Thank You For Visiting Sedona Legend-
The Jack And Helen Frye Story!
Sedona's Celebrity Love Story!
This is the official, not to mention only, web portal in the world
dedicated exclusively to the legacy of Jack and Helen Frye!
The Frye Legacy-
a Lifetime of Accomplishment!
By Randall Reynolds
The Sedona Legend Web Site is a copyrighted historical photo enhanced narrative presented for
educational and entertainment purposes. Some materials may be displayed in regard to the
United States Fair Use Act. This web portal is totally non-profit and generates no income nor
does it seek or has it ever accepted a single donation. It is an independent venture.
Sedona Legend was envisioned and created to provide Red Rock State Park visitors a
comprehensive historic overview for Jack and Helen Frye and their Deer-Lick and Smoke Trail
Ranches. This effort is now officially cited by R.R.S.P. as an indepth historical venue
representing Jack and Helen Frye.
Sedona Legend is encouraged by the many friends of Jack and Helen Frye. A gracious thank
you to the Frye and Varner families for invaluable support and Red Rock State Park staff and
volunteers for their enthusiasm.
Sedona Legend Helen Frye a.k.a. the Jack and Helen Frye Story
A Decade of Research and Presentation- Created By Randall D. Reynolds
Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved
Lost Photos From Jack Frye's Own Archive
Provenance and Documentation
This story is long and complicated. The Jack Frye legacy has more twists and turns than a best-
selling novel. This Web Site, as a portal to his life, serves to pull together elements that could
not possibly connect in any other way. One such event was the June 2004 contact by a web-
surfer who found this site after searching for several years for Frye information. What was the
search all about?
Many years prior this remarkable lady "Joan" had discovered and purchased a cache of
memorabilia at an auction. This historical material turned out to be items that had been lost
many years prior through an unfortunate chain of events from Jack's own estate. I was
contacted through this web site and immediately put Joan in touch with Jack's daughter and
heir Nevajac Frye. I knew a lot of property from Jack's estate was missing and that this
particular memorabilia was the tip of the iceberg so to speak. Nevajac and I were both
overwhelmed in sharing this most amazing discovery!
On this page I am honored to share a small portion of the photos that were re-discovered.
These photos, uncovered in an old musty box, are photos that have been missing from Jack's
personal collection for over 30 years. Some remembered, some not. Just a small portion of
estate property that "disappeared" many years ago. Nevajac had felt much of it was lost
forever. The most moving part of this saga is that several of the items discovered by Joan had
never been seen by Jack's own daughter, even though they had at one time been a part of her
father's personal collection and had hung on the walls of his home and office.
The Sedona Legend web work has been full of psychic and spiritual abnormalities. On the day
that Joan contacted me I had the overwhelming feeling something monumental was going to
occur. In time I realized that her contribution to this work was a piece of a puzzle just waiting
to fall in to place. From beyond the grave I strongly felt Jack, like a puppeteer, trying to
reunite myself with a fragment of his rich legacy. It was the most amazing experience and gave
me pause to realize the Sedona Legend work was serving a purpose that I had never previously
Joan discovered the items in a “lot” (grouping) of equine implements. The Frye documents
were in the bottom of the box seemingly unconnected with the items featured. Joan restrained
herself from just tossing the bonus material after she got it all home. Later, looking through
the musty memories, she realized, as she told me, "that the material was someone's life- I
couldn't just throw it away!" So for 10 years, like an amateur detective, she tried to piece
together "who" the photographs were of and attempted to solve the mystery. At the time, the
internet was in its infancy and on line info was lacking. Eventually, she discovered that the
person in the photos was TWA president Jack Frye but she knew nothing about him. Finally,
after several more years, she discovered my web site and contacted me.
Now the mystery has come full circle, and in the process many people have been moved. Not
only have the items been identified, but where they came from and how they came to become
"lost" in the first place. Thank you, Joan, for holding on to these priceless memories and after
many years generously sharing them with me and returning the originals copies with scrap
books to Jack's family from whence they originated (done so at my encouragement)!
