Earl L. McJones died attempting to save James Fontana, Jr., from drowning, Chicago, Illinois, March 26, 1937. James, 13, school-boy, fell from a bridge pier into the Chicago Drainage Canal and drifted to a point 75 feet from the bank, where the water was 22 feet deep. The water was very cold and heavy with sewage. After a futile effort was made to reach James by means of a rope and men, who were good swimmers, made no move to swim to James, McJones, 22, laborer, who was heavily clothed, waded from the bank and swam 100 feet to James. With one hand McJones took hold of James under his left armpit and swam 30 feet toward the bank. McJones then released his hold, raised himself slightly, and sank. James feebly swam 10 feet nearer the bank. A rope was thrown to him, but he did not take hold of it and sank. Both were drowned.
36270 – 300536270-3005