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
Sedona Legend Profile Series
Aviator- Engineer- Executive-
Investor- Daniel Peterkin Jr.
President- Morton Salt Corporation
Investor- President of Howard Aircraft
Associate- Friend of Benny Howard
Ownership History- Jack Frye Executive Lockheed Lodestar
1942 Lockheed 18 C-56 Lodestar NC33604
Lockheed Lodestar 18 to U.S.A.A.F. (1942)
U.S.A.A.F. to Jack Frye of TWA as NC33604 (1944)
Trans World Airlines to Howard Hughes (1947)
Howard Hughes to Daniel Peterkin Jr. (1954)
Daniel Peterkin Jr. to American General Insurance (1963)
F.A.A. Ownership Documentation of the TWA Lodestar 18 NC33604
Lockheed Lodestar NC33604, serial number 2170. Manufacture date: May 4, 1942. Converted to
18-01/C-56D-LO for USAAF, as registration number 42-57224. Likely used as an officer
transport it was sent to Bolling Field, Washington D.C. on June 11, 1942. On June 25, 1942 to
MAD then back to Bolling on June 27, 1942. To Geiger AFB, Spokane, WA., July 16, 1942.
Memphis AFB, February 11, 1943. Gravely Point, WA., June 11, 1943. By July 29, 1943, the
Lodestar was in Washington D.C. (back at Bolling)? On December 27, 1944 the Lodestar was
transferred to (RFC) Reconstruction Finance Corporation and processed for civilian sale and
use. FAA registration now as NC-33604, transfer to Defense Plant Corporation, sold to
Transcontinental and Western Air to be used as Flight Research Laboratory and executive
transport. Assigned TWA Fleet Number #241. The Lodestar was not used for scheduled TWA
The plane was eventually sold in April of 1954 to Daniel Peterkin, Jr., (longtime president of
Morton Salt Corporation). Dan's father was a prior president. Peterkin was also president and
an investor in Howard Aircraft Corp., founded by his friend Benny Howard.
The Lodestar was sold to American General Insurance Corporation, June of 1963 (please see
Page 1963). Later transferred to Alex W. Head by February 1970. January 1974, it was
transferred to C. Norris Byran. By January of 1977, it was owned by the Cardway Corporation
and ended up with Bush Aviation Incorporated. It was sold to Warren Walder by June of 1977
and then sold to B. and H. Industries Incorporated on May 17, 1978.
Plane resided at Fort Lauderdale Florida from July 1976 to October 1977. In August 1982, the
plane was canceled from the FAA Civil Air Registration database. Tragically, many old and
neglected Lodestars were used by drug runners eventually ending up ditched in the Everglades,
Caribbean, Bermuda Triangle, or worse yet, South America.
Perfect example: A mystery Lockheed Lodestar 18 set down on a roadway and set on fire by
drug smugglers near Hastings Florida, on July 19, 1978, and abandoned. The registration
number was not verified. This Lodestar died a lonely anonymous death. Let's hope this plane is
not our famous V.I.P. executive airliner NC33604. This once proud transport with passengers
from Senators to Presidents seemingly has been lost forever and is assumed scrapped.
From the Lockheed expert Rene' J. Francillon
"Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913" we find references to the Lockheed Electra NC 18137 and the
Lockheed Lodestar NC-33604. Specifically, the author writes "In spite of having won the
competition, the Electra Jr. had limited success as a feeder-airliner, with only six of the ninety
Wasp Jr. SB powered Model 12-As (including the prototype) being acquired by US airlines, while
c/n 1236 went to Associated Airlines Pty in Australia. One of the six US-registered
feeder-liners, which as NC 18137, (c/n 1229), had been delivered in August 1937, to Varney Air
Transport, was later used briefly by TWA as a high-altitude and weather research aircraft until
replaced by a Lockheed 18. Two other model 12A's were acquired by British Airways but as
detailed later, this airline purchase was a front for the activities of Sidney Cotton."
(Please note- Varney Air Transport became Continental Airlines in 1937.)
