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Elwyn G Righetti


Righetti held the rank of Major when he joined the 55th Fighter Group but it would only be a matter of days before he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He also spent just a couple of days with the 38th Fighter Squadron, before going to the 338th Fighter Squadron.

He was commander of the 55th Fighter Group and had a score of 7.5 kills.

Righetti went down on his 30th birthday, 4 days before the end of hostilities. He was Killed in Action (KIA) when his P-51 Mustang (serial number 44-72227, nicknamed 'Katydid') crashed near Riesa, Germany.

He had a score of 7.5.


Units served with


Associated Place

  • Wormingford

    Military site : airfield
    Wormingford was a Royal Flying Corps/RAF anti-Zeppelin aircraft Landing Ground First World War, rebuilt for the Eighth Air Force 1942-43. It was a Ninth Air Force base from 1943-44, and home to the 362nd Fighter Group. Switching back to the Eighth Air...


Event Location Date
Born San Luis Obispo, CA, USA 17 April 1915
Died Riesa, Germany 17 April 1945

Righetti survived the force landing of his P-51D, but was never seen or heard from again. He was likely murdered by German civilians.

The following report was made by Lt. Carroll D. Henry on LtCol. Righetti's last known words and movements:
"He then made one more pass from west to east destroying a FW-190. I called him telling him that I was tacking on. He acknowledged saying that he was heading out on 270 degrees. I was about 3,000 feet and over-ran him due to excess speed gained while letting down. He was at six o'clock to me and I rolled out on 270 degrees. I chopped my throttle and when I looked back I couldn't locate him. About 30 seconds later he called in saying, 'I broke my nose but I am OK. I got nine today. Tell my family I am OK, and it has been swell working with you'. I made one orbit and couldn't locate him on the ground. Being by myself I then headed out."

Buried May 1945

No Known Grave
Tablets of the Missing
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery


Date Contributor Update
08 July 2016 00:49:25 466thHistorian Changes to events

Date Contributor Update
07 October 2014 14:29:48 Pyker Changes to events

Added date of birth.

Date Contributor Update
06 October 2014 10:15:24 Lucy May Changes to biography, events and media associations

Combined information and connections from different entries for Elwyn G Rightetti using Ted Damick's VIII Fighter Command pilots list, Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database, MACR 13916 and correspondence with Peter Randall of

Date Contributor Update
03 October 2014 16:00:27 Pyker Changes to awards

Added awards but number of Air Medal OLCs not on drop down.

Date Contributor Update
03 October 2014 10:33:48 Pyker Changes to nickname, service number, biography, awards, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

Added details and media.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:09:02 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Fighter Aces of the U. S. A. and Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force, MACR 13916