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Air Commodore B G Frow (100087)

Brian George                b: 6 Oct 1922                          r: 6 Oct 1977                     d: 30 Sep 2002

DSO – 24 Oct 1944, DFC – 12 Jan 1943, Bar – 1 Aug 1944.

(RAFVR): Plt Off: 3 Jul 1941, Fg Off (WS): 8 May 1942, Act Flt Lt: xx xxx 1942, Flt Lt (WS): 8 May 1943, Act Sqn Ldr: xx Jan 1944,  

(RAF): Flt Lt: 24 Dec 1946 [1 Sep 1945], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1949, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1956, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1964, Act A/Cdre: 10 Dec 1971, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1973.

xx xxx 1940:           U/T pilot.

xx Dec 1941:          Pilot, No 144 Sqn

xx xxx 1942:           Acting Officer Commanding, No 144 Sqn.

24 Apr 1942:          Pilot, No 49 Sqn

xx xxx 1942:           Pilot, No 61 Sqn.

xx xxx 1943:           Staff Pilot, No 14 OTU

 2 Oct 1943:           Staff Pilot?, No 84 OTU

xx Jan 1944:           Flight Commander, No 7 Sqn

 xx xxx 1945:          Served in transport Command in Australia.

18 Jan 1951:           PSO to AOC in C, Technical Training Command.

xx xxx 1946:           SOA, HQ No 300 Group.

24 Dec 1946:          Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant (retaining rank current at the time) [wef 1 Jul 1946 antedated to 1 Sep 1945 on 28 Feb 1947]

xx xxx 1946:           Transport Planning Officer.

xx Nov 1946:          Flight Commander, No 48 Sqn.

xx xxx xxxx:            Flight Commander, No 51 Sqn.

xx xxx xxxx:            Flight Commander, No 511 Sqn.

xx xxx 1948:           Transport Command Examiner.

18 Jan 1951:           Personal Staff Officer to AOC-in-C, Technical Training Command.

xx xxx xxxx:            ?

xx Oct 1958:           Officer Commanding, Flying Wing, RAF Luqa.

 1 Jan 1962:            Staff Officer, Ministry of Defence.

xx xxx 1964:           Officer Commanding, RAF Muharraq.

 9 Aug 1966:           Group Captain - Intelligence, (Department of) Air Commodore - Intelligence.  

 3 Oct 1966:            Staff Officer, Department of CAS.

 6 Oct 1969:            Chief, Offensive Operations Branch, HQ Allied Forces Central Europe.


 9 Oct 1972:            Air Attaché, Moscow.

17 Mar 1975:          Commander, RAF Hong Kong.

Born at Broadstairs in Kent, he was inspired by Sir Alan Cobhams Flying Circus and became a keen aircraft spotter.  Educated at Dulwich College, he was a member of the Officers' Training Corps and after leaving school he became articled to a solicitor and joined the Local Defence Volunteers, later re-named Home Guard, but in October 1940 he volunteered for service.  Commissioned on completion of his training, he was posted to No 144 Squadron flying Hampdens from North Luffenham and in early 1942 he was appointed temporary CO of the squadron.  However, in April 1942, No 144 Squadron was transferred to Coastal Command and Brian Frow moved to No 408 (RCAF) Squadron, which although based at Balderton, was actually operating from North Luffenham.  With 408, he took part in the first of '1,000 Bomber' raids and tried some of the techniques that would later be used by No 8 (Pathfinder Force) Group.  When his tour was due to end, he was persuaded to extend it and he joined No 61 Squadron, one of the earliest units operating the Lancaster.

In early 1943, he was declared tour expired and he was posted as an instructor.  It was January 1944 before he returned to operations, with No 7 Squadron at Oakington in Cambridgeshire.  This squadron had been the first to operate four-engined bombers during world war to when it received the Short Stirling in late 1940, but it had converted to Lancasters in July 1943 and since August 1942, had been operating as part of the Pathfinder Force.  With No 7, he developed a reputation for tenacity and was soon acting in the role of deputy master bomber and then master bomber.

With the end of the war in Europe, he was posted to Australia, where he joined Transport Command and following the Japanese surrender, he began evacuating PoWs from various parts of the Far East and South-East Asia.  1946 saw him move to Hong Kong and then Singapore as Senior Officer i/c Administration at HQ No 300 Group and then a transport planning officer before returning to operational flying with No 48 Squadron.  Awarded a Permanent Commission, returned to the UK and flew with No 51 Squadron and then No 511 Squadron.  During this period he flew the Avro Lincoln on overseas trials and in 1948, he became a Command Examiner, and was asked to report on alleged regulation infringements during the Berlin Airlift.  He flew into the city with various crews and confirmed that some regulations were being broken but that this was with very good reason. 

Most of the remainder of his service was in the transport field, but he found time to convert onto jet fighters and later completed a number of staff tours before becoming Air Attaché in Moscow and finally Air Commander in Hong Kong.  In retirement, he ran the Falkland Islands Office in London until 1982, when he became clerk to the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers.

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

“Flight Lieutenant Brian George FROW, D.F.C. (100087), R.A.F.V.R., 7 Sqn.

Distinguished Flying Cross

Acting Flight Lieutenant Ernest WHARTON, D.F.M. (135017), R.A.F.V.R., 7 Sqn.

Acting Warrant Officer Owen Glyndwr ERASMUS (1314546), R.A.F.V.R., 7 Sqn.

One night in June, 1944, these, officers and warrant officer were captain, rear gunner and mid-upper .gunner respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack an enemy target.  When nearing the enemy coast on the return flight, Flight Lieutenant Frow saw a Junkers 88 about to attack another aircraft of the bomber force.  He immediately ordered his gunners to open fire.  Flight Lieutenant Wharton and Warrant Officer Erasmus promptly delivered bursts of fire which struck the enemy aircraft, causing it to dive to the ground where it exploded.  A few minutes  later Flight Lieutenant Wharton sighted another fighter coming in to attack.  He quickly warned his captain who manoeuvred to a good position from which Flight Lieutenant Wharton delivered a long burst of fire.  His bullets struck the attacker which caught fire and dived earthwards.  In the meantime, Warrant Officer Erasmus had sighted yet a third fighter on the starboard quarter.  Although the inter-communication system was defective he managed to warn his captain and co-gunner and the latter drove off the attacker which had closed in.  These members of aircraft crew displayed great skill, coolness and co-operation throughout this notable action.  They have completed many sorties against dangerous and difficult targets.”

 (London Gazette – 1 August 1944)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

“Acting Squadron Leader Brian George FROW, D.F.C. (100087), R.A.F.V.R., 7 Sqn.

This officer has completed a second tour of operational duty during which he has been employed in the role of master bomber.  He has pressed home his attacks with exceptional determination and his complete disregard for danger and extreme coolness have been a magnificent example to the members of his crew.”

(London Gazette – 24 October 1944)

This page was last updated on 05/02/24©

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