Jack was a commercial photographer, many people are not aware of this hobby of his. All
through the years of his amazing career Jack documented different events personally and as
well, had many events with Standard Air Lines, Aero Corporation of California, and
Transcontinental & Western Air (TWA) meticulous and professionally documented. This is why
he went on to become C.E.O. of Aniline Film Corporation, Kodak's only rival in the world! His
life was well documented by news photos and articles which were circulated world-wide by the
press and by his TWA publicity department.
But what happened to Jack Frye's personal collection of career memorabilia documentation? A
collection I might add which amounted to the "mother lode" of early TWA and Frye aviation
connected historical documentation. Unfortunately, much of it has been lost due to pilfering of
Jack's estate (held in climate controlled storage in Las Vegas) before and after his last wife
(Nevada) died. The remainder of historical materials were lost when this stored material was
eventually sold off in a closed carton auction to strangers. An unfortunate chain of events that
scattered an aviation legend's most personal and valuable items to disconnected parties. A real
tragedy. Some of these items are now surfacing on the world market. This page represents just
a small fraction of a few of the lost artifacts! I will share more items if they ever come my way.
At the event pictured above, Arizona Native American Indian dancers honored TWA's Jack
Frye as Arizona's Number 1 Pilot, and to celebrate TWA's new Phoenix-Boulder-San Francisco
passenger service. The date was September 2, 1938.
Joan LaPlace Contacts Sedona Legend
Jack Frye Phoenix Sky Harbor
Airport Back Story
Arizona Honors "1" Pilot!
September 2, 1938
At the event pictured (right) Arizona Native
American Indian dancers were on hand to
present Jack Frye with an American Indian
head dress. This celebration was to honor Jack
and, as well, the launch of new daily
Transcontinental & Western Air passenger
service from Phoenix AZ. to Boulder NV. to
San Francisco CA. Another TWA FIRST!
September 2- Preliminary Civic Preparations by Frye
November 1- Inauguration of First Sky Liner Service (piloted by Jack Frye)
Jack touched down at Phoenix Sky Harbor, an airport he knew well from his earliest days, on
the bright sunny morning of Friday, September 2 @ 10:30 A.M., in his private plane TWA
NC13758, a single seat, single engine, Northrop Gamma. Other TWA executives arrived on the
wings of a TWA Douglas DC3 airliner.
In 1927 Frye was issued the very 1st “Private Arizona Pilot’s License”. Arizona was the only
state at the time to issue such. Shortly thereafter Frye was issued by the Arizona Corporation
Commission the State of Arizona’s 1st issued “Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for the
Operation of Scheduled Air Transportation through the State of Arizona” (a copy of this
certificate is being researched). Under this certificate Frye’s air line (Standard) and its holding
company Aero Corporation of California (of which Frye was president of both) inaugurated with
great fanfare the first regularly scheduled air passenger service for the State of Arizona. Frye
was the first pilot of this flight which took off from Los Angeles for Phoenix-Tucson on Monday
November 28th 1927. One can well see why Frye was regarded as Arizona’s Number 1 Son.
After arriving at Sky Harbor, President of T.W.A. Frye was welcomed by local groups and
officials enhanced by native American Indian dancers and with the grand back drop of one of
the most advanced airliners in the world, a new TWA Douglas DC3, a futuristic transport,
incidentally, that Frye himself was responsible for the development. In the welcoming
ceremony Frye was presented with a beautiful Indian head dress (which was not authentic to
Arizona) but is more suited to mid-western Indians which Frye himself was a member (with
Cherokee heritage). Local radio station KTAR was on hand with an emcee to broadcast the
event live with the KTAR microphone prominently centered in the photograph above.
Phoenicians on hand for the celebration were Phoenix Mayor Walter J. Thalheimer, (City
Commissioners), Charles G. Sullivan, Harold F. Herwig, Ray Busey, and Dr. Reed Shupe, (City
Manager), Houston L. Walsh, (City Department Head), A. Lee Moore, (President of Phoenix
Chamber of Commerce), Dr. J. M. Greer, (Chairman of Municipal Aviation Commission),
Frank Murphy. Many other officials attended as well.
TWA officials who attended this event which, also heralded the soon to be, PHX-BVU-SFO-TWA
passenger service route were Paul E. Richter (TWA Vice-President in Charge of Operations),
George T. Cussen (Pacific Coast Traffic Manager), Don Black (Pacific Coast Public Relations
Manager), G. E. Ruckstell (President of Boulder Dam-Grand Canyon Tours, Inc.).
