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Perry Brown, Alex Kershaw,and Harvey Oyer,  Photo by:

Perry Brown, Alex Kershaw,and Harvey Oyer, 
Photo by:

 Lucien Capehart of Lucien Capehart Photography, Inc.
Palm Beach.






PALM BEACH, Fla. The Historical Society of Palm Beach County continued its lecture series on June 5 with author Alex Kershaw, whose recently released book, “Escape from the Deep”, chronicles the gripping true tale of Tang, America’s deadliest submarine, her tragic sinking, and the survival of her brave, battle-hardened crew.

During the lecture, Kershaw discussed how the eighty-seven member all-volunteer crew of the highly decorated U.S. Navy submarine Tang should have been headed home on October 25, 1944.  Instead, their last torpedo boomeranged and sent the submarine crashing to the ocean floor.  Half the crew was killed instantly upon impact.  The rest were trapped in an “iron coffin.” Forty men tried to escape, but the first attempt was so excruciating, many gave up halfway and chose to return to the sub to die rather than try it again.  Others suffered “the bends” and burst lungs as panic propelled them to rise too quickly from the ocean depths.  Some went to their bunks simply to pray and accept the inevitable. Only once in history did men escape a sunken submarine without help from the surface. When a submarine sunk, no one was expected to return.  But nine men did survive.  Kershaw concludes the story with the ultimate rescue and return of these men and the struggles they faced through the rest of their lives.

Guests included Vernon Leopold, George Levitt, Hank McCall, Willie Miller Jr., Mrs. Zanetta Miller, Perry Brown and several World War II veterans and family members who shared experiences with the audience. More than 120 guests attended and were able to meet the author at a book signing following the lecture.

The Alex Kershaw lecture was the last lecture of the season sponsored by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. Lectures are free and open to the public, and are generously underwritten in part by Pioneer Linens
and Northern Trust.

For more information about the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, please call (561) 832-4164
or visit


To list an upcoming event please contact


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