From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28

Date of birth: April 26, 1905

Date of death: May 6, 1942

Age: 37

Lucky Bag

From the 1928 Lucky Bag:


John was lost on May 6, 1942 when the patrol plane he was aboard as a passenger crashed near Pearl Harbor.

From the VP-13 War Diary (via naval aviation historian Richard Leonard email on April 8, 2018):

When commencing a return fight to San Diego, Cal., about 1620 May 6, 1942, 13-P-5, BuAer #1633 crashed shortly after take off in the eastern end of the dry dock channel at Pearl Harbor, T.H. due to failure of No. 3 engine. The plane sank in 20 feet of water and was subsequently recovered by the Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, T.H., and was transferred to the A & R department of that station pending final disposition. A crew of ten and 13 passengers were aboard. Personnel injured as follows:

  • Lt.Comdr. R. C Winters, U.S. Navy - - Drowned
  • Lt.Comdr. J.C. Riggs, U.S. Navy - - Drowned
  • Colonel F.P. Mulchay, U.S.M.C. - - Fracture, left humerus.

Other members of crew and passengers either uninjured or received minor cuts and bruises.

J.C.'s wife was listed as next of kin, but gives no other information on his unit or location. (She was in Battle Creek, Michigan for a lunch in July 1942.)

He earned his wings as naval aviator #3690 on July 28, 1930 while an Ensign.

Related Articles

Robert Winters '27 was the other passenger lost in this crash.

Class of 1928

J. is one of 17 members of the Class of 1928 on Virtual Memorial Hall.