A business lunch was hosted for the group at the Arizona Club at noon by the Phoenix
Chamber. Later, meetings were held with city officials throughout the afternoon with the finale
celebration at the Hotel Westward Ho (Fiesta Room) where Frye was the guest of honor.
The Westward Hotel celebration was open to the public, as hosted by the Phoenix Chamber of
Commerce, and all were welcome to participate in this exciting new proposal linking Phoenix to
the cosmopolitan city of San Francisco and to converse with the famous aviation pioneer Frye!
At the dinner Frye extolled the virtues of TWA’s nation wide service and the inclusion of the
new San Francisco link along with a desire to include Prescott and Kingman Arizona. (To my
knowledge this was never possible only because Prescott and Kingman were not able to provide
TWA with the runway and support facilities required.) Master of Ceremonies was Jack Frye’s
longtime friend Frank Murphy. Bonus talks were presented by Arizona Governor Rawghlie
Clement Stanford, Phoenix Mayor Thalheimer, Jim Robb (District Manager for American
Airlines) and a Mr. Moore.
Phoenix Headline-Arizona To Honor Number 1 Pilot
This new service commenced on Tuesday, November 1, 1938, with Jack Frye as pilot, landing
the first TWA DC3 Sky Liner incoming flight full of inaugural passengers at about 1:50 p.m.
The new eastbound TWA airliner lifted off from Sky Harbor for the west coast at 3:15 p.m.
Scheduled stops were at Boulder City, Las Vegas, Fresno, Oakland, and San Francisco, by 8:30
p.m. The new TWA flights will include airmail and cargo (and it is my understanding that the
flights were to connect with the east-west TWA service at Las Vegas).
Dignitaries on hand, at Phoenix, were Arizona Governor R. C. Stanford, U.S. Senator (AZ) Carl
T. Hayden, and Phoenix Mayor Walter J. Thalheimer.
A telegram received from Congressman John R. Murdock (AZ) stated:
"It is the hope of Arizona and the intent of recent federal legislation and its administration,
that Prescott and Kingman shall be on the Phoenix-Las Vegas air service being inaugurated
today. It is unfortunate that the initial flight cannot make these stops now because of the
condition of these fields."
Yet another congratulatory message was received from the Mayor of New York City,
Fiorello H. LaGuardia which stated:
"It gives me great pleasure to send you this message of greeting which will be delivered by the
first TWA plane into Phoenix on the occasion of the new line south from Las Vegas Nevada. I
am especially delighted that this new airway will also later serve Prescott Arizona where I spent
so many years of my younger life."
There was one goodwill flight and celebratory gathering connected to this event which took
place on Friday, October 21, 1938. A Sky Club Douglas lifted off from Phoenix Sky Harbor at
9:00 a.m. with 35 V.I.P. guests, upon arrival in San Francisco, the group was welcomed by Jack
Frye, president of the line, along with other dignitaries, to include Paul E Richter, Jr. (now as)
executive vice-president of TWA, San Francisco Mayor Angelo J. Rossi, and J. E. Howell
President of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Return was on Sunday October 23.
Much Deserved Vacation- Landing @ Sedona Frye Ranch Airstrip
Private Lockheed Electra Jr. NC18137 1942
My interest in Jack Frye began 10 years ago, when I obtained through auction, some
scrapbooks which held pictures of this man and many other people some named, some not. I
asked myself “who is this man who has signed a signed photo from Eva Peron?” That one I
treasure. Over the years, I would try and obtain some or any information regarding him and
then lay it aside for extended periods of time. Lately, I have found more time on my hands and
began in earnest to search and voila I stumbled across your wonderful web site. You will never
know what it has meant to me to be able to read in depth about a man who heretofore was an
enigma.... however wonderfully captivating! Some of the photos I have are 8 x 10 glossies and
others are sepia tones 11 x 9 ½. I will try and e-mail you a few to see how they come out and if
they are of interest to you. The idea of giving me credit for them is fine by me. Have a million
and one questions, most of which you have covered on the website, which is richly done with
obvious love and caring. Thank you for contacting me back and I don't want to be a pest but if
what I have lends itself to your website then I am so happy to have been of help.
