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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J Frey

 

Juliusz Frey was born in Lwow, Poland on 14th July 1907. He graduated from the Cadet School of Aviation in Deblin in 1930 and was posted to the 6th Aviation Regiment as an observer.

He qualified as a pilot in the following year and in October 1933 became an instructor at the flying school at Grudziadz. In October 1937 he was transferred to the 114th Fighter Squadron of the 1st Avation Regiment in Warsaw and took command on 3rd November 1938.

The squadron was in action on the 1st September and Frey destroyed a He111 and on the 6th shared a Hs126.

The squadron crossed into Romania on 17th September 1939, Frey went on to France, arriving at the Polish depot at Lyon-Bron. He was posted to Groupe de Chasse I/145 as CO of the second squadron, operating the Caudron C714. He was in action from 9th to 12th June before being sent on the 13th to convert to the D520.

The deteriorating situation led to the Polish airmen going instead to La Rochelle where they boarded a ship for England on the 19th. Frey seems to have spent an unusually long time at the Polish depot at Blackpool before going to 5 OTU Aston Down on 25th September 1940 to convert to Hurricanes.

Frey joined 607 Squadron at Turnhouse on 11th October 1940. On the 23rd he damaged Hurricane P3962 in a landing mishap. He was posted to 303 Squadron at Leconfield on 12th November as a joint Flight Commander. He took full command of his flight on 1st January 1941, when the British flight commanders were posted away.


Frey went to Pembrey on 19th February 1941, to form and command 316 (Polish) Squadron. He destroyed a Me109 on 24th July when the squadron escorted Hampdens on Operation 'Sunrise'. He was posted to 16 FTS Newton on 10th August 1941 as CO Training Squadron.


In early January 1942 he was at the Polish Depot Blackpool. Frey was awarded the KW (gazetted 19th February 1942). He was sent to CFS Upavon on 11th March 1942 for an instructors course, after which he returned to Newton.


On 17th November 1942 Frey went to 51 OTU Cranfield to convert to Mosquitos and he joined 418 (RCAF) Squadron at Ford on 18th March 1943, a night intruder unit.

On 27th May he went to 52 OTU Aston Down for an intruder course, then to CGS Sutton Bridge, rejoining 418 Squadron in late June.


Frey returned to Blackpool on 28th December 1943, was posted to HQ ADGB on 8th August 1944 and moved to HQ Fighter Command on 18th December.


Frey was awarded two more Bars to the KW (gazetted 31st October 1947).

He was released in 1946 and later settled in Canada, where he died on 30th March 1991.



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