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Gaston N Riggs

Military

Gaston Riggs was killed in a training accident in a P-51 Mustang. He had completed 28 missions flying B-17s with the 94th Bomb Group, before transferring to the 339th Fighter Group to fly P-51s.

Riggs was killed in a training accident on 26 February 1945, when his P-51 43-6785 developed engine problems over the Heathrow area on a training flight from Fowlmere. Rather than bailing out over a populated area, he attempted to land at Heston Airfield, but hit the farmhouse on nearby Grange Farm, crashing just outside the airfield perimeter. Local rescuers extricated Riggs from the burning wreck of his aircraft, but he died en route to West Middlesex hospital.

In 2015, Heston locals campaigned for a memorial to recognise Riggs' sacrifice.

Service

People

  • Charles Barnard

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | 94th Bomb Group

  • Ralph Coonrod

    Military | Major | Navigator | Headquarters Squadron (94th Bomb Group)
    Ralph Albert Coonrod was the youngest of three sons who grew up during the Great Depression and volunteered to join the United States Army Air Corps during WW2. He served as a navigator in a B-17 and later as an officer in the US Air Force Reserves...

  • Gilbert Gilfond

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 94th Bomb Group

  • Harry Hastings

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 94th Bomb Group

  • Frank McMurphy

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | 94th Bomb Group

  • Thomas Page

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | tail gunner | 94th Bomb Group

  • Ramond Peeples

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | 94th Bomb Group

  • Hobert Sims

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | 94th Bomb Group

Show more

Units served with

  • 339th Fighter Group

    339th Fighter Group

    Group
    In the years before deployment to the UK, the Group had been designated as a Bombardment Group (Dive) and trained in A-24 and A-25 dive-bombers and P-39 Airacobras. When, in April 1944, they joined the Eighth Air Force in Britain though, the pilots...

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15 June 1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organization and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29 June 1942; Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28 Aug. 42 to 31 Oct. 42; then at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas...

  • 503rd Fighter Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-97316 Tommy

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/2/44; Gr Island 8/3/44; Grenier 22/3/44; Assigned 331BS/94BG Rougham 9/4/44; Missing in Action Bohlen 7/10/44 with Nelson Warren, Dick Debus, Bob Hildorf, John McMillan, Royal Vaughn, Chas Benear, Floyd Cosgray, Art Sturgeon, John...

Associated Place

  • Fowlmere

    Military site : airfield
    Just as nearby Duxford was known as the 'Duck pond' by American airmen, so Fowlmere was known as 'the Hen Puddle' because of the wet conditions that pervaded the bases during the winter of 1943-1944. The 339th Fighter Group had no choice but to persist...

  • Heston

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1929 as a civil, private Air Park, Heston was the first airfield in Britain to have an ...

Events

Event Location Date
Died Heston 26 February 1945

Killed in a training accident

Buried

Initially buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery

Buried Texas, USA

Re-interred in Texas following the war.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
20 May 2015 09:14:44 Lucy May Changes to role
Sources

Combined two entries for Gaston Riggs. This entry now includes information from the following sources:
Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Roll of Honor: Gives Gaston Riggs' middle initial as 'H' rather than 'R'.

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2015 00:44:39 3903RBS Changes to biography
Sources

Source: USAAF Accident report by Riggs wingman on training flight

Date Contributor Update
29 March 2015 19:57:57 mustangman Changes to media associations
Sources

photo

Date Contributor Update
29 March 2015 04:05:37 mustangman Changes to biography
Sources

photo proof

Date Contributor Update
22 February 2015 14:33:25 mustangman Changes to biography
Sources

special order #115

Date Contributor Update
19 February 2015 12:06:02 Emily Changes to biography and person associations
Sources

Transferred information from duplicate record.

Biographical details by mustangman

Data drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah Georgia

Date Contributor Update
19 February 2015 12:00:51 Emily Changes to biography, events and place associations
Sources

Newspaper article in Get West London, December 2014

Date Contributor Update
14 February 2015 14:02:13 mustangman Changes to role, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

special order#115

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:10:36 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

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