Sincerely, Joan R. LaPlace
The legendary Jack Frye standing in front of his personal Lockheed Electra Jr. NC18137 also
known as a TWA "Flight Research Laboratory". Jack, often seen with a cigar, looks every bit
the confident corporate leader he truly was. You can see the left prop blade blocking his
shoulder. These two private (never circulated) Frye photos were captured at the Frye Ranch
airstrip near Sedona Arizona (at Cornville Road and 89A) where Jack had just landed, incoming
from TWA headquarters at Kansas City. His personal planes were often seen parked at the this
site which was also developed by Frye simultaneously as the "Verde Valley Airport".
Jack Frye posing aside his beloved private
Lockheed Electra Jr. 12A, executive plane
NC18137. Jack always looked sharp and when
in flight he wore a suit, not a TWA uniform.
Frye was the heart and soul of TWA. These
images were likely photographed by either
Helen Frye or one of Jack's co-pilots. Perhaps,
Robby Robinson (Page 1942), or Walt Gunn.
Most Sacred Private Utopia For Frye Was His Sedona Ranch
Powerhouse Jack Frye exhibits a subtle
presence in this photo. Even he never dreamed
that his image would appear in this format 60
years after the impromptu photo was snapped!
Visually, the photo appears to be taken beside
a roadway next to a vintage guard rail.
However, after blowing up the photo, I was
able to determine that Jack is actually
standing on a foot bridge. It is my conclusion
this may be the very footbridge that crossed
Oak Creek to the Frye Deer Lick Ranch. Who
snapped this photo? Likely it was Helen Frye
(Jack's wife). The most unusual thing about
the photo is quite startling, Jack is holding a
cane in his left hand. This brings to mind the
story from his property foreman at the Sedona
ranch relating that the only air accident Jack
ever had was with Howard Hughes. Is this
picture a clue? More likely, though, is the
story that Jack had been in a car accident
around this time frame, about 1942-44, but no
details are known.
Another "profile" aside almost surely captured
by Helen Frye. Photographed at Oak creek
which traverses Jack and Helen's Smoke Trail
Ranch near Sedona Arizona (now Red Rock
State Park). The highlight of ranch life was
swimming in this picturesque creek with the
backdrop of magnificent red rock monoliths.
Jack and Helen loved to swim at their
Washington D.C. estate and at their home in
Kansas City. Jack's wet hair is evidence he
had just taken a dip. Date of the photo is
mid-1940's, obvious is the fact, that this image
was from Jack's personal files never circulated.
Private Life and Sedona Ranch
Portrait of an Aviation Legend
Here is a wonderful photo of aviation legend
Frye standing in front of a 3-blade Hamilton
Standard Propeller. It would be nice to identify
the plane but this likely can't be done in the
scope of the shot. However, because of the
date, I am going to go with a DC-3. It would be
a mistake to go by the engine as there were a
variety of engines used on the TWA DC2 and
DC3's. Dressed impeccably, as always, this
man represented TWA (at the top) like no
other corporate head ever did! He is rightly
considered the "Father of TWA". But Jack
has said, that he feels he would more so like
to be a "grandfather" to his TWA family.
Perhaps, he feels this better encompasses his
relationship with the people who helped him
build TWA. Interestingly this photo was not
randomly captured but was once featured in a
full page TWA ad from 1939, titled the "Flying
President", the wording of this TWA ad
appears below. Jack Frye was the only airline
president of his day to hold a Transport Pilot's
License and often flew scheduled TWA flights.
Signed glossies from Jack's business contacts
and friends numbered in the dozens. I have
seen many through the years but the majority
have now fallen into private collections and are
not shared historically. Most are signed as
offered by friends, business associates, and
various notables like Howard Hughes, Eva
Peron, generals, and presidents. The portrait
(right) is an example, from Jack's close friend
and business partner Paul Ernest Richter, Jr.
This man was one of the original founders Aero
Corporation of California, Standard Air Lines,
and Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc. He
skillfully helped his friend Jack build a small
intra-state air service into a trans-world
airline. This was accomplished with the other
member of the group Walter A. Hamilton. The
picture is inscribed "To friend, Jack, Paul E.
Richter Jr." This particular photograph, Jack
would have treasured, and it hung in his
executive office and home.
