Interview with Ted Frost

Title

Interview with Ted Frost

Description

Edward ‘Ted’ Frost volunteered for the RAF and began training to be a pilot. Initially he was posted to RAF Hendon where he flew agents in Lysanders to the occupied territories. He was then posted to 61 Squadron at Syerston. He was offered the opportunity to join 617 Squadron but he and most of the crew felt they didn’t want to immediately start another operational posting. His bomb aimer did take the opportunity and died during the Dams raids. Ted’s nickname on the squadron was ‘Flak Happy,’ because he was always bringing his aircraft back with holes. On the squadron there were so many crews that did not return that they didn’t really get to know other crews. As on many operations Ted was injured by flak but thought little of it until he had to have an operation to remove a piece only two years before the interview. Ted continued to have flashbacks of the war throughout his life.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

2017-11-10

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This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

00:31:33 audio recording

Language

Type

Identifier

AFrostEH171110

Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

RP: This interview is being conducted on behalf of the International Bomber Command Centre. The interviewer is Rod Pickles. The interviewee is Edward Frost. The interview is taking place at Mr Frost’s home in Somerset on the 10th of November 2017. Also present is Ian Frost. Good morning, Ted and thank you for inviting me to your lovely home. Can we start off by telling us, if you could tell us when and where you were born and what led you to joining the RAF?
EF: Well, I was born in Ealing on 18 3 20. I’ve always been interested in aircraft. In fact, I first flew in an Avro 4K when I was six. And this was my father knew the pilot and I’ve always been interested in aircraft models and that. And I know when I got into this Avro the pilot said to me, ‘Now, you see those wires going down there. On no account touch them.’ I said, ‘Oh, I know. Those go to the elevator and the rudder. And he sort of looked. I said, ‘Yes.’ And I gave him one or two other details about the aircraft. And he said, ‘Oh, you’re interested.’ I said, ‘I’ve always been interested.’ So when I left school at eighteen I joined, I joined the VR and started my training. And then when the war started because I was in the VR I was virtually straight into the Air Force proper and finished my training. And I was posted to Hendon. And I thought great. Fighters, you know. But when I got there it was Lysanders. They had Lysanders at Hendon and I thought they would be fighters. Anyway, the idea of the Lysanders was to train Bofors gunners and other gunners. And what we used to do was to fly various heights and various headings so they could train their guns on it. And I did that for quite a while. I’ve got to think again here. Oh, that’s right. We had also got involved slightly in the Dunkirk excavation, picking up downed aircrew and taking agents in and out to occupied France. And the agents were always known as Joes. We never knew who they were. And what we used to do was to go, we used to work on a principal of a backward L if you can imagine it. L backwards. We’d come in and we’d land, obviously, down the upward L part. Turn around at the top, come around to the short L bit and we’d be then facing ready to go off again. And I’ve lost my thread again. Just a minute. [pause] Oh yeah. No. It’s gone again. Anyway, I got fed up with this flying because you’d often hear the old bullets coming along and hitting your tail plane. You know, the Jerries were not all that far away so you used to land in odd spots. And I got my transfer to Bomber Command. You know, it’s a hell of a job to remember this.
RP: Don’t worry. Don’t worry. If you remember the aircraft you were flying. The Squadron.
EF: Oh yeah. The Squadron was 61 Squadron.
RP: Right. Ok.
EF: We were flying the Lancaster Mark 3. But prior to that I was at Swinderby which was, what was that? OTU was it?
RP: Yeah. Might be. Yeah.
EF: Anyway —
RP: Because they would, they would have that for you if you were just joining them. Yeah. Yeah.
EF: We had the Manchester there which wasn’t terribly good. No. It’s all going.
RP: What year? What year was this, Mr Frost? What year are we talking about?
EF: I’ve even lost the thread I was on. This was —
RP: You were joining 61 Squadron.
EF: Oh. 61 Squadron. That would be, must have been about ’43, I think. ’42. ‘43 and also funnily enough on the other squadron because there were two on the station, this was at Syerston was Guy Gibson on 106.
RP: Yeah.
