FROST, John Boyes

3 Commando Bde. Air Squadron
Royal Marines
Royal Navy
Honours & Awards: 
Lieutenant John Boyes Frost RM was awarded the Air Force Cross for gallantry during operations in Malaysia in 1970.

"On 5th June, at 1745 hours, a soldier of 1st Battalion 2nd K.E.O. Gurkha Rifles was seriously injured while taking part in an exercise in Trengganu, Malaysia. The injury occurred in deep jungle some two hours march from the jungle edge. There was only one hour of daylight left and the injured man was unconscious and bleeding profusely from a scalp wound and through the nose. A helicopter was requested for casevac at 1755 hours, and a start was made on improving an existing winching point in the jungle. 

At 1830 hours, a Scout Helicopter, piloted by Lieutenant Frost, arrived overhead and attempted to land. At the pilot's suggestion two more trees were felled and the helicopter descended slowly into the winching-point. He managed to get within 15 feet of the ground but then had to ascend again to re-establish communications with the ground troops. Using his standby headset he was able to relay that he wanted some scrub to be cleared' where his tail rotor had to be positioned if he was to land. 

At approximately 1850 hours Lieutenant Frost made a second attempt to land and on this occasion he managed to hover with the skids of the helicopter one foot above a large fallen tree which it had not been possible to move. By this time it was getting dark. The injured man was then loaded into the helicopter. This involved one man inside and three men supporting themselves on the right hand skid in order to get sufficient leverage to slide the injured man onto the back seat. Having loaded the injured soldier, Lieutenant Frost ordered the medical assistant out as he required all available power to attempt a vertical ascent. 

By this time it was quite dark, with no moon and a light raini had started to fall. By fixing his landing light in a forward position and aligning it onto a nearby tree, Lieutenant Frost took his helicopter up vertically and successfully evacuated the injured soldier. The area cleared for the landing was only 40 feet by 30 feet at tree top level and not more than 20 yards across between the trees at ground level. The trees were in excess of 100 feet high. This is considerably below the normal requirements of a Landing Point. 

Although relatively inexperienced in flying the Scout Helicopter having logged only 170 hours flying on his aircraft at the time, Lieutenant Frost displayed an extremely high degree of flying skill. The soldier's life was undoubtedly saved by Lieutenant Frost's coolness, skill and courage."

London Gazette 45223, page 12057.

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