March 15 – Happy Birthday Danny Persico

Danny Persico shown here in 2000, shaking hands with US Navy Secretary, Richard Danzig
Danny Persico shown here in 2000, shaking hands with US Navy Secretary, Richard Danzig

I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to being in really tight spaces. That’s why the story of today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant sends some chills down my spine. Just 17 years old when he left his Broad Street home on the Southside of Amsterdam to join the US Navy, Seaman Donato “Danny” Persico eventually got assigned to the Submarine Service. On May 23, 1939, he found himself off the coast of Portsmouth, Maine on the Submarine USS Squalus, when a main induction valve failed and tons of seawater began pouring into the vessel’s engine room…

You can read the rest of my story about this brave Amsterdam veteran in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.