116418 Flight Lieut. Wilfred Murray Theobald DFC of the RAF VR, 78 Squadron. Born in Shaldon in the June Quarter of 1911. Died 12 June 1943 aged 32. The crew of his final and somewhat mysterious mission were:
F/O Edward Patrick Deville : Pilot
F/Sgt. Thomas James Bainbridge : Flight Engineer
F/Lt. Wilfred Murray Theobald DFC : Navigator
F/Sgt. John Lindsay Wilson : Air Bomber
F/Sgt. John Malcolm Davies : Wireless Operator
F/Sgt. Hugh Humphreys DFM : Gunner
F/Sgt. John Harrington RCAF : Gunner
The details of his DFC have so far never been released nor has the medal been traced.
David Theobald who writes below was the nephew of Wilfred Theobald:
My uncle was F/Lt Wilfred Murray Theobald DFC, the Navigator on board of the Stirling Mk1 R9286.
He was a VR with the Pathfinders Group.
Before WW2 he farmed in Koemga in South Africa. Born in Shaldon, Devonshire he was the youngest of a family of 5, his eldest brother John Campbell Theobald, and his 3 sisters, Claire, Mary and Betty. His father was a tea, rubber and sisal farmer in Borneo and Sumatra before WW2.
I have found some more information on my dear uncle but that is rather contradictory.
His Service number was: 116417 but also is listed under 116418?
He was awarded the DFC 430 709 (stated only in the London Gazette of 09-07-1948 with no reference to the bravery he committed), The 1939-1945 Star, The Air Crew Europe Star, The Defence Medal and The War Medal. Unfortunately the DFC medal and ribbon are missing and I would so like to have that completed again in his honour.
It was mentioned he crashed whilst on his 29th sortie with 78 Sqdn in a Handley Page Halifax
Then it was also stated that he crashed on the 12-06-1943, and on the 11-12-1943.
On the Runnymeade Memorial it states that he was killed on the 04-04-1943. I would very much like to find a photo of him with the other Crew members. I trust this may throw some more light on the missing. Best regards, David John Egbert Theobald.