Remembering Richard Guadagno, Wildlife Refuge Manager and Flight 93 Passenger

LOLETA, Calif. (KIEM)- Richard Guadagno was the Refuge Manager at the Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge at the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was passenger 19A on flight 93, the plane that crashed in an open field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

The Wildlife Refuge has created two plaques on the property in his honor.

“He went back to New Jersey where he was from for his grandmother’s 100th birthday celebration. When he tried to come back to work in Humboldt, that was flight 93,” said Eric Nelson, former Refuge Manager. 

In 2012, his family created the Richard Guadagno Fellowship and Scholarship Program sponsored by donations and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The funding from the program goes through the Student Conservation Association. 

They go to students at Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods who are chosen based on grades and academic studies.  The goal is to improve the wildlife habitat in Humboldt County.

“I’m working as a field biologist. This has been a really valuable experience to me because I’ve been able to go straight from college to a field biology program and receive hands on experience in this field,” said Connor Cavassa, current fellowship recipient. 

Along with the plaques at the Wildlife Refuge, Guadagno is named in memorials in Oregon and at the crash site in Pennsylvania. 

Richard Guadagno was one of the passengers on flight 93 that fought back and stopped the plane from crashing into the hijackers’ target building, which we now know was the nation’s capital.