Pages of History: Carnegie awards won by DN men

Written by Nita Phillips May 29, 2014 03:49 pm

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, May 1964.

Two Del Norte fishermen have been awarded Carnegie Hero awards for the rescue of another fisherman from the stormy Pacific Ocean off Crescent City.

 

Robert W. Johnson, 38, Klamath, and Robert Chism, 30, Crescent City, were awarded bronze medals and $750 each from the Carnegie Hero Awards Fund Commission for their actions in saving R. Dean Holder, 47, Crescent City, from drowning on March 27, 1963.

Holder’s 40-foot fishing boat broke down off Crescent City and was carried 1,500 feet from shore. His companion was washed overboard.

Johnson and Chisman put on life jackets, and aided by others, put to sea in a 14-foot wooden rowboat. About 150 feet out, the boat was swamped and breakers carried it near to shore. After makeshift repairs, the two men set out again. After fighting the breakers, they made their way near Holder’s craft, where he threw them a line and pulled them closer. Holder jumped into the rowboat and they let the tide carry the boat backwards toward shore. Almost to safety, the boat swamped again, but waves carried it to shallow water where fishermen waiting on shore helped them to the beach. 

Vandals hit high school

Paint-wielding vandals struck Del Norte County High School Wednesday night, April 29. A yellow school truck was treated to liberal doses of white paint striped with blue. A huge sign painted in 3-foot-high blue letters saying “Seniors 64–65” was scrawled across the side of the gymnasium. Elsewhere a sign seemingly intended to strike at the assistant principal was printed across the side of the pump house; a rear garage door bore the inscription in bold blue letters “Seniors”; and several smaller signs were noted on corners of the school building.

Principal Mike Whelan reported the vandalism “would necessitate sandblasting of the damaged areas before repainting.” He said, “This vandalism is doubly shocking in view of the limited school budget and the fact that it comes at a time when the county is making a comeback from the devastating forces of the recent seismic disaster.”

The Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office is investigating leads. 

Animal care during disaster

After the Crescent City disaster, Agricultural Commissioner L.J. Garrett was called by the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which offered any aid necessary to help with the animals that might have suffered from the floods and destruction.

Mr. Garrett confirmed that the wave struck so suddenly that the animals affected drowned immediately without hope of saving them, except for one cat and one dog. In the dark on Saturday night, March 28, he’d had to destroy the cat, trapped between two walls and impossible to get out.

Also, he had found one dog, stranded on the roof of a porch which was very frightened and had been without food. This animal was from 13–14 years old and since it was recognized, its owners were notified. They picked it up from the Del Norte County animal shelter in a couple of days.

Another five dogs were found, all strayed pets, and they were held and all finally got back to their masters.

Reach Nita Phillips at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it