Sterling Calhoun died attempting to save Mary K. and Richard E. Kerns from drowning, Washington, D.C., July 10, 1935. While wading in the Anacostia River, Richard, 11, stepped into water 12 feet deep 190 feet from the bank and was briefly submerged. Mary, 14, who was his sister, waded toward him, stepped into the deep water, and called for help. Calhoun, 32, laborer, who was fully clothed, removed his shoes and waded from the bank toward the children. In response to a call from Calhoun, a youth started to row a boat toward Mary, Richard by then having sunk. Calhoun swam to a point close to Mary, 10 feet from wadable water, and when the boat was within 50 feet of him, he sank with his arms raised. Mary already had disappeared. Richard, Mary, and Calhoun were drowned.
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