfolk,
Virginia, the only lighter-than-air (blimp) squadron
with torpedos sank another enemy submarine.
After the war, Sutton was assigned to Inspector
of Naval Materials at 30 Church Street, New York
City. (Today this spot is known as Ground Zero.)
After six months, he was assigned to serve as Instrumentation
Coordinator for the Ordinance Evaluation Group at
the Bikini Atom Bomb Tests where he witnessed the
fourth and fifth atom bomb explosions...historical
Upon return, and entering Columbia University, Sutton
met, courted and married Doris Nichols, a published
poet and associate editor of the Fine Editions Press.
Today she is known as D.N.
Sutton, and is the author of several
books of peoms. They are the parents of two
M. Sutton, M.D. who worked abroad with the World
Health Organization and is now director of the Barbara
Ziegler Program of Palliative Care and Hospice
at the North Broward Hospital District in Broward
County, Florida; and Valerie
J. Sutton, inventor of SignWriting for writing
sign languages, is Executive Director of the
for Sutton Movement Writing, Inc. a California
In the 1950s, Sutton was employed as a section supervisor
and research associate in the Research Laboratory
of the Corning
Glass Works in Corning, New York. In California
from 1959 until 1987, he held the titles of Department
Manager, Research Laboratory Manager, and Development
Manager at the Ford
Aerospace Corporation's California Division at Newport
Beach. His work at Corning involved theory and
experiment on transmission of electricity and ultrasound
through glass and development of techniques to measure
stress in glass. His work at Ford Aerospace was
chiefly optics and laser related, proposal preparation
and research project administration.
From 1974 until the present, he has been involved
in management and planning for the non-profit Center
For Sutton Movement Writing, Inc. Sutton
SignWriting permits writing of any of the world's
many signed languages and has been proven as an
excellent tool for teaching those who are born deaf.
The system is being studied in some 40 countries
and is in effective use in Germany,
and in the USA.
For a person skilled in a particular sign language,
anything written in that language in SignWriting
is easy to read. There are no other sign language
writing systems for everyday use.
The Suttons have been residents of California since
1959 and live in the La Jolla part of San Diego.
They tend to spend winter months in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida where they are active in poetry circles.
The News Leader
June 18, 2005