Rick Rescorla

Cyril Richard Rescorla (1939 - 2001)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Colonel Cyril Richard (Rick) "Tammy, Hard Core, Cornish Hawk" Rescorla
Born in Hayle, Cornwall, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Son of [father unknown] and
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of [private wife (1950s - unknown)]
Husband of [private wife (unknown - unknown)]
Father of [private son (1970s - unknown)] and [private daughter (1970s - unknown)]
Died in New York City, New York, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 20 Sep 2019 | Created 10 Dec 2011 | Last significant change: 20 Sep 2019
15:09: Heidi Hellstern posted a message on the page for Cyril Richard Rescorla (1939-2001). [Thank Heidi for this]
This page has been accessed 3,039 times.


Rick Rescorla was a hero of the tragedies that happened September 11, 2001 in the United States.[1]Cyril Richard Rescorla[2][3][4][5] was born May 27, 1939 in Hayle, Cornwall.[2][3][5][6][7][8]

Rick grew up with his grandparents and mother, who worked as a housekeeper.[8] He grew to admire the US soldiers who were stationed near his hometown. He decided that he wanted to become one someday.[8]

Rick married Betsy Nathan 10 Jun 1972 in Dallas, Texas.[3]

Rick married a second time to Susan Jane Greer 20 Feb 1999 in St. John's, Florida.[4]

Rick served in the British Armed Forces beginning in 1956.[8] Upon returning to life in Great Britain following service in Rhodesia, Rick worked for the Metropolitan Police.[8] Soon after he resigned and moved to the US.[8]

He moved to the United States, living in Brooklyn, New York, and enlisting in the US Army in 1963.[8] He later served in the US Army at Ft. Benning, Georgia.[6][9] He filed for naturalization as a US citizen in 1966.[6][10] Rick served with the US Army in Vietnam, notably in the Battle of Ia Drang which was immortalized in the book "We Were Soldiers Once...And Young".[11][10][1][8] Rick is the soldier pictured on the book's cover. Later Mel Gibson adapted the book for film in "We Were Soldiers."[8]

Following his service, Rick took advantage of the GI Bill and attended university in Oklahoma, earning law degrees. He went on to teach at the University of South Carolina and published a textbook on law.[8]

Later Rick became the vice president of security at Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter in New York City. He wanted something that paid better than teaching.[1][8] He was working the day the attacks on New York City happened, in the second tower of the World Trade Center.[11]

Rick is credited with directly or indirectly saving at least 2,700 people that day.[11][10] As a security professional at Morgan Stanley he had predicted as early as 1990 that the World Trade Center was a likely target for terrorism.[11][10][8]

His fears were realized in 1993 when the towers were bombed, and he urged Morgan Stanley to relocate their offices. The company did not move, so Rick continued to analyze the threats and how best to address them. He predicted that terrorists could try to fly a plane into the towers and relentlessly drilled employees for an emergency evacuation.[10][1][8] [12] That evacuation happened on September 11, 2001. To try to keep people calm as they saw their practice turn into a real emergency, Rick sang, including a song from his native Cornwall, "Men of Harlech; which is a Welsh song".[10][1][8]

Nearly all the Morgan Stanley employees (all but 13) made it out due to his diligence, including Rick, but he feared someone had been left behind and re-entered the building to look for them. He never came back out.[10][1][8]

Rick's last words to his wife, as quoted by Amanda Ripley:

"I have to get these people out safely. If something should happen to me, I want you to know I’ve never been happier. You made my life."

Rick was last seen in a stairwell of the second tower. His body was not recovered.[2][1][11]

