Flight Sergeant Cecil Reginald Henry FOSTER

Service No: 434183
Born: Toowoomba QLD, 10 August 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 30 October 1942
Unit: No. 462 Squadron, RAF Station Foulsham
Died: Air Operations: (No. 462 Squadron Halifax aircraft MZ467), Germany, 17 April 1945, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Wilfred and Mabel Rose Foster, of Sandgate, Queensland, Australia. A.F.I.A.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

No. 462 was the only RAAF squadron to improve its operational tally in April 1945 compared with the previous month. On 14 nights varying numbers of Halifaxes set out on “spoof” Window and bombing raids while a few Window aircraft actually flew with main forces at Kiel (9th-10th and 13th-14th), Leipzig (10th-11th), Potsdam (14th-15th ) and Pilsen (16th-17th), to confuse enemy radar operators as to the size of the bomber streams.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 446

Halifax MZ467 took off from RAF Foulsham at 2358 hours on the night of 16 April 1945 to carry out a special duty flight over Augsburg, Germany. Ten aircraft from the Squadron took part in the mission and of these MZ467 failed to return. Six of the aircraft took part in a feint window attack on Augsburg and the other four operated with the Main Force.

The crew members of MZ467 were:

Sergeant R E Casterton (1684825) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) PoW
Sergeant John Edmund Arthur Gray (1595698) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Cecil Reginald Henry Foster (434183) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Allan Morris Lodder (426118) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 18 April 1946
Sergeant Robert McGarvie (1572467) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant P A Naylor (161430) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer) PoW
Flight Sergeant Errol Dallas Tisdell (432388) (Special Duties (Wireless Operator))
Flight Sergeant Edward Windus (1601854) (RAFVR) (Navigator)

In a later report Flying Officer Lodder stated “The aircraft was damaged by two attacks from a night fighter. After the first attack the inter com and emergency light was unserviceable and no orders could be given. The Engineer raced past me towards the forward hatch with his clothes on fire and screaming. Doubtful if he baled out as he seemed to collapse opposite me. Do not know who baled out. The aircraft controls were jammed after the first attack and flames spread as far as my compartment after the second attack. The fate of the others is unknown They were probably wounded and unable to bale out as the aircraft was blazing for some time before I found myself outside and floating down after being blown out. I managed to release the chute. The aircraft crashed about 5 miles from Nordendorf, north west of Augsburg. I walked for an hour and a half in a westerly direction before giving myself up at Nordendorf and received treatment. I had 1st and 2nd degree burns to my face and hands and a broken foot and was treated in a German Hospital. I was later released as a stretcher case and repatriated to UK.”


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/14/407

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