Research News

Please visit this page to catch up with the latest news and updates to the website.

Last updated 7th March 2015


# 8/9/05  Research into the loss of Halifax MZ-467 begins, contact made with Sydney researcher John  Williams. John assists Greg with tracking down information about the crash in Germany.

# 10/9/05 Greg spends the day with Allan and his family at their Gympie home and conducts a video interview with Allan talking about his time with 462 Sqn.

# 12/9/05 Information received from John Williams, who with the help of his overseas contacts has found the identity of the German pilot who shot down Allan's aircraft. The pilots name was Heinrich Schmidt, his claim was 10km N of Gablingen at 03.44 it was his 17th kill.

# 17/9/05 New pages added to the website, including crew photos, and a page about Allan Lodder, also added is a page describing the loss of MZ-467 over Germany in 1945.

# 18/9/05 Information added to crew details of Errol Tisdell, Cecil Foster, Edward Windus, Robert McGarvie. Added photos of pilots from 462 Squadron to website and starting to gather information on the pilots. History of 462 Squadron page added.

# 25/10/05 Photo of Errol Dallas Tisdell & Edward Windus added to crew page of website, more information about Errol to be added soon. Details of John Gray added to crew details.

# 29/10/05  Assorted photos page added.

# 11/12/05  More information added to the 462 pilots page, thanks to Leo Britt for his help

# 12/12/05  Information on Flying Officer Alfred Ball added to 462 Sqn pilots page.

# 20/12/05  New page added (Mission Crew of MZ-461) that were lost on the 24th Feb 1945.

# 20/12/05  New page added (Mission Crew of NA-420) that were lost on the 10th April 1945.

# 28/12/05  Photos of mission crew (NA-420) added.

# 29/12/05  Added details of mission crew (MZ-461)

# 29/12/05  New pages added (Mission Crew of MZ-448 & PN-429)

# 16/01/06  Greg travels to Melbourne to meet and interview Leo Britt

# 29/10/0 Added details of Stewart Pegram from mission crew (MZ-447)

# 05/01/07  Greg receives email from A. Newstead regarding his fellow crew members from 462 Sqn

# Nov 07  Leo Britt contacts Greg and advises him that Prof. Leon Kane-Maguire would like to make contact him as he is writing a book on 462 Sqn. Greg shares all his research material and video interviews of Allan Lodder to help with his research.

# 09/11/07 Greg emails Simon Hoag via his social club / youth group website and asks if he knows anything about the crash of Halifax MZ-467.

# 13/11/07 Greg receives an email from Simon Hoag giving him the website details for the the Mayor of  Kuehlenthal via the website  This email from Simon is of great help and was the start of Greg's contact with the locals on the ground in Germany.

# 17/11/07 Greg continues the search for the crash location of MZ467 in Germany. Current research from different sources points towards the village of Ahlingen. Greg has narrowed down the location using Google Earth but very much needs someone in Germany to assist with the research on the ground. Greg sends a few emails off to locals Mayors in the hope that he may be able to find some witnesses that are still alive.

# 12/02/08 ****MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH***** Information received from Rolf Ebnet in Germany who has located the crash site and recovered some remains of the aircraft. From Rolf's first email it seems that he has been researching the crash of MZ-467 for about the same time as Greg, three years. This is a major breakthrough in the search. Rolf has just received an email from the local Mayor whom Greg sent an email two months earlier, but because the Mayor didn't read English he didn't know what the email was about. Thankfully the Mayor and his friend contacted Rolf and contact has been made.  Greg is very much looking forward to talking with Rolf and finding out more information about this crash which happened such a long time ago. Rolf is in touch with an eyewitness to the crash back in 1945 and anything he has to say will be very interesting. Updates will be posted here as they happen.

# 12/02/08 Added image from Google Earth to the assorted photos page, late last year Greg looked around on Google Earth and marked on the map what he thought might be the general location of the crash site going on all the different bits of information from American and Australian military reports of the time. Page will be updated with the latest image once the exact location has been confirmed.

# 16/02/08 Added image from Google Earth to the assorted photos page which shows the exact location of the crash site, many thanks to Rolf Ebnet. Without Rolf's research from the other side of the world this story might have been lost forever. Thank you Rolf.

