Francis J. Trombino, also known as Joe, was a Korean War veteran and truck driver who had worked for Brinks as a security guard since the late 1960s and had spent most of his life in Clifton, New Jersey. But did you know how many times Trombino escaped death?
Joseph Trombino, a security guard who survived the 1981 Brink robbery in New York worked for the company for the next 20 years, was nearly killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and died in the September 11, 2001 attack.
It Just Started as a Normal Day
Joseph Pellegrini, vice president of business operations for The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC), received a Brink’s US Global Services envelope recovered from Ground Zero a year after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. In 2001, the OCC used Brink’s to send correspondence between the company’s headquarters in Chicago and its 17 State Street office in New York.
This finely dusted plastic envelope contains a shipping label with the package’s origin CHI and destination NYC in faint black lettering, as well as the addresses, office phone numbers, weight, value, and shipping date. This envelope, which was supposed to arrive in New York on September 11, 2001, tells the story of that day, beginning with its delivery to 9/11 victim Francis Joseph Trombino, a security guard and messenger for Brink’s Incorporated.
Joe Trombino typically leaves his Clifton, New Jersey, home around 3:30 AM to start his 5:00 AM. shift at the Brink’s Brooklyn headquarters. Trombino and his colleagues visited the World Trade Center daily. While his colleagues made deliveries inside the building, he would guard the armored truck.
Trombino continued his shift by walking around Wall Street, making deliveries and pickups. His daily stops included the OCC office. Trombino became well-known around the OCC’s New York office after 10-12 years of deliveries. He was frequently invited to stay for coffee and conversation, and it wasn’t unusual to hear someone exclaim, “Hey, Joe’s here!” (Source: New Jersey Lives)
The September 11 Attack
Mr. Trombino stayed behind to guard the truck in the parking garage on the morning of the terrorist attack while three colleagues made a delivery to a bank on the 11th floor of the North Tower. The others fled with their lives despite being separated in the chaos.
Mrs. Trombino described her husband and crew’s predicament: they couldn’t go down and he couldn’t come up.
He was a devoted worker, He wasn’t supposed to leave the truck, and it cost him his life.Walter Jack, Joe Trambino’s Friend
Walter said his friend called a Brink’s office several times that morning, one to express concern for those upstairs and another to say the walls around him were crumbling and water was seeping into the garage.
He was never seen or heard from again, and Mrs. Trombino claims she has no idea where her husband’s body was discovered. The body of Mr. Trombino and the armored car was found, but the body was not in the truck.
We’ve asked, but I guess we haven’t gotten the right person yet. was planning to retire in another year.Mrs. Trombino, Joe Trambino’s Wife
(Source: New Jersey Lives)