Assigned to the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet, Paulding operated primarily off the East Coast until after the United States entered World War I. During April 1917, she patrolled off the New England coast and in May she prepared for distant service. On 21 May she got underway for the United Kingdom, arriving at Queenstown, Ireland to commence convoy escort duty in the battle against the German U-boats. On that duty throughout the war, she returned to the United States after the Armistice.
In August 1919, Paulding decommissioned and remained in the Reserve Fleet until transferred to the Coast Guard 28 April 1924. Returned to the Navy 18 October 1930, she again joined the Reserve Fleet and was laid up at League Island until ordered scrapped and struck from the Navy Register on 28 June 1934.