Edwin Dewey Frost, Jr.
August 5, 1919 - April 22, 2011
Edwin Dewey Frost, Jr., departed this life suddenly to be with his Heavenly Father on Good Friday, April 22, 2011. He had been a resident of Norwalk, CT. for 40 years before moving to Naples, FL. There, he resided with his wife, Harriet Fowle Frost until the time of his passing.
Mr. Frost was born on August 5, 1919 to Edwin Dewey Frost, Sr., and Alwine Rosendahl Frost, in Brooklyn, NY. On a complete academic scholarship, he attended Amherst College. There, he received his A.B. in economics, graduating cum laude in 1941.
Edwin enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1942. In spring 1943, he trained as a navigator at Pyote (TX) Army Air Field Base. He was a First Lieutenant with the 535th squadron of the 381st Bomb Group. This was an advanced flying school to train bomber crews for B-17 “Flying Fortress” heavy aircraft.
The 381st Bomb Group was assigned to the Eight Air Force, known as “the Mighty Eighth.” Edwin flew as Squadron Navigator in the strategic bombing raids of August 17, 1943, the pivotal Schweinfurt-Regensburg missions. This date has been referred to as the most important day for the U.S. Army Air Forces during WW II. . The 381st had the highest losses of all bomb groups on that day. For his experiences in this harrowing mission, Edwin was quoted extensively in a book by noted military historian Martin Middlebrook, The Schweinfurt-Regensburg Mission: American Raids on 17 August 1943. In Edwin’s words, “It was the greatest concept of massing of enemy fighters that I ever saw in my tour, and I knew we were in for it.”
Edwin continued to fly on fighter-escorted raids until October 1943, when his B-17 was shot down. He and fellow crew members were taken prisoner. He was interned in Sagan at Stalag Luft III (the historical setting for the movie “The Great Escape”). There he remained until late January, 1945, when he was marched with his fellow POWs from Sagan to Spremberg. From there they were transported by train to Moosburg, Stalag VII, where they were finally liberated by the U.S. 14th Armored Division in by May 1945.
Edwin remained in touch with fellow 381st Bomb Group crew members and POWs for the rest of his life. He attended their reunions all his life. There will be a special memorial service for him at the next 381st reunion, in August, in Colorado Springs, CO.
Edwin received his Master’s in Business Administration at New York University in 1950. Returning to the USAF in 1951, as the Korean War loomed near, Edwin was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. There, he married First Lieutenant Margaret Helen Cantello.
Edwin and Margaret moved to Norwalk in 1952. At Phelps Dodge Corporation. Edwin served as Assistant Treasurer for many years. He also served as President of the Phelps Dodge Foundation. In Norwalk, Mr. Frost served many years on the vestry committee of St. Paul’s on the Green. Among his many other fine attributes, he is remembered for his unshakable faith and devotion to the Lord. He was a very caring and loving man, who cherished his many family members.
After the tragic loss of Margaret in 1990, Edwin was blessed to find happiness with his beloved Harriet, whom he married in 1991. They spent many happy years together in Naples, FL., and summered in Maine for several years. They attended many reunions of the 381st Bomb Group. For many years, they were active members of Saint Monica’s Episcopal Church in Naples, FL. Mr. Frost was also active in the Forum Club and Amherst Alumni Club in Naples.
Edwin is survived by wife, Harriet Fowle Frost; daughter Pamela Frost Cutrone, of Merritt Island, FL; daughter Amy Frost Fred, of Bloomfield, NM; son-in-law, Pat Cutrone; stepdaughter Jaci Fowle Holmes and her husband, John Holmes, of Yarmouth, ME; stepson Henry Eben Fowle and his wife Catharine; step-grandchildren: Ashley Holmes, John P Holmes III (and his wife Meghan), Maxwell J. Fowle (and wife Karen), Samuel J. Fowle, step-great-grandaughter Hannah E. Holmes; nephew, David Frost, and nieces Barbara Fillipone, Susan Godfrey, and Marjorie Smith.
He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Margaret; brother, Theodore Frost, and his son-in-law, Norman Joe Fred. A memorial service will take place at St. Paul’s on the Green, in Norwalk, CT., on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 11:00 AM. A burial service accompanied by military honors will take place afterward at Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan, CT.