# 17/02/08 Received information from Rod M that Ofw, Schmidt made two attacks upon MZ467 from behind and at the same height and fired 200 rounds at a range of 150 metres from the four frontal MG 151/20 cannon on his Ju88 G6. the claim was Schmidt's 15th victory. Source is the combat report (Abschussmeldung) filed by Schmidt on 19-4-45, countersigned by Peter Spoden.

# 18/03/08  Email received from Sgt. Craig Rowland (Unit Historian 462 Sqn) regarding the research that has been carried out regarding the loss of MZ-467. Greg is thrilled to hear back from the RAAF after his initial enquiry some time ago and is looking forward to sharing all the information gathered with 462 Sqn.

# 22/03/0 ****MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH*****Greg spent the day searching for relatives of the crew of MZ-467 in particular Errol Dallas Tisdell, after many hours of searching and phone calls and the help of many local Taree people Greg tracked down a family researcher in Taree who is related to Errol, her name is Tina McCarthy and she is filling in the missing pieces of information regarding Errol. Tina has advised Greg that Errol has a brother and sister still living in Taree and she will catch up with them in the next day or so and bring them up to date with the research into MZ-467. Great Result !!!!!! Many thanks to the people who helped steer me in the right direction, Greg.

# 24/03/08 Family researcher Tina McCarthy from Taree visited Errol Tisdell's brother and sister who are alive and well. Tina said it was a great visit and quite emotional for everyone.

# 5th & 6th May 2008 Greg visits Taree and together with Tina catch up with Errol's brother and sister at their homes, Greg takes photographs and does some short video interviews with the family.

# 11/05/08 Greg receives an email from Diane Fitzmaurice (Sheffield Newspaper) that the request for information notice in their paper that was published on the 3rd May has had a response. The Gentleman who came into the newspaper office was Mr. Fred Kirkland and he was a  friend of Peter Naylor's. Fred informed Greg that Peter and his wife were killed in a plane crash at he thinks Innsbruck, Austria in the early fifties. Greg rings and speaks with Fred who was very helpful and friendly. Mr Kirkland used to work with Pete at Queens Road Goods Depot (LMS Railways)  till around 1949, Fred speaks highly of Pete and said he had a great sense of humor.

# 15/10/08 Greg together with the help of Rolf Ebnet continues to organise a memorial service for the crew that lost their lives in the loss of MZ467. The memorial will be held at the crash site in April 2009. More details in the coming months will be posted here. The original idea of a memorial service was suggested by Leonard Sturtz who spoke about the idea to Rolf.

# 17/10/08 Sad news, Taree researcher Tina McCarthy who put Greg in contact with the Tisdell family in Taree passed away on the 17th October 2008. Tina put in a mighty effort considering her poor health and she showed Greg around Taree and  introduced him to Errol Tisdell's brother Norman and his sister Audrey. RIP Tina McCarthy, your help and support of this project was very much appreciated, Greg.

# 09/12/08  ****MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH***** Email received from Dave McGarvie & family who have just discovered the MZ-467 website. Sgt Robert McGarvie was Dave's uncle and Dave has advised Greg that Sgt. Robert McGarvie's sister Janie is alive and well living in Prestwick Ayrshire. The family intends to attend the memorial service being held at the crash site on the 17th April 2009, also attending the memorial service  will be former Night Fighter Pilot and Group Leader Peter Spoden, also attending will be the son of  Ofw. Schmidt who was the pilot of the JU88- G6 that shot Allan's aircraft down.

# 11/01/09  Greg and his youngest son Matthew went and visited Capt. Allan Lodder and his wife Eileen at their Nambour nursing home. Allan managed to crack a few smiles and spoke a few words when he was shown photos of himself in uniform and also photos of the crash site in Germany. Allan said to Greg three years ago that he wanted to return to the crash site and thank the people in the village that looked after him so well, some of whom remember the crash and also Allan coming into their house. Greg said that he would thank the people of the village in person on his behalf and this gesture was met with a big smile and a handshake by Allan.

# 12/01/09  Greg phones Rolf and hears the sad news that one of the eyewitnesses to the crash of MZ-467 has passed away at his home aged 73. Leonard Sturtz was 9 years old at the time of the crash and told Rolf Ebnet on their first meeting that he was keen to have a memorial for the crew but didn't know their names.

