View Full Version : AUS407420 F/Lt E.M.FROST RAAF - 113 Sqn.

3rd January 2010, 03:27

On 15-3-1944, whilst returning from ops, AUS407420 F/Lt Ernest Martin FROST RAAF, had to bale out of his No.113 Sqn Hurricane IIC, in the vicinity of Kohima, Burma.

Norman Franks, in 'The Air Battle of Imphal' (pp.46-7), mentions this incident, but does not record the serial of Frost's Hurricane. Franks omits mention of this incident in his Loss List, on pp.211-16.

Would anyone know the serial of Frost's Hurricane IIC?

To help, here is a list of representative, No.113 Sqn Hurricane IIC serials:

HL886; HV644 D; HW666; HW881 X; KZ356; KZ785 K; KW829; LA131 E; LB557 F; LB990; LD107 C; LD404 A and LD964 B.

I have checked:


Any help appreciated,


Henk Welting
3rd January 2010, 16:15
Hello Col,
LB859 - control lost in storm, abandoned 30 miles SW of Dimapur (what may have been in the Kohima area ??).

3rd January 2010, 20:34

Frost, and four of his colleagues were returning to Diampur and ran into stormy weather. One airman made an emergency landing and three made it back to Diampur. Frost baled out over Kohima (which is approx. 30 miles SW of Diampur). LB859, undoubtedly Frost's aircraft.

Thanks for your help,


Chris Holton
21st January 2010, 05:29
I can confirm the above details. I am Ern Frost's daughter and came across your blog accidentally. My father passed away 4 months ago and I have his flying log book and a report of the incident.

They show the serial number LB859, and the entry in the log book for 15 March is "Palel - Dimapur", with the comment "hit storm. Instruments u/s - baled out". He took 2 days to walk back towards camp, doing the last section to Dimapur by train. He was in hospital until 21 March.

The forced landing report states:

"F/Lt Frost was leading a formation of 12 aircraft to Dimapur from Palel, where they had been carrying out A.S.C. duties. He called up and asked his position, and was told he was 36 miles south of base. He was at this time at 17,000 and immediately afterwards he began to lose height through a bank of cumulo-nimbus cloud. Owing to the density of the cloud and the extreme turbulance experienced, the formation became separated. F/Lt Frost did not return to base."

Kind regards

21st January 2010, 06:22
Hello Chris,

Welcome to the Forum.

Firstly, may I offer my condolences on the death of your father.

Under the circumstances, the accounts of F/Lt Frost's bale-out, are much appreciated.

F/Lt Frost's bale out, and his admittance to the 'Caterpillar Club', is recorded in the two standard references on the subject:


R.A.A.F. Personnel who are members of the Caterpillar Club.

Date: 15-3-44
Name: F/Lt E.M.Frost
Where landed: ?

Ripcord Australia.


WWII RAAF Caterpillar Club Members.

Name:Frost, E.M.
Rank: F/Lt.
Date: 15-3-44
Place of descent: Not known.

Australian Airborne:The History and Insignia of Australian Military Parachuting.
p. 321

As you can see, both mentions are a bit light on detail, so the first-hand account is most welcome.

It is recorded here:


that your late father, whilst on his first operation with No.238 Squadron in the Middle East, was forced to crash-land his Hurricane, after receiving gunshot wounds to his left leg. Apparently this incident took place on 20-7-1942.

Does your Father's Log Book record an aircraft (Hurricane) serial for this incident?

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my query.



Chris Holton
26th January 2010, 10:09

According to Dad's log book, the incident was on 19 July 1942 near El Alamein, when he was shot up, wounded in the leg (left knee), and force landed. The entry reads "Mc 202s. Hit in glycol - belly landed". There is no actual serial number listed against his Hurricane for that date, just the letters KC-D.

Incidentally, he had a similar experience on 23 November 1941 on his first patrol after he arrived in North Africa.

By the way, can you explain what the term "Strawberry" means?


26th January 2010, 12:46
Hi Chris,

Apologies, I was mislead by the 113 Squadron website mentioned earlier and the National Archives of Australia.

The events of 23 November 1941 (pp.67-8), and 19 July 1942 (pp.148-9), are recorded in Fighters Over The Desert, pretty much as your Father's log book described them. Fighters Over The Desert is in diary form, making it a simple process to locate an entry, if you have a date, but it lacks an index making it difficult to find individual entries otherwise. Let me know if you would like the entries posted here.

Thanks for clarifying the situation.

The term, "Strawberry", or "Strawb", in an Australian context, was/is used as a nick-name or a form of address by males, to friends or mates. It is/was a term of endearment. Origins? I haven't the foggiest!

Thanks for your help,


26th January 2010, 13:02

Just looked in my sqn book for 113 and he was really unlucky to be flying out of Dimapur because they moved to Tulihal on 17 March 1944! I can type up the rest of the entry if you want.....


26th January 2010, 13:28
Hi Dee,

Go for it! Every little bit helps.


