Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Alden Peter Rigby


Assigned to 487FS, 352FG, 8AF USAAF. Flew 76 combat missions over Europe, totalling 272 combat hours. Credited with 5 kills, including downing 2 x 190's and 2 x 109's on 1-Jan-45 over his home base of Asch, Belgium/Y-29. Additionally credited 1 x ground. Ended Tour Duty (ETD).

Awards: DFC, SS, AM (7OLC), WWII Victory, EAME, American Campaign, Defense and Air Force Commendation Medal, Korean and UN medal.

Post war: Remained in USAF serving in Korean war with 33rd Air Division of Air Defense Command. Served 25 years with Utah Air National Guard retiring in 1978 at the rank of Major. Worked as an ATC supervisor for the Federal Aviation Administration's Salt Lake Center. Inducted into the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame at Hill AFB.

Silver Star Citation reads:

For gallantry in action against the enemy, 1 January 1945. Lieutenant Rigby, with his Squadron, was taxiing down the runway for a take off at an advanced airbase on the Continent when approximately fifty (50) enemy fighters attacked. Although taken completely by surprise and handicapped by full fuselage fuel tanks, he engaged and destroyed one (1) FW-190 almost before the wheels had retracted. When his gunsight ceased to function while pursuing another enemy aircraft, he closed in and opened fire at point blank range, observing the plane crash in some trees. Returning over the airbase, he assisted a fellow pilot in destroying a ME-109 and then expended the last of his ammunition in shooting down an enemy fighter which was damaged and being pursued by two P-51's. The fearless initiative, zealous fighting spirit, and exceptional bravery evinced by Lieutenant Rigby in attacking such a vastly superior force is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Army Air Forces.


Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 352nd Fighter Group

    352nd Fighter Group

    The 352nd Fighter Group were based at Bodney, Norfolk from July 1943 until November 1945 but in the winter months of 1944/1945 detachments moved to bases in Belgium to provide extra air support to ground forces during the Battle of the Bulge and to...

  • 487th Fighter Squadron


Associated Place

  • Bodney

    Military site : airfield
    Before the Americans arrived Bodney was a grass-surfaced airfield. So when the 352nd Fighter Group arrived with heavy P-47 Thunderbolts, work was carried out to strengthen its roads and runways with steel matting, concrete and tarmac. Nissen huts also...

  • Asch

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Born Fairview, UT, USA 4 January 1923

Son of Thomas Martin and Elva Lavell [Andersen] Rigby.

Enlisted Salt Lake City, UT, USA 9 January 1943

Salt Lake City, Utah

Married Eleen Barker Manti, UT 84642, USA 4 June 1943
Flight training Spence Field Campgrounds, W Yount St, Moultrie, GA 31788, USA October 1943

Pilot training - advanced Spence Field, Moultrie, GA. Oct-43. Graduating later that year.

Ground loop Spence Field Campgrounds, W Yount St, Moultrie, GA 31788, USA 30 October 1943

Landing Accident Ground Loop Spence Field, GA Cat 3 damage 2Lt Alden P Rigby, 30-Oct-43.

AT-6C 42-49054 - 382SEFTSq

Flight training Bartow, FL, USA April 1944

Graduated from P-51 transition training Bartow, Florida, Apr-44.

P-51 Instructor Bartow, FL, USA April 1944 – June 1944
Based Bodney 1945 – 14 March 1945

Assigned to 487FS, 352FG, 8AF USAAF.

E/A destroyed As, Belgium 1 January 1945

Destroyed 2 x 190's and 2 x 109's over his home base of Asch, Belgium/Y-29. 1-Jan-45

Ended Tour of Duty Belgium 14 March 1945
Died Bountiful, UT 84010, USA 3 May 2015
Buried Bountiful Memorial Park Bountiful Davis County UT 6 May 2015

Bountiful Memorial Park
Davis County
Utah, USA


Date Contributor Update
17 June 2021 09:11:13 Al_Skiff Changes to events and unit associations

Date Contributor Update
11 November 2017 14:28:28 Lucy May Changes to middlename, suffix, nickname, service number, highest rank, biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and media associations

Brought in information from duplicate record - contributions from user Al Skiff, his sources:

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2017 17:59:49 Al_Skiff Changes to suffix, nickname, service number and biography


Date Contributor Update
08 March 2017 17:37:00 groundhog1 Changes to awards

Medal Display, uniform ribbons

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:03:13 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / unit history