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  #1  
Old 2nd April 2018, 00:57
vathra vathra is offline
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Evasion of H. Theobald from RAF 253 Sqn

Hello,

I need some info on Evasion of H. Theobald from RAF 253 squadron.

He was allegedly shot down on May 28th 1944. in Yugoslavia, on Bosnia-Croatia border area, and was rescued on December 15th.
During his evasion that lasted for some 200 days, he was later joined by several US airmen, with whom he was evacuated. His story seems to be very interesting.

Information where 253. sqn Escape statements are being kept would be very useful in this case, so I could order them - there are several more pilots who evaded from Yugoslavia.
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  #2  
Old 2nd April 2018, 05:30
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Evasion of H. Theobald from RAF 253 Sqn

Hello,
Just to perhaps clear things ?
In the archive there is mention of Spitfire Vc(T) JL367 lost this date but different pilot ?
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=17962
In RAFCommands forum archive there is this -
http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...3-Sqn-RAF-1943
In the post there is named a H. L. Theobold ("Theo").
However in the March 1944 air force list there is an F/O. H . J. Theobold - 133797.
So is this a different "Theo" or the same with correct initial ?
Alex
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  #3  
Old 2nd April 2018, 06:10
vathra vathra is offline
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Re: Evasion of H. Theobald from RAF 253 Sqn

Hello Alex, thx for joining,
I wrote „allegedly“ because I have unsourced data on H L Theobald from 253sqn, being shot down on above date in Spitfire JL367, and RTD on Dec 15.
Those data are from list yucrashes, made by person who participated in discussions you linked.

I have Escape statements from several US airmen, in which they describe that they met w/o H. Theobald in mid September, when he was there for 4 months already. They were evacuated together on December 15.
Those data match above unsourced data, which is why I wanted to investigate this story further.
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Old 2nd April 2018, 19:05
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Evasion of H. Theobald from RAF 253 Sqn

Hello,
From the 52ndfg honor roll,
It looks like the transition from Spitfire's to Mustang's caused a little upset within the 52nd FG.
Received their 1st Mustang on the 14th April,44. The 2nd and 5th FS's became non operational on the 14th April, and the 4th on the 17th. On the 21st the FAF took possession of selected Spitfires.
In the first two weeks of May the 52FG lost 12 pilots.
So it is possible that it was this reason( change of a/c type together with sudden loss of so many pilots) that the 253Sqn RAF became mixed with the 52ndFG . This also makes any losses of the Spitfires a little difficult for us when searching for serial numbers, almost needle in haystack time.
What I came up with today
MAY 44
4th - 253 - loss
11 - 253 - EF740.
15 - 253 - JK785 - F/O. FINNIE (?)
19 - 253 - loss
22 - 253 - MH593(?)
27 - 253 - TUFNELL.
28 - 253 - EF706(?) - THEOBALD.
JUNE 44
2 - 253 - loss
6 - 253 - JK114 - LAVOIE (?)

Re Theobald
EF706
Spitfire's International has -
TOC RAF 9-7-43
NA 30-11-43
12AF 31-1-44
52FG
Returned RAF 31-5-44

AB EA100EZ999 both old and new versions has -
130/USAAF/252 - SOC 29-8-46

SO it is possible(?) that this a/c was being used by 253 Sqn personell before the paperwork that gave the return date to RAF as 31st May.

It could be that Theobald was in EF706.

all for now
Alex
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Old 4th April 2018, 14:14
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Evasion of H. Theobald from RAF 253 Sqn

Hi Vathra

Did you receive my PM?

Cheers
Brian
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  #6  
Old 4th April 2018, 18:23
vathra vathra is offline
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Re: Evasion of H. Theobald from RAF 253 Sqn

Hello Brian,

I missed it, it is Visitor's message for which I don't get mail notification.
I will send you PM.
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  #7  
Old 8th April 2018, 03:17
Schenck Schenck is offline
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Re: Evasion of H. Theobald from RAF 253 Sqn

There are only two references I found about W/O Theobald's evasion; the first is probably the one you refer to, escapee report SKP308, part of the crew from 779th BS/464th BG, downed over Yugoslavia on 17 Oct 1944. And there is a card in NA with his name referring to his escape (among approximately 80 cards of evaders from Yugoslavia), the return date is given as 14 Dec - probably when the group arrived Split - but I never managed to find corresponding evasion report. There is only one folder with evaders from Yugoslavia, but it contains only 8 reports (I think), and there are some miscellaneous ones in AIR51 series, 260 - 280 (microfilms), but most of RAF ones are later dates and quite a few barely readable or totally unreadable. His name did not pop up among reports from OSS stations (WO204 (or was it WO208?) series - papers) or BATS reports. I haven't done any serious research since 2014 and haven't been to NA since Sep 2016, so I do not know if all this digitalization brought out any new historical material, which can be browsed.
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Old 8th April 2018, 05:20
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Re: Evasion of H. Theobald from RAF 253 Sqn

Schenck,

Is your Yugoslav Loss Listing still available online? I can't seem to find it these days.

Col.
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  #9  
Old 8th April 2018, 12:25
vathra vathra is offline
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Re: Evasion of H. Theobald from RAF 253 Sqn

Schenck,
Great to hear from you!

I have managed to find so far some 130 RAF, SAAF etc Escape statements from Yugoslavia. I estimate there were some 200 evaders total, so it is some 2/3 of all.
I found them on two places, in MAAF archives, and in one MIS-X reel.
Some hardly readable. There were also reports from the field that some airmen were safe with Allied missions.

Those archives contain some kind of selection of Escape statements, and sometimes not all pages from individual reports.
In case of US Airmen, there were selection of reports in MAAF archives and in XV archive, but I managed to find remaining reports in separate groups archives.

I assume that there must be similar system with RAF archives, but so far no one knows where reports of smaller units are kept.
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