Eva Peron.... A Saint? A Goddess? A Martyr?
Most Certainly-A Genuine Legend!
The photo (left) signed to Jack Frye was the
most precious of all the photos Joan found
that day in the bottom of that dusty old crate.
Even though she has since given the others to
Jack’s daughter (at my request) she decided
to keep this one because she thought it was so
special. However, recently, Joan became
deathly ill and while she was in the hospital
her family cleaned house for her and sent
packing many items they thought were of no
importance. When Joan returned home she
was devastated to discover that her treasured
photo of Eva Peron was missing. Meanwhile, I
came across the photo for sale on the
internet. I immediately called Joan to inquire
why she was selling it? After hearing her
heartbreaking story and that she didn't even
have a copy of it, I was able to cheer her by
e-mailing a scan of the image. So in closing,
Bless You, Joan, for saving these lost photos,
for your detective work in finding their
provenance, and for sharing them with the
world! You are an angel, for without your
efforts these historic images would most
assuredly ended up in a burn barrel!
Don't Cry For Me Argentina....
Mystery is- what does the inscription imply? At the very least, a special friendship between Eva
Peron and Jack Frye, anymore than that, we will never know....
Rumors are often based in fact. Within the legacy of Jack Frye there has been told a special
friendship with another legend named Eva Peron. I have not previously found evidence of this
association but I am aware of Jack's involvement with T.A.C.A., a South American air line. The
photo above slams this rumor into fact when we see Eva's smiling face as signed to Frye. It is
highly unlikely Jack Frye solicited signed photos from his peers, they were given to him in
regard to deep appreciation and affection of an association with him. Jack was still married to
Helen Frye when this photo was given to him. He and Helen lived at Sedona and New York City.
Jack's daughter told me this photo once hung in her childhood home.
These lost photographs from Jack Frye's personal collection are just a fraction of what was once
treasured by Jack Frye. These precious memories would have been lost forever if it not been
for the generosity of Joan LaPlace. This special lady cannot be thanked enough for her
thoughtfulness in sharing them with this Web Site, and later, with my encouragement Jack's
only daughter Nevajac Frye! I am deeply appreciative for Joan's thoughtfulness.
|"To Preserve- Protect- Document"
The Incredible Aviation Legacy & History Of Jack Frye
To Jack Frye-
From Paul E. Richter, Jr.
"Para Jack Frye con toda Simpatia- Eva Peron 14 II 1950" (Valentine's Day February 14, 1950)
Translation- "For Jack Frye with total Sympathy-"
One of two Santa Gertrudis bulls given to
Helen and Jack by Congressman Richard
(Dick) Kleberg of the King Ranch in Texas.
These bovines were kept at the Sedona ranch.
Formation of "Conquistadores del Cielo" was launched in 1937.
The years of 1938 and 1939 were memorable early cornerstone
gatherings of this illustrious group of aviation boosters
Conquistadores del Cielo (Conquerors of the Sky) was a private club for executives, founded in
1937, by Jack Frye (long-time president of Transcontinental & Western Air). Paul E. Richter
Jr., Senior Executive Vice President of TWA is widely considered the co-founder of the club.
Both men were also original founders of T.W.A., along with other parties. The national,
honorary, non-profit, society club was envisioned to provide a relaxed environment for the most
powerful men in the country to gather and exchange business ideas and camaraderie at a
retreat-like-setting. In the ensuing years the organization became one of the most secretive
and exclusive private corporate clubs in the world. Some of the earliest gatherings were held at
the Forked Lightning Ranch, the Valley Ranch, the Brush (Valley) Ranch, and the Vallejo
Ranch, all in New Mexico. Originally, the club was "aviation oriented".
