Timothy Lamont Saunders was born on Aug. 20, 1968 to Betty Saunders.
He graduated from Dan River High School in Danville, Virginia, in 1986. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 10, 1989.
After completing Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, on Oct. 12, 1989, he reported to USS Wisconsin (BB 64), where he was stationed until March 31, 1992. He joined the crew of USS Enterprise (CVN 65) on April 15,1992, and served until June 2, 1993, leaving to report to Operations Specialist “A” School. On Dec. 8, 1993, he reported to USS George Washington (CVN 73) and, beginning on 19 February 1996, he was a student at Fleet Combat Training Center Atlantic Fleet in Dam Neck, Virginia. On July 9, 1999, he reported for duty on USS Cole (DDG 67).
Saunders was killed in the line of duty when a terrorist bomb was detonated along the port side of the ship while it was refueling in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000.
Operations Specialist 2nd Class Saunders was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation. He held the Navy “E” Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Sources: USS Cole (DDG 67) Med Cruise 2000 (Aug. 8–Nov. 3, 2000) Cruise Book in the collection of the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Navy Department Library. Awards and citations are sourced from the service member’s official military personnel file and listed in the Navy Department Awards Web Service site and may not be complete.