William J. Klimczynski saved Walter J. Wajca from drowning, Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, September 26, 1938. Wajca, 33, lineman, climbed to a point near the top of a pole that rose 30 feet from a stone wall, which extended 35 feet out from the bank of the Chicopee River and rose two feet above the water. The pole was almost at the outer end of the wall. The river was in flood, there was a current of three m.p.h., and the water was about nine feet deep. The pole fell into the water upstream at a right angle to the wall, Wajca, who was heavily clothed and burdened by tools, losing his hold and being submerged briefly. He got hold of the pole, which was bobbing up and down, but was dazed. From the wall Klimczynski, 40, lineman foreman, who was clothed, dived and-swam 30 feet to Wajca. Taking hold of Wajca, he crawled across the pole to the side opposite him; and holding to the pole, he worked his way along it and aided Wajca to the wall. While men pulled Wajca onto the wall, Klimczynski took hold of a granite block of the wall to rest; and the block, which weighed at least 750 pounds, toppled into the water, scraping Klimczynski’s arm and side and forcing him to the bottom. He rose to the surface beyond the end of the wall and was swept over a dam, falling four feet into the lower pool. His feet snagged in debris, and he was submerged. He kicked, freed himself, and rose to the surface. He then swam six feet and got hold of a timber that extended out from an abutment of the dam. He rested briefly, climbed on the timber, and then was aided onto the abutment 37518-3260.
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