EF: Anyway, we got to about twenty four trips you know and we were one of the few that were still flying and they were forming new Squadrons. We didn’t know what they were. But it was the Dambusters as it turned out. And we said, well another sort of thirty or twenty trips I think they said we’d have to do. We’d had enough quite honestly. So I said, ‘Well, we’re not keen,’ you know. We only want to do six more trips and we could have a rest. Well, the bomb aimer was very keen. A keen type. He went and he was killed on the, one of the Dam raid.
RP: Oh right. But you were flying sorties from Syerston in the Lancasters.
EF: Yeah. 61 Squadron.
RP: So what was, what was the, what was your memories of the sorties you did? Was there anywhere particular?
EF: Oh yeah. Well, one, one in fact can you get that picture down there? I brought it down. The little one. Yeah. 61 Squadron at Syerston. Lancasters Mark 3. It was a jolly good Squadron, you know. It was very, very friendly. It was a super Squadron and we did our tour on there. I told you towards the end they wanted us to go on this special Squadron that was being prepared. Or being developed. Well, we didn’t want to go but the bomb aimer went and he went in on the Dam raid. After the tour there I did a tour on Wellingtons at Bruntingthorpe as an instructor.
RP: Was that an OTU?
EF: That was an O —
RP: OTU.
EF: OTU. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
EF: Yeah. OTU.
RP: How did the Wellington compare to the Lancaster?
EF: Well, it didn’t really. It was a different thing but it was a jolly good old aeroplane. It was good, you know, Very, very good. It had a fabric covering on the fuselage. I quite enjoyed that one. The only trouble with the Wellington is if you put your hand out of the window of the Wellington you lost your fingers because the prop tips used to come just there.
RP: Oh right. Just outside.
EF: It was outside. That was so close.
RP: I never thought of that. Oh right. So you wouldn’t wave the ground crew goodbye in a Wellington.
EF: No. No. No. That reminds me of something. Gibson. His wife. I can’t think of the name of her. She was very good. She always used to come to the end of the runway when you took off for a bombing mission to wave you goodbye.
RP: Really.
EF: She was very good. I think she was an actress or something. I know she was a blonde. But I thought that was very good of her because you always used to see a crowd at the end.
RP: Yeah.
EF: You know, where the caravan was.
RP: Yeah. Sending you their best of luck. Yeah.
EF: Cheerio. Yeah. But —
RP: So, you were at Bruntingthorpe on the Wellington. So how long were you at the OTU for? At Bruntingthorpe.
EF: Quite a long time. Quite a long time. It’s on there. It must have been two. Two years I would think. Oh, I know. We were coming back then on to Tiger Force which was then being introduced to go to Japan. And of course shortly afterwards they dropped the bomb and of course that fell flat. And so my next thing was at Oakington on Liberators bringing the troops back from all over the world. As a number. You had a number come up. A demob number. And that was quite interesting.
RP: So what Squadron was the Liberator on?
EF: That was Oakington?
RP: Was that 83?
EF: No. 83 was the Pathfinder Squadron.
RP: Ok.
EF: Oh, I don’t know.
RP: No. Ok. But so where were you flying in the Liberator then? Where were you —
EF: Oakington.
RP: Where to though? Where were you repatriating them?
EF: All over the world.
RP: Right.
EF: Anywhere.
RP: Anywhere.
EF: Yeah.
RP: Gosh. So basically they were being used as transports.
EF: It was Transport Command.
RP: Yeah.
EF: And what you used to do was probably take an aeroplane out to North Africa or something. Drop it and someone would pick it up and then carry on. And you’d stay there and they’d, you’d pick up another aircraft that was coming back.
RP: But, but were you on 83 Squadron at all? Were you ever on —
EF: Yeah.
RP: What did you fly?
EF: Lancasters.
RP: You flew Lancasters on 83 —
EF: Yes.
RP: As well. That was from —
EF: I only did a few trips there.
RP: What year was that? Was that before 61?
EF: That would have been — no. That was after 61.
RP: After 61. Yeah.
EF: Yeah. When I’d, we’d done our main tour.
RP: Right.
EF: But I fell out with Don Bennett who was, you know the —
RP: Oh. The Pathfinder.
EF: The Pathfinder chief.
RP: Yeah.
EF: And he always seemed to be picking on me. I know one day I’d had a particularly bad day and he was picking, nit picking again and I said to him, I said, ‘Excuse me, sir,’ I said, ‘But you’re obviously a highly qualified airman,’ I said, ‘I’m a highly [laughs] recently qualified civilian and the better I get back to that position the better.’ Of course, that didn’t go down very well and I was booted off very quickly.
