Chase Rescorla Scholarship Fund
Heroes Building Heroes
through Education

St. Augustine's Hometown Heroes

Leo C. Chase

Pfc. Leo C. Chase, Jr.

At 23 years old Army Pfc. Leo C. Chase, Jr., was killed while serving with an Airmobile unit in Vietnam. Five days later he would have gone home. Chase's life served as an inspiration to others before and since his death.

Chase was a rifleman in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry. He flew into Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley of South Vietnam, near the Cambodian border. The helicopter troops were immediately attacked by thousands of soldiers of the 320th, 33rd and 66th regiments of the North Vietnamese Army in a battle that lasted four days. Outnumbered nearly 10 to 1, Chase and the other members of his platoon bravely repulsed many massive ground assaults from the Viet Cong, all the while taking fire from enemy snipers.

Pfc. Leo C. Chase, Jr. - Vietnam Memorial

In the end, Chase and many other members of his platoon lost their lives, but not without accomplishing their objective. The American lines held because of the courage and sheer determination of the Seventh Cavalry. 305 Americans and 3,561 North Vietnamese died. Leo Chase was the first man from St. Johns County to be killed in Vietnam.

View a full biography of Leo C. Chase.

St. Augustine Record Article

Rick Rescorla

Lt. Rick Rescorla at Landing Zone X-ray in November 1965

Rick Rescorla was one who lost his life on 9/11/01. He was the VP of Security for Morgan-Stanley/Dean-Witter, a tenant in the World Trade Center. His actions on the day of the attack, along with his foresight and preparation, saved the lives of 2,700 people. On television and radio, newspapers, books and magazines Rick Rescorla has been immortalized.

During his years of combat in Vietnam, Lt. Rick Rescorla sang to his troops to keep their spirits up. At Morgan-Stanley/Dean Witter in New York, Rescorla sang to calm co-workers as he led them from their offices in the World Trade Center.

Rescorla survived his battles in Southwest Asia, but was not so fortunate September 11th. He was last seen in a 10th floor staircase. He is credited with saving others while sacrificing himself.

Rescorla is a character in "We Were Soldiers Once... And Young," an account of combat in Vietnam's Ia Drang Valley. Gen. Hal Moore and reporter Joe Galloway, the book's authors, sold over 47,000 copies. The book was made into a Mel Gibson movie.

Rick Rescorla with Megaphone on September 11, 2001

"He was on the cover of the book," Galloway said, recalling the photo of Rescorla as a lieutenant preparing for a bayonet charge. Rescorla, 62, took charge during the terrorist attack on his building, just as if he was again in combat. Says Galloway, "No one would have expected anything less of him," Survivors say Rescorla grabbed a bullhorn and cleared out 3.800 workers from 20 floors. When nespapers published accounts of Rescorla's calming office workers with his songs, Galloway remembered Rescorla singing Welsh mining songs during combat in Vietnam. Comrades who served with Rescorla said he would sing and tell jokes to motivate troops. "He was doing what he always did, singing to them," Galloway said.

Born in Hayle, England, in 1939, Rescorla joined the U.S. Army in the 1960's and went to Vietnam as a platoon leader with the B Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry. In November 1965, his unit plunged into a battle at Landing Zone X-Ray, at the base of the Chu Pong, a 2,400 foot mountain in the Ia Drang Valley. He later survived a North Vietnamese ambush at nearby Landing Zone Albany that claimed the lives of 151 men in his unit. In the book, Rescorla played a significant part in repelling the enemy when they outnumbered his unit. Moore, the officer who led the battle at Landing Zone X-Ray, and Galloway, a UPI reporter who covered it, painted Rescorla as a likeable character who was a skilled leader under fire. "Gen. Moore said he was the finest platoon leader in the Army," Galloway recalled.

After the war, Rescorla went to Oklahoma University on the GI Bill, and later earned a master's degree and a law degree. In 1989 he retired as a colonel in the Army Reserve. For the past 18 years, he had worked in security management for Morgan Stanley. During a televised celebrity fund-raiser following the attacks, Robin Williams told the nation of Rescorla's heroism. "He died as he lived, a great soldier," Galloway said.

The Chase-Rescorla Scholarship

Chase-Rescorla Scholarship Fund: Memorial Scholarship Annual Awards Dinner

The Chase Rescorla Scholarship Fund was a response to the lives of Leo C. Chase and Rick Rescorla, both of whom served in Vietnam in the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), 7th Cavalry Regiment. This fund will award a scholarships to a local students in the names of Chase and Rescorla to keep alive the memories of these heroes.

The fund will pay a student's college or trade-school tuition and books. Guidance counselors will be asked to recommend candidates for the Chase Rescorla Scholarship Fund. Then a selection board will act to select a recipient. The deadline for scholarship applications is February 1st, 2012. Selection of Scholarship winners will be February 29th, 2012. Scholarships will be awarded at the annual dinner March 24th, 2012.

Chase - Rescorla Scholarship Fund Board of Directors and Officers: William Jefferson President, Michael Pullium Vice President, Donna Pullium Treasurer and Tom Crawford Secretary. At large members are Greg White, Septimus Connor, Michael Rothfeld, Rick Look and Sheriff David B. Shoar.

Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to Prosperity Bank account number #7022086801. This is a non-profit fund.

Nine $1,000 Scholarships were awarded at the 2nd Annual Dinner on April 5, 2008. Five $1,000 Scholarships were awarded in 2009. Seven $1,000 Scholarships were awarded at the 2010 Dinner. Eleven $1,000 and $500 Scholorships were awarded at the 2011 Dinner. The 2013 Keynote Speaker will be Captain Giles R. Norrington USN (Ret.). Directions to the Dinner can be found on the Annual Dinner Page. Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased by mailing a check made out to Chase-Rescorla Scholarship and sent to Chase-Rescorla Scholarship, 2465 US 1 South, PMB #72, St. Augustine, FL 32086 or by calling Cheryl Jefferson at (904) 642-2929.

St. Augustine Record Article

2011 Scholarship Recipients

Chase-Rescorla Scholarship Fund: Annual Awards Dinner
[More Info]