Remembering Fish Warden Raymond L. Schroll
On May 15, 2000 a special remembrance ceremony was held in Washington, D.C. as new names were added to those engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Included on the list of names added at this year's dedication was Pennsylvania Fish Warden Raymond Leroy Schroll Jr.
On April 4, 1958, Schroll, the Lycoming County District Fish Warden, and Paul Ranck, a Game Commission officer, were patrolling the Susquehanna River below Williamsport. It had been a wet spring and the river was unusually high and swift. The two officers were returning from checking the duck hatch from Muncy to Williamsport when the swift water became too much for the small craft to handle. The boat capsized, throwing both Officer Schroll and Officer Ranck into the river. Officer Schroll was an excellent swimmer and quickly made it safely to shore. As he exited the water, he turned and saw Officer Ranck clinging to the overturned boat. Without hesitating, Officer Schroll dived back into the water in an attempt to assist his friend. Witnesses say he was gaining on Officer Ranck when Officer Schroll suddenly disappeared under the raging water.
Officer Ranck clung to the boat for over a mile before he was rescued by a volunteer fireman who threw a rope from a bridge over the river. Recovery teams searched unsuccessfully for Officer Schroll in the following few weeks. His body was recovered April 28, 1958, in Lewisburg, PA, over 30 miles downstream.
Witnesses say Officer Schroll had saved his own life and was out of danger. He didn't have to return to the water, but he saw a fellow officer in trouble and instinctively responded. Officer Raymond Schroll is a genuine hero, who unselfishly laid down his life for a friend.
Officer Schroll began his career with the Pennsylvania Fish Commission on June 23, 1952. All who knew him were not surprised by his act of putting his life on the line in an effort to assist a friend in need. Raymond Schroll was respected and greatly admired for his work in his too-short time with the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. The addition of his name on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was a long-overdue tribute to the ultimate sacrifice by an officer in the line of duty.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was dedicated in 1991 by President George Bush. It honors all of America's federal, state and local law enforcers. Inscribed on the Memorial's blue-gray marble walls are the names of more than 14,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty, dating back to the first known death in 1794. Designed by Washington, D.C. architect Davis Buckley, the Memorial is located on three acres of federal park land called Judiciary Square. The site has served for some 200 years as the seat of our nation's judicial branch of government. Bordering the Memorial's beautifully landscaped park are two tree-lined "pathways of remembrance," where the names of the fallen officers are engraved.
For more information about the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, visit the website at www.nleomf.com.
Commission representatives placed this wreath at the memorial's inscription of Officer Schroll's name.
photo-Commission President Ted Keir
Attending the special remembrance ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial were (clockwise from top left) WCO Lee Creyer, DWCO Bill Fry, WCO Gerald Barton, WCO Alan Robinson, WCO Ray Bednarchik, Linda Schroll McHenry (daughter of Officer Schroll), Jean Schroll Mirto (Officer Schroll's spouse) and Jeffrey Schroll (son of Officer Schroll).
photo-Commission President Ted Keir
The memorial plaque at the top of this page is displayed in the Commission's Harrisburg headquarters, along with a plaque for the Commission's only other fallen officer, Fish Warden William Shoemaker.