RP: Removed from the Squadron.
EF: Yeah. Well, yes.
RP: Oh dear.
EF: That was 83 Squadron.
RP: So that, that was Lancasters. So you’re making all, were all your sorties done on a Lancaster then?
EF: Yes.
RP: All of them.
EF: Yes.
RP: Ok. Because I think 83 also they, they flew Hampdens early on. Didn’t they? But –
EF: Oh yes. Guy Gibson flew Hampdens on 61.
RP: Yeah. Did you ever fly a Hampden though?
EF: No.
RP: No.
EF: In fact, I remember one night we were walking back to the, well debriefing really and suddenly there was a terrific bang and a Hampden went right through, in front of us, the barrack blocks had taken the wings off.
RP: Oh, my goodness.
EF: It shot straight through the front doors. But the crew were alright I believe. It’s a bit disjointed, isn’t it? I thought I’d —
RP: Oh, don’t worry. Don’t worry. I mean, we’re getting the, I’m just interested that you sort of pass over your sorties as though they were just sort of everyday occurrences but did you have any near misses when you were out over Germany at all?
EF: Oh yes.
RP: Could you, could you remember a couple of those?
EF: One of the bad, one of the dodgy ones was the Skoda works at Pilsen. We’d lost an engine on the way in. You know, it had been hit by flak and stopped. And so of course I had, this was the starboard inner and I had to rev up the outer a little bit to try and make up for it and that was getting rather warm. But the reason, the result of that which I didn’t know about it had damaged the undercarriage. So, of course when we came in to land it folded up and we did what they called a circuit on the —
RP: Oh, my goodness.
EF: Yeah.
RP: Where were you landing at? You were going back to Syerston. Syerston.
EF: Syerston again.
RP: Oh dear.
EF: But we always landed. In those instances you always landed on the grass so there was no, not really a lot flame or, you know sparks coming off. And —
RP: Did you all get out ok?
EF: Oh yes.
RP: You put it down.
EF: Nothing serious.
RP: No.
EF: It’s just that we didn’t know about it. I knew that the engine wasn’t [pause] you know, we’d feathered that. But it was a bit of a surprise. Where else did we go?
RP: So that was one sortie.
EF: Oh, another thing that we did were the mine laying.
RP: Oh right. Yeah.
EF: But that only counted as half a trip and you had to fly at about sixty or eighty feet.
RP: Yeah. So very low, isn’t it?
EF: For a mine otherwise they’d, you know it smashes itself up if you were too high.
RP: Yeah.
EF: And I know we were going along at this, this was all at night. We were going along quite low and flak started coming up and I swear it came up between the engines.
RP: Gosh.
EF: It probably didn’t. But of course there were some flak ships around.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
EF: And we, you could see them and suddenly they’d obviously got you in their range and as soon as you got near of course they opened up with the flak.
RP: So you mentioned earlier that your nickname was Flak Happy then.
EF: Yeah.
RP: How did you get that then? Why did they christen you with that name?
EF: I was always coming back with holes. And what they used to do was do you remember the old metal kettles. I think there’s one out there, but they used to repair these with the washers and that, that they used to repair the underneath of these metal [unclear]
RP: Oh right.
EF: If you imagine they used to screw this thing in and then file off the head of it.
RP: Right. I see. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s why. You always brought a Lancaster back for repair then.
EF: Oh, yeah. Well, always.
RP: I imagine most of them must have had flak. Or did you attract, seem to attract more?
EF: It was just a name I had. I think I caught more than most.
RP: Yeah. But you were never, you never obviously caught yourself. Injured at all by flak yourself. You didn’t suffered any injuries.
EF: Oh well, no. Not really. I just had a flak splinter which oddly enough they didn’t take out at the time and it was an August about, what two years ago they took this piece of flak out.
RP: Really.
EF: Yeah [laughs] the scar’s here.
RP: Two years ago.
EF: Yeah.
IF: It had moved through his body apparently.
EF: Yeah. It had been moving around and —
IF: Yeah.
RP: How amazing.
EF: And suddenly it irritated me.
RP: Oh, I see. It suddenly started itching.
EF: Yeah.
RP: But before you hadn’t felt it.
EF: No.
RP: How odd.
EF: And I knew I’d been hit.
RP: Yeah.
EF: Because there was obviously broken skin.
RP: This might seem a silly question but did they give you the piece of flak?
EF: No. They didn’t. I realised that afterwards. And it was Doctor [Coldrick] that took it out.
RP: Gosh.
