Charles W. Gaston, 32, police patrolman, helped to save Johnny G. A. Floyd and Joseph H. Cardin, 13 and 14, respectively, from drowning, Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 8, 1967. When they slid into a flooded creek, Johnny and Joseph were carried downstream by the swift current and swept through an underground tunnel into an open section of the drainage system at a railroad yard. They were carried to the opening of a steel pipe eight feel in diameter in one of the walls which surrounded the open area and rose 17 feet above water six feet deep. They obtained holds on the pipe, preventing themselves from being swept into it. Gaston was among a number of persons who arrived at the scene. He descended a ladder which had been hooked over the top of the wall, and a rope which was secured at one end and held at the other by a number of men was looped under his arms before he entered the water. The men let out more of the rope, extending the loop as Gaston was carried to the pipe opening. Each of the boys grasped Gaston around the neck but then followed his instructions and held to the rope. Gaston placed one arm around each boy; and the men began pulling on the rope. Gaston retained his hold on Johnny and Joseph but was tiring by the time they neared the ladder. Johnny then made his way along the rope to the ladder. Joseph did likewise. By then Gaston did not have sufficient strength left to make his way along the rope. He held to it as the men pulled him from the water.
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