He is honored with the Rescorla Monument in Hayle, Cornwall, England.[11] Moreover, a train with the Great Western Railway in Cornwall is named in his honor.[1][8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Train named after Cornish 9/11 hero Rick Rescorla", BBC.com, 13 Apr 2019. Accessed 5 Sep 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Canada Obituary Collection Author: Ancestry.com Toronto Star; Publication Date: 9 Dec 2003; Publication Place: Toronto , On , Can. Note: Ancestry Record 619801 #5538 Name: Richard Rescorla Birth: abt 1939 Death: 09/11/2001
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002 Author: Ancestry.com Ancestry Record txmarriageindex #48937 Birth date: 1939 Birth place: Marriage date: 10 Jun 1972 Marriage place: Dallas, Texas
  4. 4.0 4.1 Florida Marriage Collection, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001 Author: Ancestry.com Ancestry Record flmarriageindex #10570187 Marriage date: 20 Feb 1999 Marriage place: St. Johns, Florida
  5. 5.0 5.1 England & Wales, Birth Index: 1916-2005 Author: Ancestry.com Ancestry Record onsbirth84 #25160212 Birth date: Sep 1939 Birth place: Penzance, Devon/Cornwall/Seilly. Dorset/Somerset
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ancestry.com. Georgia, Naturalization Records, 1893-1991 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; ARC Title: Petitions for Naturalization, compiled 1907 - 1991; ARC Number: 1136737; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States; Record Group Number: 21 Ancestry Record 2500 #165794
  7. Ancestry.com. U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 2 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Ancestry Record 1732 #299144596
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 "Rick Rescorla - Cornish 9/11 Hero", transceltic.com, Kernow Matters to Us, March 26, 2019 . Accessed 5 Sep 2019
  9. Ancestry.com. U.S., Select Military Registers, 1862-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Ancestry Record 2345 #3384800
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 "RICK RESCORLA - SAVED 2,687 LIVES ON SEPTEMBER 11", on americamatters.com, published 13 Sep 2016. Accessed 5 Sep 2019
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 05 September 2019), memorial page for COL Cyril Richard “Rick” Rescorla (27 May 1939–11 Sep 2001), Find A Grave: Memorial #140348264, citing Rescorla Monument, Hayle, Cornwall Unitary Authority, Cornwall, England ; Maintained by OBXr (contributor 46634091) .
  12. Gertz, Bill. "Remember Rick Rescorla: U.S. intelligence could learn from his valor and leadership" excerpted from Breakdown: How America’s Intelligence Failures Led to September 11.

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On 20 Sep 2019 at 15:09 GMT Heidi Hellstern wrote:

Thank you for your bravery, my cousin. I wish we could have met.

"Rick and Heidi are 22nd cousins once removed (Uncertain)"

On 12 Sep 2019 at 15:51 GMT Wallace Craig wrote:

I knew Rick from reunions of the 1st Cav Div, in Washington DC. Rick was always admired and thought highly off, even before the events of 2001. There is a reason his photo is on the cover of "We Were Soldiers Once..and Young" Rest in Peace Brother.

On 12 Sep 2019 at 13:57 GMT Alene (Biggs) Corbitt wrote:

We are 23rd cousins 3 times removed. To say thank you for your service and sacrifice is not enough. Prayers for your family.

On 12 Sep 2019 at 13:12 GMT Colleen Runne wrote:

Dear Cousin. We have never met nor did we know each other existed til now. Thank you for your bravery and I hope you are at peace. I am so very proud to know we are related. May God Bless you and watch over your family.

On 11 Sep 2019 at 22:59 GMT David Morehead wrote:

Much admiration and gratitude for your service , Cousin ~

On 11 Sep 2019 at 14:13 GMT Dee (Hendley) Russell MRS wrote:

A wonderful caring Cornish man, who gave his life for others. God Bless You.

Dee Russell, Cornwall

On 11 Sep 2019 at 12:58 GMT Christine (Brown) Searle wrote:

I think it needs to be clarified that "Men of Harlech" is Welsh, not Cornish. You'll have the Men of Harlech come marching armed to Wikitree - he actually sang a Cornish song based on Men of Harlech, according to Wikipedia.

On 11 Sep 2019 at 12:50 GMT Nancy (Buxton) Burgess wrote:

God Bless ❤️

On 11 Sep 2019 at 12:17 GMT Susanna J Dodgson wrote:

Men of Harlech, indeed. I remember reading about him after 2001, perennially optimistic and practical.

On 11 Sep 2019 at 10:50 GMT Eric Daly wrote:

An amazing profile of an amazing person.

Rick is 26 degrees from Cheryl Hess, 23 degrees from John Lennon and 22 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.