EF: And he kept it.
RP: Oh right. But he might have kept it. You never know.
EF: Yeah.
RP: Gosh. That is, that is strange.
EF: I’ve got a piece of flak upstairs haven’t we?
IF: Yeah.
EF: That came in and hit me. Well, hit the metal plate at the back of me. Well, it was quite a big piece.
RP: Obviously the plate did its job though.
EF: Oh yes.
RP: Yeah. That’s why it’s there.
EF: Hit the metal plate and then slid down to the floor.
RP: That’s what it’s there for.
EF: And the ground crew gave it back to me afterwards.
RP: That was very nice of them.
EF: Yeah.
RP: So, can we, if you can recall it you were awarded the DFC and we’ve seen the newspaper cutting from 1944. Was there a particular reason you were given the DFC or was it because of your, the way you behaved?
EF: It was the way basically I behaved.
RP: Because of your —
EF: And I think —
RP: All the sorties you’d done. Yeah.
EF: The Skoda works finished it. You know that was the, quite a, it was a hell of a long way.
RP: Yes.
EF: In Czechoslovakia.
RP: It is. When you said Skoda works I thought that’s not in Germany.
EF: No. No. No. It’s not.
RP: Mind you some of the cars they produce they did deserve to be bombed.
EF: Yeah.
RP: Don’t quote me. But so that, at that point in 1944 then about how many sorties would you have done then?
EF: I’d done thirty [pause] About thirty four or thirty six. Something like that.
RP: That’s extraordinary because a lot of your colleagues of course you were expected maybe five or ten was good, wasn’t it?
EF: Well, yeah. The fact you never really got to know anybody.
RP: Yeah.
EF: Because there were two or three of you that always seemed to, you know, get, get through but another crew would come in. Two days and they just weren’t there.
RP: Yeah.
EF: You know. But you got used to it. It didn’t do you any good but —
RP: No.
EF: Most of the crews just didn’t come back. In fact, I think the losses on Bomber Command were fifty five and a half thousand.
RP: Yes. Yeah.
EF: And about, there was about twelve thousand training.
RP: Yes.
EF: And you wouldn’t —
RP: Because you forget about the training crashes. Yeah.
EF: When you think about it very few people had seen a real aircraft to touch when the war started.
RP: That’s right.
EF: It was only the aircrew that were training. Even though when I got there I had only been in Avro 4. Ok. But to see these other ruddy great aircraft you thought I’m never going to fly one of those. So —
RP: So when you were in the Lancaster doing your sorties was it the same crew you took every time?
EF: Yeah.
RP: So you got to know your own crew.
EF: Oh, we got our crew. Yeah. They got on very well.
RP: That’s good. So —
EF: In fact, the navigator. I was with Quaker Oats and was in sales force. I was away in [pause] anyway, it doesn’t matter. Anyway, I had to spend a fair bit of time away and the, my wife rang me up and said, ‘Oh, the police have been on the phone. Would you call in on Saturday?’ So I, you know, I thought, what on earth had I been doing? But what it was, it was my navigator who was then the chief of police of Harrogate.
RP: Oh right.
EF: And he wanted to see me.
RP: How nice.
EF: But that’s odd, isn’t it? He was a good navigator. Very good.
RP: Yeah. Did you maintain any other correspondence with other members of the crew? Or not.
EF: No. Funnily enough I didn’t. I was, it was one of those things. Just after the war I went to Quaker Oats and we, well what they did I was training to be an accountant. I came back after the war, they said, ‘Ah, Mr Frost. It’s nice to be back. There’s a desk over there. There’s an office there.’ So, I said, ‘Well, quite honestly I don’t really want to sit with my knees under a desk any more. Anything else I can do?’ ‘Oh yes,’ they said, ‘We’ve got a few vacant territories. Sales territories.’ So they gave me one of these. And of course that meant I could get out and I was, you know —
RP: You weren’t hamstrung in an office. No.
EF: I didn’t have an office. No.
RP: You were out and about.
EF: I used to try and work from home. Well, at home. But it meant I had to spend an awful lot of time away. I was in hotels and back home on Thursday for the Friday, you know sales meeting. But I’ve lost myself again.
RP: Oh, don’t worry. When the war ended then what were you flying? Were you on Liberators at the end of the war?
EF: I was on Liberators. Yeah.
RP: Did you sort of consider staying in the RAF?
EF: I did think about it but my wife wasn’t keen. And what finally decided me which may surprise you we used to have VRs. Brass VRs in our tunics.
RP: Yeah.
EF: Well, the order had come through to remove these. I don’t know why.
RP: Ok.