The Beginning as Followed by Media Materials-
September 17, 1937
Jack Frye hosted a rodeo at the Forked Lightning Ranch (near Rowe, New Mexico) on
September 17, 1937 and had as his personal guests (by invitation only) some of the most
powerful influential business leaders of the United States (75 in all). The gathering was
deliberately geared toward a men’s retreat with fishing, riding, and hiking, as well as, campfire
entertainment and dinner gatherings. Helping with entertainment was Miss Olinda Rodriquez
of Santa Fe, who regaled the V.I.P.’s with her Spanish song and dance. Rodriquez served as
Santa Fe Fiesta Queen (1937-38). Later, known as Mrs. Rodriquez de Castner, Olinda was well-
known regionally for her colorful Flamenco dancing and singing. Complementing her
performances, were a 11-member Orquesta la Tipica (akin to Mariachi). Party coordinator was
J. Prentice Sanger (manager of the Forked Lightening).
June 12, 1938
The next event, as found in media material was on June 12, 1938 when Jack Frye and his party
of guests arrived at Albuquerque, N.M. in a small TWA transport (type unknown). Shortly after
they continued by air and car to the Vallejo Ranch air strip near Cimarron, N.M. for a weekend
get-a-way. Guests included, Jack’s then wife, Mrs. Jean Frye, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Richter, Mr.
Robert Six (president of Continental Air Lines), Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Smith (TWA Mountain
Division Superintendent), M. L. Boss (TWA Traffic Agent), and Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Elmer Oden
(Chairman of the City Commission of Albuquerque, Oden Buick Dealership).
August 25, 1938
Jack Frye announced that the first charter and annual meeting of the group would be near
Santa Fe, September 16, 17, 18, and would be called Fiesta de los Conquistadores del Cielo.
Attending new members from Amarillo who will be processed personally by N.M. Governor
Clyde K. Tingley and will be flying to the event are, Tom Cotten, Ross D. Rogers (Amarillo
Mayor), Ralph E. Wertz (Amarillo Gas, Amarillo Oil Company, West Texas Gas Company),
Paul F. Edquist (Dairy Products Association of Texas and The Borden Company), Dr. Willis H.
Flamm, Carl Hinton (Amarillo Chamber of Commerce), and Eugene A. Howe (newspaper
publisher to include Amarillo Globe). Please note- these are only preliminary members from
Amarillo, and represent just a fraction of nationwide associates.
October 23, 1939
Jack Frye and the Conquistadores Club was covered in Time Magazine in a lengthy article to
include operations of T. & W.A. This article can be readily found on the web. Significant to this
work is the mention that Frye was regularly seen in his private plane nationwide, a Northrop
Gamma, and that he regularly tested new equipment on those flights. Richter was mentioned as
being 43, and the youthful Frye as 35. This notation about Frye is ‘oft mentioned as he was
thought to be a remarkable business genius for his age and well respected by his peers!
September 16, 1939
Third annual meeting of the Conquistadores as sponsored by Jack Frye and Transcontinental
and Western Air, Inc., Vallejo, (Vallejo Ranch) New Mexico. Attending were, among many,
Jack Frye (president of TWA), Alford “Al” J. Williams (former Navy pilot and the country’s top
speed trick pilot and Gulf Oil’s aviation head), Aubrey Keif (president of Texaco Oil), Thomas
H. Beck (Cromwell Publishing Co.), Brice Smith (mayor Kansas City), Guy Vaughn (president
of Curtiss-Wright), John McLucas, (president of the Kansas City Commercial Trust Bank).
Typical dude ranch activities were enjoyed by all, to include Frye (a champion calf roper from
way back), along with western entertainment and hearty southwestern fare.
In regard to this narrative about glorious beginnings of Conquistadore del Cielo, I felt it was
only fair to mention Jack Frye's friend, John Walker. Materials donated to the Smithsonian
Institute by the Walker family reveal an interesting twist on the inception of the
Conquistadores. Please see below information from the Smithsonian in regard to the documents.
Smithsonian Institute, National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C.
Smithsonian Institute, National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C. John B. Walker,
(John Byrnes) 1898-1986, was at different points in his career, the founding Vice-President of
TWA, the Assistant to the President for United Airlines, and the President of Walker and
Crenshaw, Inc. Published works included two books, "War in the Air" and "How to Get into
Aviation". In addition to his professional positions, he was also a member of many associations
and clubs, particularly, aviation related, including an OX-5 Certified member of Aviation
Pioneers, and a founding member of the Wings Club. Significant to this collection was his
extensive involvement with the creation of "Conquistadores del Cielo" (Conquerors of the
Sky), of which he was a founding member, president, and chairman. The Conquistadores del
Cielo were first thought up by Walker and TWA President Jack Frye while on a weekend trip to
Forked Lightning Ranch in New Mexico. After inviting fellow aviation executives and
enthusiasts to share in a later weekend retreat, Walker and Frye developed the idea to begin a
"club" with the spirit of aviation as the centerpiece. The original retreat was held in 1937.
