Sergeant Robert WV Walford

Robert Walford volunteered for the airborne forces after having already served with The Essex Regiment. 

Parachute jump trained at RAF Ringway on Course 47 which ran from 18 January to 1 February 1943. His instructor noted this about his performance: “Good-the right type. Worked exceedingly well”. He was then posted to The 9th (Essex) Para Battalion. 

He dropped into Normandy 6 June 1944. His stick was miss dropped and ended up about 30 miles away from the DZ. Sgt. Walford was stick commander, and jumped as number 4 in the stick. 

Stick List:

1 – L/Cpl W. Walden (PoW), 2 – J. Bray (PoW), 3 – LA Nevill (PoW), 4 – Sgt RW Walford (PoW), 5 – L/Cpl Sheldon (PoW), 6 – P. Sanderson (KIA), 7 – CA Wimble (PoW), 8 – AS Smith (PoW), 9 – AF Green (PoW), 10 – DG Maggs (PoW), 11 – RJ Honess (PoW), 12 – J. Allender (PoW), 13 – TR Cox (PoW), 14 – Cfn Jacobs (MIA), 15 – LJ Brown (PoW), 16 – E. Darwell (RAMC - PoW), 17 – Sgt William Spencer (MIA). Containers of Vickers MMG, Tripod, Ammo, wireless, Ammo & RF, and Ammo.

Bray, who jumped Number 2, was captured on 8 June 1944 at Annebault, as were other members further down the stick. See the 'statement' for further details of his time in Normandy after he landed. 

RAF Report: Drop accurate. Having missed RV did a large circuit around Troarn and approached DZ from east to west. Approach to coast – independent navigation. Gee not working. Map reading off coast. Pinpointed at River Orne and entered coast. Method of approach from RV to DZ – Estuary of Orne to Troarn to Dozule. Pinpoint Periers-en-Auge and ran up to DZ on right hand side of road. DZ ID by map reading & visual. No Tee, no Rebecca.

Sgt. Walford was separated and could not find the containers. He was eventually captured on 11 June. He was sent to POW Camp 357, Oerbke, near Fallingbostel. His POW number was 80137. 

After the war he served in Palestine, then joined the Reserves in 1946. He went on the manage a grocers shop near Colchester in Essex. He and his family, a wife and 2 sons lived in a bungalow called 'Pegasus'. Robert died at the age of 56.

Created with information and documents kindly supplied by David Walford (son) and Neil Barber. 

Read More

Service History

AA Sgt Walford

Group photos_1

Official documents_1

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