# 13/01/09  Greg receives email from Eileen Henderson who is the daughter of Eileen Lodder's sister, Margaret. Eileen Henderson has advised that her mother met most of the crew of MZ-467 at Allan and Eileen's wedding, she also wrote to one of the crew for a while. Eileen said she would be catching up with her parents (Len & Margaret) soon and would see what information she could find out.

# 16/01/09   Email sent to Bournemouth Library requesting any information on the next of kin for Flt Sgt. Edward Windus.

# 18/01/09  Allan Lodder history page updated with information on operations and the final flight. New page added with photos from the crash site.

# 20/01/09  Greg receives information from Margaret & Len (via Eileen Henderson) that Allan Lodder and his wife made a visit to see them in 1998, Len tracked down Ronald Casterton's contact details from the RAF Association at the time and they managed to reunite Allan with his rear gunner. This is information we were not aware of, Greg and Dave McGarvie are now trying to make contact with Ronald or his wife Betty if they are still alive or their next of kin. Margaret also advised me that she used to write to Errol Tisdell. Many thanks to Eileen, Margaret & Len.

# 21/01/09  Email & photos from Dave McGarvie showing the ring that was worn by his uncle "Jock" McGarvie. This ring helped in the identification of his body and was given as a present to Dave from his father. Dave has also kindly offered his help in any research needed in the Sheffield area.

# 24/01/09  ****MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH***** Letter received from Fred Kirkland who with the help of Lorraine from the Sheffield Central Library, has tracked down the details of an air crash that took the life of former MZ-467 crew member Peter Naylor and  his wife Mary. Early information from Fred suggested the crash might have happened in Innsbruck however new information has come to light: Airnautic Vickers Viking, French  registration F-BJER took off from Gatwick Airport at 8.13pm enroute to Perpignan with a crew of three and 36 passengers, the date was September the 11th 1963. Weather conditions on the last leg of the flight were described as appalling. According to first reports the aircraft struck high ground around 40 miles west of Perpignan France. Cause of crash was listed as Navigational error. More information shortly on this crash.

# 24/01/09  ****MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH***** Contact made with MZ-467 former crew member Flight Engineer Joe Hollins. Joe was Allan's Flight Engineer for most of his missions, due to a telegram message Joe had to leave his crew and was replaced on the last mission by Sgt. John Gray. Joe told Greg on the phone that he should have been dead at 19 years of age, remarkable story. Joe also informs Greg that Ronald Eric Casterton had passed away some time ago, date unknown at this stage. Many thanks to Jenny Murray (Allan Lodder's daughter) who read through some of her father's old letters and found the information we needed to make contact with Joe.

# 25/01/09  Following three hours of research into Vickers Viking F-BJER a clue on a flight simulator website forum gave Greg further information that this aircraft had different owners and paint schemes, a quick check of the construction number confirmed that G-AIVC was the aircraft that crashed on Sept 11th 1963. It's very sad to think that Peter Naylor survived the crash of MZ-467 only to loose his life in a civilian airliner crash some 18 years later. Link to photo of G-AIVC, click here.

# 29/01/09  Email from Eileen Henderson advising that the meeting between her parents Len and Margaret Turner might have taken place in 1992 rather than 1998. Email received from Joe Hollins advising that it was him that took Alan and Len and Ronald (Eric) to the club for lunch, year to be confirmed.

# 29/01/09  Wording that will be used on the plaque to be placed at the crash site is going through the final stages of editing. 

# 30/01/09  Email from Wing Commander 462 Sqn Darren May confirming an upcoming visit to meet Allan Lodder in early February. Darren has only recently taken over command of 462 Sqn from Nicholas Cram in late January.

# 13/02/09  Wing Commander Darren May and Sgt Craig Rowland make a visit to Queensland to visit Pilot Allan Lodder and his wife Eileen at their Nambour Nursing home. Qld Health also invited the media to attend and Allan was presented with the 462 Sqn Crest, this day was well documented and featured on the nightly news in Queensland. 462 Sqn was also presented with a painting featuring one of Allan's crew members Cec Foster looking out of a 462 Sqn Halifax bomber, Z for Zebra. When Allan was wheeled in front of this painting painted by Aviation Artist Nikyla Amanda Smith, he pointed to the cockpit and said "that use to be me".

