Refuge Manager Richard Jerry Guadagno

Refuge Manager Richard Jerry Guadagno

United States Department of the Interior - Fish and Wildlife Service - Division of Refuge Law Enforcement, U.S. Government

End of Watch Tuesday, September 11, 2001

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Richard Jerry Guadagno

Refuge Manager Richard Guadagno was killed when the commercial airliner he was a passenger on was hijacked while he was returning from vacation.

The plane crashed after passengers, who had heard about the other hijackings, attempted to re-take control of the plane in flight. During the re-taking effort, the plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania. Although it cannot be proven, there is reason to believe that Manager Guadagno was among those who attempted to re-take control of the plane. Manager Guadagno's badge and credentials were found in trees where the cockpit debris had broken off and scattered into, highly suggesting Manager Guadagno was among the passengers who fought back and attempted to retake control of the plane.

Manager Guadagno had been employed with the United States Department of the Interior for 17 years. He is survived by his parents and sister.

He was posthumously awarded the Department of the Interior's Valor Award.

The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, seventy-two officers from a total of eight local, state, and federal agencies were killed when terrorist hijackers working for the al Qaeda terrorist network, headed by Osama bin Laden, crashed four hijacked planes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

After the impact of the first plane into the World Trade Center's North Tower, putting the safety of others before their own, law enforcement officers along with fire and EMS personnel, rushed to the burning Twin Towers of the World Trade Center to aid the victims and lead them to safety. Due to their quick actions, it is estimated that over 25,000 people were saved.

As the evacuation continued, the South Tower unexpectedly collapsed as a result of the intense fire caused by the impact. The North Tower collapsed a short time later. Seventy-two law enforcement officers, 343 members of the New York City Fire Department, and over 2,800 civilians were killed at the World Trade Center site on 9/11.

A third hijacked plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania when the passengers attempted to re-take control of the plane. One law enforcement officer, who was a passenger on the plane, was killed in that crash.

The fourth hijacked plane was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, killing almost 200 military and civilian personnel. No law enforcement officers were killed at the Pentagon on 9/11.

The terrorist attacks resulted in the declaration of war against the Taliban regime, the illegal rulers of Afghanistan, and the al Qaeda terrorist network which also was based in Afghanistan.

On September 9th, 2005, all of the public safety officers killed on September 11th, 2001, were posthumously awarded the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor by President George W. Bush.

The contamination in the air at the World Trade Center site caused many rescue personnel to become extremely ill and eventually led to the death of several rescue workers.

On May 1st, 2011, members of the United States military conducted a raid on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed Osama bin Laden.

Please click here to visit the memorials of all of the law enforcement officers who have died as a result of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Terrorist attack
  • Location Pennsylvania
  • Weapon Aircraft; Passenger jet
  • Offender 19 suicide attackers

9/11, terrorism

Most Recent Reflection

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Dear Richard,
I was a child in Southern California at the time of your death. Just before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I moved to Humboldt County to attend what was then, Humboldt State University. Over the years I lived in Humboldt I started to hear the story about the passenger on Flight 93 who was a Humboldt resident. Every year on 9/11, an article was published about you in the local independent newspapers and online newsletters (North Coast Journal). I was moved by your passion for your animals and the environment, especially the natural beauty of the local area. As you know, Humboldt County was small so I know even though I don't know them personally, I have probably ran into and been in the same area as your co-workers, friends, and your girlfriend. Each 9/11 I have felt sad and mournful for them and their loss of you. I never had the chance to visit the Wildlife Refuge you loved, but to this day when I visit Humboldt, I can't help but think of you everytime I pass the refuge on 101. I hope one day during a future visit to see the beauty of the Refuge you cared for and pay respect to you at the visitors center that is named in your honor.
Thank you for your service and God bless your soul in Heaven,


September 11, 2022

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