Frank Billinge joined 20 Squadron as an observer, scoring his first victory in February but was wounded by anti-aircraft fire on 14 March 1916. In August of the same year, he returned to the Home Establishment for pilot training and was posted to 32 Squadron on 24 November 1916. In 1917, he downed 2 more enemy aircraft and was promoted to flight commander. Reassigned to 56 Squadron on 6 February 1918, he scored his last two victories of the war flying the S.E.5a.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Capt. Frank Billinge (Manch. R.).
A gallant officer who displays determination and judgment. When on a night reconnaissance his engine suddenly failed and he was compelled to head for home. At this moment he was attacked by an enemy aeroplane. Owing to engine trouble he was forced to avoid an engagement, and only escaped by the exercise of marked skill and resource. With great difficulty he managed to cross our trenches at a height of 200 feet, crashing into the reserve trenches behind. Although considerably shaken and bruised he and his observer proceeded to the nearest signal station and sent in their reconnaissance report.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 2 November 1918 (30989/12962)