come an instructor and became a student

of his brother’s. They even undertook several training flights together. Maurice

went on to become a B-29 co-pilot with

40th Bombardment Group. He survived

the war.

Request Approved

In 1943, Righetti’s requests for a combat

assignment were met with little support

from his superiors. But a year later, his

efforts would pay off. In a letter to home,

he wrote: “I expect to get back from my

overseas tour, but if I don’t, remember

that I kept a whole bunch of other guys

from getting home too, and that I was

working on my interpretation of being a

good American.”1)

Things were set into motion at the beginning of June 1944, when he was ordered to Aloe Army Airfield, not far from

Victoria, Texas, where he would undergo

conversion training on the P-40. By then,

he had some two thousand flying hours

under his belt, much of it on the P-40, so

flying the Warhawk was second nature to

him. But he did need to hone his gunnery

and tactical skills. His results were phe-

Medals, Awards and Badges

Distinguished Service Cross

Silver Star Medal

Distinguished Flying Cross with 3

Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters

Purple Heart

Air Medal

American Defense Service Medal

American Campaign Medal

European-African-Middle Eastern

Campaign Medal

World War II Victory Medal

Command Pilot Badge

Photo: Family collection via Jay Stout

small field where he had taken his first

steps to get to where he currently was.

In the meantime, the USAAF had worked

to further improve the effectiveness of its

system of flight training, and the result

was the concept conceived in March, 1943,

leading to the activation of the CIS (Central Instructor School). It was the defining

authority on standardization of instructor

training. It targeted instructors of future

fighter pilots (based at Randolph Field),

bomber pilots, navigators, bombardiers,

and other flight personnel. In essence,

the goal was to train instructors to train

instructors who would in turn train pilots.

Righetti was given command of the 46th

Squadron, which was one of two fighter

training squadrons. It put the responsibility of training half of all the instructors

for the USAAF. It had by then been some

time since Righetti flew trainers exclusively. His duties put him in combat types as

well. And he attempted to use his prestigious position for a combat assignment.

Righetti’s younger brother Maurice had

similar ambitions and began his training

at about the time that Elwyn was assigned

to the CIS. Ultimately, he too was to be-

Once having been assigned his own aircraft, Righetti had his wife’s Cathryn’s nickname painted on its nose, along with a somewhat provocative depiction of a katydid.


INFO Eduard

February 2023