EF: Which of course obviously left two holes. And I was at a dining in night where everyone gets together in their best blue and that and I was told to see the adj in the morning. Which of course I did. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘There’s been a complaint you’re improperly dressed. You’ve got holes in your — ’ I said, ‘Well, that’s not a surprise. You told me to take the VRs out.’ ‘Well, you’re improperly dressed, you know. You can’t wear a shirt with holes in it.’ So I said, ‘Well, I don’t know what else I’m going to do,’ because in those days it was all on coupons as you probably remember.
RP: Yeah.
EF: Yeah. And that was really what decided me not to stay in. I thought, well. —
RP: Do I need this?
EF: Things aren’t what they used to be.
RP: I don’t blame you.
EF: Who can blame me?
RP: Yes. What was the purpose of removing that then? Because they —
EF: Well, I never found out.
RP: No. So they did away with the Volunteer Reserve.
EF: You see, we were the volunteers with VRs.
RP: Yeah.
EF: Whereas the majority of people I suppose were still in the regular Air Force.
RP: Oh right.
EF: But why? I don’t know. I never found that out. But that’s what decided me. Things aint what they used to be.
RP: No. No. But how did the Liberator compare to the Lancaster in terms of flying?
EF: Oh. No. It was a nice old aeroplane because the big difference was it was a tricycle undercarriage. The Lancs was two —
RP: Oh yes. Yeah.
EF: And it was quite a different approach to bring a Liberator in. Or even take off because you had to virtually fly it in to the deck whereas with the Lanc you come in and you just drop it in.
RP: Yeah.
EF: With a big bang.
RP: But in the air though was it much the same? Once you were airborne was it easier?
EF: Well, really yes. Yeah. Because it was never under, I never flew it under wartime conditions, you know. Other than just bringing people back.
RP: So how many people could you carry then if you were going to repatriate?
EF: We could get about eighteen, twenty.
RP: Oh gosh.
EF: It depends. And we used to sit them alongside the fuselage. And I had a funny experience. I was a flight lieui then and we had a captain turn up but he didn’t want to sit with the troops down the right side there. He wanted to be up in the cockpit. I said, ‘Well, nobody comes up in the cockpit unless I specifically ask for them.’ ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘Well, I’m not flying on that.’ So he got out of the aircraft and we were the same rank so it didn’t make any difference to me. So I said, ‘Well, you’ve got a choice old boy,’ I said, ‘You can either get in there or stay here,’ I said, ‘But don’t forget your luggage is somewhere in that Liberator and I shall be taking off in about five minutes and your luggage will be coming with me if you don’t come.’ And no. He decided to stay. So we ended up back at Oakington with his luggage on board. How he got out I don’t know.
RP: You never saw him again.
EF: No. No, his —
RP: Or his luggage for that matter.
EF: I’ll tell you another thing he was one of these officers who smoked a pipe. It was a Dunhill. I always could see that, you know. Puffing away at this pipe. I said, ‘You really shouldn’t be smoking. You’re right next to an aircraft with several hundreds of gallons of fuel on board.’ Oh well,’ you know, ‘That’s alright. I’m quite safe with a pipe.’ But no.
RP: Yeah. Not now you wouldn’t be, would you?
EF: No.
RP: You’d be, you’d be in trouble.
EF: Well, of course there’s always a certain smell of petrol around.
RP: There is. Yeah.
EF: I suppose many of the tanks did leak a bit. You know. They were bound to. So there was always that atmosphere around and the vapour smell. It was a dodgy business. But yet [laughs] on the other hand, the crew. I always knew when we were coming to the, well what was called the Enemy Coast, which of course the coast coming back I’d suddenly go [sniff] and some of crew had lit up. You couldn’t do much about that. But I always knew. I suppose the navigator obviously had told them that we were approaching the English Coast as it was. But —
RP: So, how many, how many sorties did you do on Liberators then? Repatriation.
EF: Oh, I couldn’t tell you.
RP: Quite a lot.
EF: Quite a lot. Yeah.
RP: Right. It was a long time. Was that —
EF: Yeah. Well, again we were just flying a leg.
RP: Right.
EF: We’d fly say to Algiers or something drop the aircraft. Someone would pick it up. Take it. Already there. On they’d go. We’d wait there for another aircraft to come in and then pick that one up.
RP: Oh. So it wasn’t the same aircraft. You were flying different.
EF: Oh no.
RP: Oh right.
EF: Only go in stages.
RP: Right. So you didn’t actually have your own Liberator.
EF: No.
RP: You were just a crew for a Liberator.