# 27/02/09  Email from former Flight Engineer Joe Hollins confirming he will be traveling over to Germany in April 2009 for the memorial service. This is wonderful news that we will have former crew member of MZ-467 at the service.

# 21/03/09  Work continues organising the memorial service in Germany which is now 27 days away.

# 12/04/09  One day out before Greg, John, Jenny and her children leave for Germany. Photos from the Memorial Service will be added to the website in the coming weeks.

# 17/04/09  Memorial service for the crew of MZ-467 takes place in Germany at the crash site.

# 25/09/09  Email received from Robert McKnight in Scotland containing an image of Flight Engineer John Gray, image added to crew photos.  Planning underway for a screening of the MZ-467 Memorial Service held in Germany, to be shown at the Taree Salvation Army Hall on the 19th October 2009. Wing Commander Darren May from 462Sqn has confirmed he will be attending along with Capt. Allan Lodder's daughter Jenny Murray.

# 19/10/09  Greg Weir & Sgt. Craig Rowland travel to Taree to give a presentation of their trip to Germany. On behalf on the Air Force Craig presents the Tisdell family with a book containing the history of 462 Sqn and also a framed plaque.

# 25/11/09  ****MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH***** Email received from Alex Gray from Dorset in the UK, John Gray was Alex's Uncle.

# 03/08/10  ****MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH***** Email received from Bette Henley (nee Casterton). Many thanks to Bette for making contact with me, look forward to hearing some more history relating to the story of MZ-467.

# 29/09/10   Pilot of MZ-467 Allan Morris Lodder passes away at his Nambour Nursing home.

# 10/05/14   New website featuring former MZ-467 website goes back online.

# 11/05/14   New page featuring Night Fighter pilot Peter Spoden added to website.

# 19/08/14 Greg makes a determined effort to try and find relatives of Cecil Foster after previously having no luck during multable searches. Checks of Cecil's personal RAAF files show that Cecil spent many years in the Sandgate area north of Brisbane.

# 21/08/14 Greg sends an email to the Commodore of the Sandgate sailing club requesting for any infomation on Cecil Foster

# 24/08/14 Email received from Andrew Pearson, who puts Greg in contact with the Sandgate Sailing Club Historian Brain Hutchinson who has detailed knoledge of the Sandgate Sailing Clubs history

# 24/08/14 Greg emails Brian Hutchinson and requests any information on Cecil or his family. Greg searches the National Archives and find references to Cecil's brother Kenneth at the sailing club.

# 25/08/14 ****MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH***** Greg receives phone call from Brian Hutchinson advising that he has information on the Foster family and that family members have visited the Sailing club and been photographed with parts of the boat that Cecil sailed in.

# 27/08/14 ****MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH***** Greg receives phone call from New Zealand, Robin who is Kenneth Foster's daughter has made contact and has much information to share, Robin was not aware of Cecil's flying history. Great to be finally in contact with relatives of Cecil Foster.

# 29/08/14 Greg recieves phone call from Janelle who is the daughter of Cecil's sister Thelma. Janelle lives in Brisbane and advises that her brother had travelled up to Gympie many years ago and had spoken at length with MZ467 Pilot Allan Lodder.

# 30/08/14 Photo showing wreckage of Air Nautic F-BJER located and added to Peter Naylor page.

# 31/08/14 ****MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH*****Contact made with Jayne Casterton, daughter of MZ467 Rear Gunner Eric Casterton, Jayne advises she will travel to Germany in April 2015

# 30/09/14 ****MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH*****Contact made with Linda Corn who is a relative of Edward Windus. Linda and her family, as well as her parents and brother will be attending the Memorial Service in Germany, April 2015. This is the final family of the original MZ-467 crew to be tracked down, many thanks to Sue Neuman for her assistance in the tracking down of the Windus family relatives.

# 07/03/15  Work continues on the final preparation for the 70th anniversary of the loss of Halifax MZ-467. Please contact Greg for any enquiries relating to the Memorial Service to be held at the crash site on the 17th April 2015. Contact:

# 17/05/15 Memorial Service for the crew of MZ467 is held at the crash site, major electrical storm hits during last part of service. Amazing turnout on the day from around the world

# 30/01/16 Work begin on putting together a new updated crash report for MZ467

# 30/01/16 A video showing the crash site of Air Nautic F-BJER has been added to the Peter Naylor page.