Al Rigby was born on January 4, 1923, in Fairview, Utah. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on January 9, 1943, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings at Spence Field, Georgia, on December 5, 1943. After completing P-51 Mustang training, Lt Rigby was assigned as an instructor pilot at Bartow, Florida, from April to June 1944, and then deployed to England where he was assigned to the 487th Fighter Squadron of the 352nd Fighter Group from July 1944 to March 1945. During this time, Lt Rigby flew 76 combat missions and destroyed 5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, plus 1 on the ground while strafing enemy airfields. He was released from active duty in October 1945, and served in the reserves until joining the Utah Air National Guard in November 1950, where he served with the 130th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron from November 1950 until his retirement from the ANG in October 1979. During this time he was activated with his unit during the Korean War from January 1951 to February 1953, and served at NAS Olathe, Kansas. During his time in the Utah ANG, he also worked as an air traffic control supervisor at the FAA's Salt Lake Center from 1953 to 1979. Al Rigby was inducted into the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame in May 2007. He died on May 3, 2015.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For gallantry in action against the enemy, 1 January 1945. Lieutenant Rigby, with his Squadron, was taxiing down the runway for a take off at an advanced airbase on the Continent when approximately fifty (50) enemy fighters attacked. Although taken completely by surprise and handicapped by full fuselage fuel tanks, he engaged and destroyed one (1) FW-190 almost before the wheels had retracted. When his gunsight ceased to function while pursuing another enemy aircraft, he closed in and opened fire at point blank range, observing the plane crash in some trees. Returning over the airbase, he assisted a fellow pilot in destroying a ME-109 and then expended the last of his ammunition in shooting down an enemy fighter which was damaged and being pursued by two P-51's. The fearless initiative, zealous fighting spirit, and exceptional bravery evinced by Lieutenant Rigby in attacking such a vastly superior force is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Army Air Forces.