James L. Williams attempted to save Roger Harmon and Allen Hall from drowning, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, January 18, 1964. Roger, 6, Allen, 7, and three other boys, were walking on an ice-covered pond and broke through into water 17 feet deep 60 feet from the bank. Two other boys went to the Williams residence for help. Williams, 32, personnel counselor, ran 900 feet to the pond, where only Roger and Allen then were at the surface. Without delaying to remove any of his attire, Williams in a prone position crawled to within five feet of the hole in the ice. He then broke through and swam the remaining distance, but by that time Roger and Allen also had sunk. He searched for the boys, twice touching them but was unable to obtain a hold. By then Williams was so fatigued by the cold and his wet clothing that he barely was able to cling to the edge of the ice. At that time William Lloyd Garrison and another man reached the pond. As they undressed to their underwear, Williams called to them to hurry because he could not hold on much longer. Taking with him a tree limb eight feet long, Garrison crawled 40 feet on the ice, which then broke under him. He swam the rest of the way to the hole, breaking the ice ahead of him. Garrison towed Williams through the path he had broken to the solid ice. Supporting Williams, he broke the ice ahead of him as, tiring rapidly, he moved to 20 feet from the bank. The other man walked 10 feet on the ice and extended another tree limb. Garrison held to the limb and supported Williams as the man pulled them 10 feet farther toward the bank, the ice breaking ahead of them. The man broke through the ice but swam to the bank as Garrison followed with Williams. The bodies of Roger, Allen, and the other three boys were recovered later.
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