Millard F. Scherer helped to rescue Berlyn Brixner, 21, laboratory assistant, from exposure in a volcanic cave, Afton, New Mexico, December 11, 1932. Brixner fell down a vent of an extinct volcano of the East Potrillo Mountains to a ledge 155 feet below the surface. He sustained injuries that rendered him unconscious. Holes of unknown depth dropped from the ledge. The lava walls of the vent sloped down precipitously in irregular directions and were studded with sharp projections. Presence of snakes was feared. Of many men at the surface, Scherer, 40, highway patrolman, and Bertie Morris, 25, police secretary, alone offered to descend, although they were based in Texas. With their left legs in rope loops attached to the end of a wire cable, and fastened to the cable by webbing around their waists, they were slowly lowered by the other men. They carried flashlights. With their legs and arms they warded themselves away from sharp angles and turns and reached a sloping shelf but five feet long 75 feet below the surface. Scherer then freed himself of the cable and remained on the shelf to relay signals to the surface, and Morris was slowly lowered to a ledge 155 feet below the surface, where he found Brixner embedded upright to his shoulders in pulverized bat dung. Meanwhile, Scherer found unstable footing on the sloping shelf, and he held momentarily to the slowly moving cable and to a heavy signal line that extended from Morris to the surface. Morris tied Brixner to the cable, and they were hoisted. After they passed the shelf, a dislodged rock struck Scherer, causing him almost to lose his balance. No longer having the support of the cable and the line, Scherer was terrified lest he fall off the ledge, and he sat with his back pressed against the wall. After Morris and Brixner were pulled out, Morris was lowered to the shelf and found Scherer hysterical from fright. He tied Scherer to the cable, and the two were drawn out. Both collapsed momentarily. Brixner sustained a fracture of the ankle and other injuries but recovered in a month. 32697-2759
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Scherer Funeral at 9 a.m. today
Funeral services for Millard F. Scherer, 49, county highway patrolman, who died in Sawtelle, Cal., Monday, will be held in Sawtelle at 9 a.m. Thursday, friends in El Paso were advised Wednesday.
Mr. Scherer is remembered by hundreds of El Paso County school children. His major assignment with the County Highway Patrol during the school season was to patrol Lower Valley school zones. He was active in promoting safety precautions, now embodied in the School Boy Patrols in the various county schools.
Mr. Scherer was a member of the Tank Corps during the World War. He will be buried with military honors in the Sawtelle National Cemetery.
(News clipping from El Paso Times; 11/16/1939)