Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Frost, John Dutton (1912–1993)

British army officer. Born on 31 December 1912 at Poona, India, the son of an army general, John Frost returned to England with his family in 1921. Graduating from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Frost was commissioned a lieutenant in the infantry in 1932. Assigned to the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), he served in Britain and Palestine and later with the Iraq Levies. As a captain with homeland units, Frost tired of monotonous duties and volunteered for the new Special Air Service Brigade, becoming one of Britain's first airborne soldiers. As a major, he commanded the newly formed Parachute Regiment's 2nd Battalion.

In February 1942, Frost led 120 men in a daring night parachute jump against the German radar installation at Bruneval in Normandy, France. Dismantling key components of the radar unit, the force then evacuated by sea. Frost subsequently commanded a parachute battalion in Tunisia and then in Sicily and Italy. Frost is, however, best remembered for his role as a lieutenant colonel in command of a parachute battalion at Arnhem during the failed Operation market-garden. His battalion of 600 men suffered heavy casualties in fighting at Arnhem while resisting German attacks on four consecutive nights and three days. Frost, who was severely wounded, was taken prisoner.

Freed in March 1945, Frost continued in the British army after the war and retired as a major general in 1968. He then raised cattle. Frost died in West Sussex, England, on 12 May 1993.

James M. Bates


Further Reading
Frost, John D. A Drop Too Many. London: Leo Cooper, 1994.; Ryan, Cornelius. A Bridge Too Far. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1959.; Urquhart, Robert E. Arnhem. London: Cassell, 1958.
 

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