Paul Kowalski was
born in Cleveland Ohio, the younger of two sons of Walter and Grace
Kowalski. As a youngster, Paul was always following his older brother, Stan,
around, wanting to do whatever he did and to be whatever he was.
When Paul was 14,
Stan joined the Navy, and the hero worship of a younger brother began to
border on idolatry. When Stan started to write to Paul about his adventures,
it confirmed in the young man’s mind what he wanted to do.
However, at Stan’s
urging, Paul went to the local community college before signing up to join
the Navy, earning an Associate's Degree in electronics. Therefore, when he
enlisted he was immediately sent to the Electronics School to earn what was
to be a series of higher and higher ratings in the field, increasing his
chances of advancement if he so desired.
He had spent ten
years in the Navy prior to being tapped by Harriman Nelson to join his team
and build the Institute, as well as the Seaview. Like Chip Morton,
Don Patterson and Chief Curley Jones, he became a plank-owner of the
Seaview, making him someone to contend with when it came to the gray
lady of Santa Barbara.
‘Ski, as he is most
often referred to, is an intensely loyal man. At first, he (and a lot of
the original crew) deeply resented Commander Lee Crane when he replaced the
late Captain John Philips, who had been murdered by Dr. Gamma during an
earlier mission. As far as he was concerned, no one could replace ‘the
Captain’, and ‘Ski sported several bruises to prove his point. However,
time, and several missions into Crane’s Captaincy, ‘Ski’s attitude began to
change. He saw where the ‘Skipper’ consistently put the good of the men
before his own welfare, and where Crane refused to do anything but the
‘right thing’ regardless of cost to himself. ‘Ski began to develop grudging
respect, which blossomed into full fledged ‘protectorship’ of the Captain of
the boat. In essence, ‘Ski became the Captain’s unofficial bodyguard, always
volunteering when Crane needed someone to assist him, and frequently being
part of the team sent into help and or rescue the Captain.
He is a senior electronics rating, a master diver, and holds his Bachelor of
Science in Electronic Engineering. 'Ski had been the boat's Diving Master
until Admiral Harriman Nelson brought aboard Captain Karen Davis to develop
a specialized Deep Water Diving Team. Assured that the change was in no way
a reflection on his own abilities, he chose to try out for the new team that
was being developed. Upon selection, he was made one of the four leaders
and underwent specialized saturation diving training along with the rest of
the teams. In addition, as a team leader, he had direct input into the
development of the new Deep Diving suits that the team would use. He has
been with the boat from the beginning and intends to ‘die with his boots on’
in her service.
‘Ski’ is something of a ladies man, and he has had several serious
relationships, and one brief marriage that failed, primarily because he was
on the boat more than he was home. He has a daughter by that marriage that
he sees as regularly as the boat, and his time, permits.