Major-General John D Frost CB DSO* MC

{ Johnny }

31 Dec 1912 - 21 May 1993

  •  Military Cross medal
  • Distinguished Service Order medal

John Dutton Frost was an instrumental figure in establishing the reputation of The Parachute Regiment during World War II. He was described by one of the officers who served under him as a 'legend to legions'.

He was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Order as well as the Military Cross for his actions in the field. He was appointed a Companion of the Bath in 1964 and awarded the Cross of Grand Officer by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in 1966.

Commissioned into the British Army in 1932, Frost later joined the 2nd Parachute Battalion on its formation in 1941, successfully commanding the Bruneval Raid to capture vital radar components in enemy occupied France early the following year.

Frost went onto command the battalion during a costly campaign in North Africa, which included a combat drop some 50 miles behind enemy lines for an attack on two airfields held by the Germans. Only 160 men of his battalion made it back after a fighting withdrawal to Allied lines. 

He later commanded the battalion through operations in Sicily and Italy in 1943. The famous battle at Arnhem, in the Netherlands, followed in 1944 where his battalion held the road bridge against overwhelming odds until forced to withdraw after running out of ammunition. The Dutch renamed the bridge in honour of him in 1978.

Frost continued to serve in the Army after the war rising to the rank of Major General and serving as General Officer Commanding Malta and Libya before his retirement. 

For further information please see the biography and other articles below.

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Service History

  • 1932
    The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) (Lieutenant)
  • 1941
    Adjutant 2nd Parachute Battalion (Captain)
  • 1941
    Officer Commanding C Company 2nd Parachute Battalion (Acting Major)
  • 1942
    Commanding Officer (CO) 2nd Parachute Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel)
  • 1946
    Staff College Camberley (Major)
  • 1948
    General Staff Officer Grade 2 (GSO2) HQ Lowland District (Major)
  • 1949
    GSO2 Tactical School (Major)
  • 1952
    Assistant Adjutant and Quarter Master General (AA & QMG) South Malaya District (Temporary Lieutenant Colonel)
  • 1952
    AA & QMG 17 Gurkha Infantry Division (Temporary Lieutenant Colonel)
  • 1953
    GSO1 17 Gurkha Infantry Division (Temporary Lieutenant Colonel)
  • 1955
    Commandant and Chief Instructor Support Weapons Wing Netheravon (Colonel)
  • 1958
  • 1961
    General Officer Commanding (GOC) Lowland District and 52nd Infantry Division (Major-General)
  • 1964
    GOC Malta and Libya (Major-General)

Decorations

John D Frost

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