ENSIGN GEORGE M. RIGGIN was the son of Nutter and Phoebe Riggin, who lived at 1349 South 54th Street in Philadelphia PA in January of 1920. Nutter Riggin was then working as a refrigeration foreman. George Riggin was born in 1920. The family later moved to 304 Wyoming Avenue in Audubon NJ. George Riggin graduated from Audubon High School in 1937. George Riggin was an all-around athlete, playing football, soccer, and basketball while at Audubon High, and also played in the school orchestra. George Riggin won a scholarship to the University of Maryland to study natural sciences. He graduated in 1942, and enlisted in the Navy in April of 1942.
George Riggin received his initial training at Anacostia Air Field, near Washington DC. He won his wings and was commissioned as an Ensign at Pensacola FL on January 4, 1943. Trained as a fighter pilot, he had gone overseas that year, and was flying the Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat carrier-based fighter. Ensign Riggin was a member of Torpedo Squadron 39 VT-30, which operated off of the aircraft carrier USS Monterey CVL-26. One of his shipmates was Lieutenant Gerald R. Ford, who went on to become President of the United States.
Ensign Riggin had shot
down at least one Japanese aircraft before he was lost while taking part
in a bombing mission against Kavieng, on the island of New Ireland,
which lies north of New Guinea. Navy records record his plane as
going missing on January 1, 1944. Ensign Riggin was
reported as missing in action in the January 11, 1944 edition of the
Five members of Audubon High School's 1937 graduating class were also lost while serving in America's military during World War II. Besides George Riggin, the dead include Charles Adamson, Peter Albano, Edwin Klenk, and Charles Stevenson.
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