EF: Whatever came in. Yeah. Oh yes. Mind you, the crew, the recipients of the journey were very, very pleased. They got home in, you know in a couple of days rather than a week or a couple of weeks on the water.
RP: Yeah. Well, yeah I suppose it would take a while.
EF: When their number came up.
RP: Yeah. Were there prisoners of war among them? Did you —
EF: No.
RP: It was just —
EF: No. Never had.
RP: Just the troops that had been —
EF: They had a special, you know, return.
RP: Yeah. Yeah. So what’s, looking back across the sort of aircraft you flew what’s your abiding memory then of World War Two?
EF: The Lancaster obviously because I flew those a tremendous amount. Although, Wellingtons of course. I spent a long time on the OTU at Bruntingthorpe and I spent a long time on Wellingtons.
RP: But you think obviously the Lancaster is the, was your favourite then.
EF: My favourite. It was, it was a magnificent aircraft. And yet the Manchester was just the opposite.
RP: Yeah. Because they decided to do away with that, didn’t they? Was that a twin-engined?
EF: Had to. They had, the engines were no good.
RP: Yeah.
EF: I forget what they were but if you lost an engine you went like a brick.
RP: Yeah.
EF: With a Lanc you could fly on three and you could exist on two. On two for a while but —
RP: But you, you’ve flown, have you flown the Lanc, you’ve flown the Lancaster on three though. Yeah.
EF: Oh yes.
RP: So you know.
EF: Well, it was a normal thing really. Because engines, I don’t know if they were Rolls Royce, were not all that reliable or you’d get hit by flak or something, or there were so many things that could go wrong with an engine after we’d been banging away there for eight, nine, ten hours. Things do go wrong. So it was, it was nothing unusual to fly on three engines. You could do it no bother. You had a job climbing but you could maintain height and airspeed alright. Which —
RP: So, looking, looking back then Ted if you had to do it all again would you do it?
EF: Oh, I think I would. Well, yeah because I’d volunteered and I’d been told to do it you know. I think so. But it was certainly an experience and you never forget it and I do get flashbacks even now at times. And I’ve got some pills that are supposed to give me relief from them but the trouble is they make me even worse the next day.
RP: Right.
EF: Do you remember those?
IF: Oh yeah.
EF: Right —
RP: But these are, these are sort of memories of the war you’re talking about.
EF: Yeah. Yeah. Because you’d get something come and I used to take these pills. But the next day. God it was awful. So I’ve still got them in a drawer somewhere.
RP: But you’re not taking them now then. You’re not taking them anymore. No.
EF: I don’t take them but I still get the flashbacks.
RP: Yeah. Are they, is it the sense that they’re a bit disturbing? Or it’s just —
EF: Yeah. You know, I’m doing something and the funny thing is, in a flashback if you’re firing at something and you’ve been, say you’ve been shot down and firing a revolver at a German you never seem to hit them. A funny thing. No. It’s something that always intrigues me. And if you’re firing at another aircraft you could see your bullets going you know. This is in the flashback. And never seem to hit [laughs] I don’t know.
RP: But in the reality if you were ever hit by a night fighter did you ever shoot any down? Did your gunners get them?
EF: The gunners hadn’t actually seen the one go down but they had hits.
RP: Yeah.
EF: When we went to the Skoda works at Pilsen we had, we were attacked by a Junkers 88 and the gunners certainly hit it because it, you know disappeared and didn’t sort of affect us anymore. But we had some good, I had good gunners. I had a good crew.
RP: I assume all your Lancaster sorties were night time sorties.
EF: Oh yes.
RP: But the Liberator trips were in daylight. So that that made a pleasant change.
EF: Well, yeah they were. Sometimes you needed to fly at night.
RP: Yes.
EF: You know. To get to a certain place.
RP: Yeah. But daylight flying was something new then.
EF: I didn’t do an awful lot of daylight flying. In fact, now I still get up at 3 o’clock in the morning. I still do. It’s funny.
RP: Really.
EF: The night is quite friendly to me somehow.
RP: Oh ok. Anyway, it’s been lovely talking to you Ted and I appreciate you recording all that. It’s been absolutely superb.
EF: Well, it’s, it’s been difficult.
RP: No. I do appreciate. We’re grateful for your time and thank you very much. It’s been lovely listening to you. Thank you.

Collection

Citation

Rod Pickles, “Interview with Ted Frost,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 2, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/10817.

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