FROST, John Dutton "Johnny"  
Name:  Frost, John Dutton "Johnny"
Date of birth:  December 31st, 1912 (Poona, India)
Date of death:  May 21st, 1993 (West Sussex, England)
Nationality:  British
Rank: Major
Unit: C Company, 2nd Battalion,1st Parachute Brigade
Received on: 15 May 1942
Action: For the Operation Biting (also known as the Bruneval Raid) was a Combined Operations raid to capture components of a German Würzburg radar set at Bruneval, France, on 27/28 February, 1942.
Received on: 11 February 1943
Rank: Lieutenant-colonel
Unit: Commanding Officer, 2nd Parachute Battalion, 1st Parachute Brigade, 1st Airborne Division
Received on: 20 September 1945
Action: Lt Col Frost was in command of 2 Battalion The Parachute Regiment which dropped 6 miles west of Arnhem on Sunday 17th September 1944. The task of this battalion was to seize the main bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem and to hold this bridge until the arrival of 30 Corps. During the advance on the bridge Lt Col Frost commanded his battalion with great initiative and skill and by 2000 hours considerable enemy forces had been outflanked and the northern end of the bridge captured together with sixty prisoners. All attempts to capture the southern end of the bridge failed. The bridge itself was covered by fire from the south bank of the river while the railway bridge further downstream was blown before Lt Col Frost could get a company across. During the night a few other troops arrived and by the morning of Monday 18th September Lt Col Frost found himself in command of a force consisting of one Battalion The Parachute Regiment, Brigade Headquarters, one troop of Royal Engineers and a small party of Royal Army Service Corps. Meanwhile the remainder of the Brigade had met with intense resistance and, with the enemy constantly reinforcing with infantry and armour, all attempts to reinforce the defenders of the bridge proved hopeless. From now until the night of Friday 20th September, Lt Col Frost's forces numbering at the outside not more than 550 all ranks, were subjected to almost continuous attack by all arms. Despite no re-supply of ammunition and food, this force, under the commanding officer and inspiring leadership continued to fight magnificently; very heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy, and many tanks, S.P. guns and half track vehicles were destroyed.

It was only when the enemy, having burned the defenders out of each house in turn, set fire to Brigade Headquarters house, where there were nearly 300 wounded that had to be surrendered, that co-ordinated defence ceased. Lt Col Frost though wounded on Wednesday morning, showed the greatest courage and determination throughout the battle.

It was largely due to his fine leadership that the position was maintained intact for over three days.
Details: Received as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DSO.
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Picture source:   - Public Domain
Information source(s):   - Frost, J., A Drop too Many, Pen & Sword Books Ltd., Great Britain, 1994 (republished)
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