COLUMBUS — An 89-year-old Billings man drowned while fishing on the Rosebud River near Fishtail southwest of Absarokee.
Stillwater County Coroner Terry Nystul said Herbert Richard Alvin and his wife were fishing on April 23 when his fishing line got tangled. Nystul says Alvin went out into the water to untangle the line, slipped, hit his head and drowned while being carried about 50 yards downstream.
People who heard Alvin's wife yelling for help were able to pull him from the water and began CPR. Efforts to resuscitate him failed.
According to Alvin's obituary, he was a 1943 Colstrip High graduate and a decorated World War II veteran. He served as an aviation cadet, gunner and photo recon specialist for the Army Air Force. He saw numerous battles in the South Pacific and was decorated with four combat stars. The obituary said that after the war, Alvin was nominated to attend West Point by Sen. Burton K. Wheeler.
Alvin traveled to Washington, D.C., with the first Honor Flight from Montana.