MANKATO, Minn. (AP) _ Fifty-nine years after he saved a friend from drowning, Ross Heilman finally has received his Boy Scout Medal of Honor.

Heilman, then 16, pulled Kenneth Foster from a water-filled gravel pit one summer day in 1932 and used artificial respiration to revive him.

He was recommended for Scouting's Medal of Honor, but the Boy Scouts' national office rejected him because his Depression-era troop was unable to pay its national dues.

Tuesday night the organization made amends by presenting the medal to the retired power company worker, who is 75.

Foster's widow, Lyda, sent him a letter of appreciation.

''I'm mighty glad that he saved Kenneth's life because we had a wonderful 33 years together,'' she said. Foster died in 1988 at age 75.