Conquistadores del Cielo was organized by the following year (1938) with a retreat at the Brush,
Valley, and Forked Lightning Ranches. (A hardcover history of Conquistadores del Cielo was
published in 1982, with Walker furnishing much of the background historical information).
An open letter as printed in the souvenir
booklet of the 1938 Conquistadores del Cielo
gathering published by Frye and TWA
From Jack Frye to his Conquistadore
Compadres (at the intro of the TWA published
"You were a congenial group- those three days
spent on the Forked Lightning ranch will live
long in all our memories. It was a pleasant
finale to efforts which made certain that your
city and community was provided with short,
fast airline service to San Francisco."
"Here we give you a lens record of those happy days in New Mexico. It’s all there- the amateur
and professional rodeo- the riding, fishing, hinting and fun-making. The camera caught all the
moods and fancies of the party.
Thumbing through these pages will bring back some enjoyable incident you had almost
forgotten. At least it did for me. May it do the same for you.
(At the closing of the booklet)
As I turn these pages and look at the pictures it is easy to close my eyes and re-live those days
and nights of the 1938 Fiesta.
One after another, pleasant memories pass through my mind…. our initiation at Brush
Ranch…. our party at Valley…. and the rodeo at Forked Lightning.
I hope that you, also, will enjoy reviewing these memories.
So, my friends, in the language we adopted along the Pecos Way-
'Hasta la Vista.'"
1939- Flying President Meet JACK FRYE--He's President of TWA
And like all TWA major operating officials, he's a pilot!
"Important to you is the fact that Jack Frye is the only executive head of a transcontinental
airline who is a licensed airline pilot. His record is 4,868 hours in the air. He has been
successively pilot, manager of operations, vice-president, and president. He has been in the
airline business since its infancy; contributed to its progression, helped it grow up. Every
operating policy that President Jack Frye administers today-- every company decision-- is based
on a long background covering 16 years of practical flying experience. Under his leadership,
TWA has played an important part in the development and success of this wonderful, modern
miracle-- airline transportation- which over a million people a year are using.
Much of the method and many improvements of modern airline flight, now standard practice on
all airlines, were originated and pioneered by TWA.
For Example: TWA wrote the original specifications for the giant Douglas planes
now used by most airlines. TWA pioneered in the application of modern weather analysis
methods to airline operation. TWA pioneered in the application of modern weather analysis
methods to airline operation. TWA developed the famous anti-rain-static "homing" radio
direction finder. TWA was the first to establish a system of Planned Flights by the Pilot.
De-icers, automatic pilots, airbrakes for reducing landing speeds-- all were first used by TWA.
And-- with an eye to the future-- TWA conducted the first experiments in "overweather" flying
at high altitudes. Like Jack Frye, every other major TWA operating official is a licensed
transport pilot. They are men who have made flying their business for years. All of these men
have flown hundreds of thousands of miles over TWA routes. Because of this background, the
entire TWA organization has developed a deep-rooted tradition-- an esprit de corps that's
reflected top to bottom... in pilot, mechanic, hostess, sales force. What This Means To You
When you board the luxurious "Sky Chief," or any of its companion TWA Sky Liners, you
know that your flight is controlled every minute, not merely by transportation men, but by
expert flyers. They are part of TWA's enviable tradition of long, dependable, and efficient
operation. Next trip, go TWA. We sincerely believe you'll agree with the many experienced air
travelers who prefer this "airline run by flyers."
For information or reservations-- call your travel agent or ANDover 2000
Photos From Friends
Conquistadores del Cielo
John B. Walker and Conquistadores del Cielo
September 14-18 1939
Jack Frye attends Conquistadores del Cielo
at Vallejo Ranch near Raton New Mexico.
This image shows the airline mogul in his
comfort zone, as a rancher enjoying the
western life of the great American
Southwest. Interestingly Jack and Helen
were dating at this time and soon to be
married by January 1941. Jack shows a
slimmed down appearance. (Source- TWA
Skyliner in-house employee newspaper).