Henk Welting
26th January 2010, 15:52
Hurricane lost 19-7-1942 may have been II.B serial BN524 - ME, SOC as DBR on ops., NFD.

26th January 2010, 22:27

Good opportunity to post entry from Fighters Over The Desert for 19-7-1942:

19 July 1942

Seven Hurricanes of 127 Squadron covered 238 Squadron patrolling over the Alamein Box fortifications at 1000 hours, ten Bf109s of II./JG27 on a 'Freie Jagd' attacking the top cover, which they forced down to the level of 238 Squadron, who were also attacked. P/O Gardner of 127 was shot down in flames, baling out and being taken to hospital suffering from severe burns, while P/O Frost of 238 was hit and crash-landed; P/O Galyer claimed an MC202. Oblt Rodel claimed two Hurricanes, Oblt Sinner two, the pilot of the second baling out, Obfw Krenz two and Obfw Clade one. The whole combat took place in sight of the German lines, at least three Hurricanes being reported to have belly-landed. Two Bf109s of I./JG27 patrolling over the same area at this time reported eight fires on the ground, II./JG53 observed four, and III./JG53 reported seeing six to eight.

Fighters Over The Desert.
Shores,C & H.Ring.
London:Neville Spearman,1969


27th January 2010, 13:44
Here goes:
Badge: In front of cross potent, between four like crosses, two swords in saltire, the points uppermost.
Motto: Velox et Vindex (Swift to vengeance)
113 Sqn was formed on 01/08/17 at Ismailia as a corps reconnaissance unit. In Sept it began tactical reconnaissance and artillery spotting missions in Palestine where it remained until the end of the war. Returning to Egypt in May 19 it became 208 Sqn on 01/02/20.
113 reformed at Upper Heyford on 18/03/37 as a day bomber sqn with Hinds. In April 38 it left for the Middle East , converting to Blenheims in Jun 39. After Italy entered the war in Jun 40, the sqn carried out bombing raids on Italian bases in Libya before moving to Greece in Mar 41. There it was overtaken by the German invasion and lost all its a/c, the personnel being evacuated to Crete and Egypt. Bombing operations were resumed in June but the outbreak of war in the Far East resulted in a move to Burma where they attacked Japanese columns until its remnants were withdrawn to Calcutta in Mar 42. From bases at Assam, the sqn bombed Japanese communications and airfields until it converted to Hurricanes in Sep 43. These were used for ground attack duties, being replaced by Thunderbolts in Apr 45. On 15/10/45 the sqn was disbanded.
On 01/09/46 620 Sqn was renumbered 113 Sqn at Aqir and was engaged in transport duties until disbanded on 01/05/47. It reformed the same day at Fairford with Dakotas, being disbanded again on 01/09/48. It was reformed again at Mepal on 22/07/59 as a Thor intermediate range ballistic missile sqn and was disbanded on 10/07/63
Boy did they have an interesting range of a/c going from heavies to fighter to heavies and then to missiles.
Bases: Ismailia up to 10/10/17, Weli Sheikh Nuran to 23/11/17, Julis to 05/12/17, Khirbet Deiran to 11/01/18, Sarona to 18/11/18, Kantara to 16/02/19, Ismalia to 01/02/20 then Upper Heyford to 31/08/37, Heliopolis to 21/04/39, El Daba to 20/05/39, Heliopolis to 10/06/40, Maaten Bagus to 15/01/41, Gambut to 22/02/41, Kabrit to 23/05/41, Menidi to 29/03/41, Larissa to 04/04/41, Niamata to 16/04/41, Menidi to 22/04/41, Argos to 24/04/41, Suda Bay to 12/05/41, Alexandria to 15/05/41, Ramleh to 01/06/41, Maaten Bagush to 14/11/41, LG116 to 20/12/41, Helwan to 07/01/42, Mingladon to 30/01/42, Toungoo to 06/02/42, Magwe to 12/03/42, Dum Dum to 06/04/42, Fyzabad to 08/04/42, Asansol to 19/12/42, Jessore to 21/01/43, Feni to 28/02/43, Chandina to 04/05/43, Comilla Main to 27/06/43, Feni to 28/08/43, Kharagpur to 01/09/43, Yelahanka to 02/10/43, St Thomas Mount to 09/11/43, Cholvarum to 22/12/43, Manipur Road to 31/12/43, Dimapur to 17/03/44, Tulihal to 25/05/44, Palel to 19/12/44, Yazagyo to 22/1/45, Onbauk to 14/03/45, Ondaw to 20/04/45, Kwetnge to 08/06/45, Kinmagen to 30/06/45, Meiktila to 17/08/45, Zayakwin to 15/10/45 then Aqir 01/09/46 to 01/04/47 then Fairford 01/05/47 to 01/09/48 then Mepal 22/07/59 to 10/07/63. Didnt stay in one place much did they!!!
A/C BE2e, RE8, Hind, Blenheim I, IV & V, Hurricane IIc, Thunderbolt I & II, Halifax C8 & A9, Dakota C4 can do period of service if required....