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Riggs Emory Albert

Emory Albert Riggs
Serial Number:
377th Fighter Squadron, 362nd Fighter Group
Date of Death:
Wakeeney City Cemetery, Kansas

Emory Albert Riggs was born on April 21, 1922 in Rosepine, Vernon Parish, Louisiana. He was the son of Chester Arthur Riggs and Nellie Elizabeth Hendricks Riggs. He served in the 377th Fighter Squadron, 362nd Fighter Group as a Captain during World War II.

After two days grounded by poor weather, the three squadrons of 362nd FG – the 377th, 378th and 379th FS – conducted an armed reconnaissance in the area between Cherbourg and Avranches. 12 planes in each squadron carried 500-pounders while four flew top cover, seeking to avoid the losses of June 7, when four Thunderbolts and three pilots had been lost in an all-out bombing effort. The group bombed and strafed railroad and ground transport to good effect, but they faced a withering hail of 20mm and 40mm flak and nine pilots were recorded as missing at the end of the day. Most landed at advance fields or bailed out over friendly territory, but some did not make it home.

Blue flight of the 377th set up a pattern to strafe a small convoy, reported Lt. Harry Kraft. Just as 1st Lt. Emory Albert Riggs completed a pass, he pulled up and left the target at an odd angle. “After the pass, unable to contact him by radio, I set up a search, but there was no sign of him in the air or on the ground,” said Kraft. “We made one more pass at the target, received hits from ground fire, and left the area.” Riggs was hit by Flak and died when his P-47D-22-RE 42-25989 crashed to earth at 0950 hrs at Monthuchon, 3 km NE Coutances, France. He is now buried in the Wakeeney City Cemetery, WaKeeney, Trego County, Kansas, USA.

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