Paul Granger was born in 1948 in Winooski, Vermont. He was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force through the Air Force ROTC program at San Francisco State College on June 6, 1970, and went on active duty beginning November 16, 1970. Lt Granger next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Columbus AFB, Mississippi, in November 1971, followed by B-52 Stratofortress Combat Crew Training in April 1972. His first assignment was as a B-52 pilot with the 346th Bomb Squadron at Westover AFB, Massachusetts, from May 1972 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on December 20, 1972. After spending 100 days in captivity, Capt Granger was released during Operation Homecoming on March 29, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Westover AFB, and then served as a T-29 and T-43 pilot with the navigator training program in the 455th Flying Training Squadron at Mather AFB, California, from September 1973 until he left active duty on June 1, 1977.
His Distinguished Flying Cross w/Valor Citation reads:
First Lieutenant Paul L. Granger distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as a B-52 Copilot near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 20 December 1972. On that date, Lieutenant Granger participated in high-priority bombing missions against vital military targets in heavily-defended areas of North Vietnam. Despite the intensity of defensive reaction and the extreme hazards posed by numerous surface-to-air missiles and hostile interceptors. Lieutenant Granger displayed a courageous willingness to place the mission above his personal safety in directing his aircraft to a successful release of his ordnance on the designated target. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Granger reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.