Col. Elwyn G. Righetti

(F. Birtciel)

Col. Elwyn G. Righetti

338th FS -  24 October 1944 - February 1945
HdQts - 22 February 1945 - 17 April 1945 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

P-51D CL-M 44-14223 "KatyDid" (55th FGA)
P-51D CL-M 44-72227 "KatyDid" (R. Abbey)

Mission History

Not Known

Mission List
55th FG Mission # Date Target


07 January 1945 Flew as White 2 with the 78th FG


21 March 1945 Hopsten Airdrome (Group Leader)


09 April 1945 Schleissheim (Group Leader)
Air Scores
338th FS  
Ground Scores
338th FS  
Score Detail

02 November 1944  (.5)Me-109 destroyed (air) SW Leipzig
24 December 1944  (3)FW-190 destroyed (air) SE Munster
24 December 1944  (2)FW-190 damaged (air) SE Munster
06 January 1945  (3)Ju-88 destroyed (ground) Giebelstadt
13 January 1945  Me-109 destroyed (air) W/Wurzburg
13 January 1945  Ju-88 destroyed (ground) Giebelstadt
03 February 1945  (2)Ju-88 destroyed (air) Boizenburg
03 February 1945  FW-190 destroyed (air) Boizenburg
03 February 1945  Ju-88 probable (air) Boizenburg
21 March 1945  (2)FW-190 destroyed (ground) Hopsten A/F
09 April 1945  (3)Me-262 destroyed (ground) Munich-Brunnthal
09 April 1945  (2)u/i a/c destroyed (ground) Munich-Brunnthal
09 April 1945  FW-190 destroyed (ground) Munich-Brunnthal
09 April 1945  (2)u/i a/c damaged (ground) Munich-Brunnthal
16 April 1945  (3)He-111 destroyed (ground) Bad Aibling
16 April 1945  (2)Ju-88 destroyed (ground) MBLG
16 April 1945  Si-204 destroyed (ground) MBLG
16 April 1945  Fi-156 Damaged (ground) Munich-Brunnthal
16 April 1945  (5)Si-204 damaged (ground) MBLG
17 April 1945  (6)u/i a/c destroyed (ground) Riess/Canitz
17 April 1945  (3)Me-109 destroyed (ground) Riess/Canitz

Notes From San Luis Obispo, California.
LtCol. Elwyn G. Righetti was the 55th's group Commanding Officer from 22 February 1945 to 17 April 1945.  LtCol. Righetti was hit by flak near Dresden on 17 April 1945 and bellied-in.  He was listed as missing in action, but future investigation indicated that he was probably captured and killed by German civilians.  Known as 'Eager El'.
29 November 1944 - Awarded the Air Medal
12 May 1945 - Posthumously promoted from Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel
Memories 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."
Additional Images Copy of an article in Strikes, the Third Air Division newsmagazine, week ending 21 April 1945, Vol 1, No. 3 (Martin Kyburz)

LtCol. Righetti and Crew Chief T/Sgt. Easton (W. Staggs via C. Smith)
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