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Amsterdam man escaped sub disaster

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Donato Persico of Amsterdam’s South Side was one of 36 survivors rescued from the submarine USS Squalus, which sank during practice dives off Portsmouth, N.H., on May 23, 1939. Persico was almost crushed by a torpedo as the vessel bottomed out at 243 feet below the surface. Twenty-nine sailors drowned in the submarine’s aft section. Amsterdam city historian Robert von Hasseln said the survivors were saved using the McCann Submarine Rescue Chamber, a diving bell ...

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