Mr. Francillon continues to detail background information of the TWA 1942 Lockheed
Lodestar. "C-60-LO: Thirty-six Model 18-56's were impressed and powered by 1,200 hp Wright
R-1820-87s, were assigned serials 41-29633/41-29647, 42-32166/42-32180 and
42-108787/42-108792. Lend-lease transfers to the RAF as Lodestar Mk. II's accounted for the
first sixteen machines (EW983/EW997 and FK246) but fourteen additional aircraft, for which
serials FK247/FK260 were reserved, were retained by the USAAF, as were the last six
C-60-LO's. One aircraft, (c/n 18-2170, 42-108971) went to TWA, as NC33604, to serve as a
flight-research laboratory and executive transport." Please note: I have found another source
that shows the NC33604 was originally 42-108791. It is likely this particular source accidentally
reversed the numbers.
Lockheed Lodestar NC33604- After Frye Resigned From TWA
It is a mystery, even though TWA indicated a move to sell the NC33604 Frye Lodestar after
Jack's resignation in 1947, that the F.A.A. notates it was not re-registered to a new owner until
1954. Seemingly, though, the mystery may be solved. It is rumored that Howard Hughes either
bought or borrowed the plane from TWA. This may explain the "floating" registration for 8
years? Quote from the George Marrett book on Hughes, 'Aviator', "after Bell (TWA Captain
M. E. Bell) separated from the Navy in 1946, he took a job flying the Lockheed Lodestar for
Jack Frye, former President of TWA. When the plane was sold to Hughes, Bell said, 'I went
along with the plane'". Ed Bell was also a testimonial witness at the Hughes-Brewster Hearings.
This page addresses the history of NC33604 after it left TWA and Hughes Corp. hands and was
sold to pilot Daniel Peterkin, used as a Morton Salt corporate transport for nearly 10 years.
This page also touches on Peterkin's association with aviation and his life as a pilot.
I think it is accurate to say Daniel Peterkin was first and foremost a pilot and a promoter of
civilian aviation. From a young man he nurtured the desire to fly, build airplanes, and
cultivated bonds with some of the most gifted aviation engineers of our generation. This passion
was enhanced by Mr. Peterkin's illustrious and very successful career as President of Morton
Salt Corp., one of America's most well-known and prominent historical companies.
Daniel Peterkin Jr. joined Morton Salt Company in 1928, after graduating from Princeton
University. He became a director and vice president in 1937, and succeeded his father, Daniel
Peterkin, Sr., as president, in 1941. In 1965 Mr. Peterkin founded Morton International Inc.
and served as its president until 1969, after which, the company became Morton-Norwich
Products Inc. He resigned as chairman of the board and president of Morton-Norwich in 1972
but continued to serve as a director for four more years.
From Daniel's Daughter- Joy Peterkin Rasin
"Daniel Peterkin, Jr., from Chicago, Illinois, attended The Hill School and Princeton
University, Class of '28. While at Princeton, he became a pilot and commuted to college in a
Sopwith Camel, which he named "The Deuce of Spades," -the plane had a large rendering of a
playing card on its fuselage. On June 18, 1938, on a demonstration flight at Lake Geneva,
Wisconsin, due to a minor twist in the pontoon suffered on one of the takeoffs, (he had done
several flights prior) my Dad crashed on landing. He and his father were in the front and his
mother was in the back. Autopsy reports showed that she died of a heart attack since there was
no water in her lungs, but not knowing that, they thought she was simply unconscious. However
they had to make the decision to save themselves by exiting the plane that was now sinking and
thus letting in the water because they were unable to undo her seat belt and bring her with
"This did not deter my father from further flying however. He was an investor and President of
Howard Aircraft Company. Col. Walter Brownell, a test pilot for Howard, was to go forward to
become a corporate pilot for Morton Salt Company (he had one brown eye and one blue eye, and
was so nice!) My Dad's father, Daniel Peterkin, (my grandfather) came from Scotland as a
young man and secured a job in southern Illinois with a small salt company. That company sold
out to Morton Salt, in Chicago, (founded by Joy Morton) and my grandfather rode with the
filing cabinets to Chicago. He presented himself to Joy Morton, asking for employment. After
six months training as a secretary, Mr. Morton hired him as his Secretary/Assistant. When Joy
Morton died, Daniel Peterkin was elected President of Morton Salt. When my grandfather died,
Daniel Peterkin, Jr., (my father) was elected as President of Morton Salt."
Dan Peterkin's Father-In-Law and Joy's Maternal Grandfather-
Walden Shaw- Founder- Shaw Livery and Yellow Cab Company
"However, my grandfather, Mr. Shaw actually was better known for his role in the creation of
demand transportation, as the founder of Shaw Livery in Chicago which became so large that it
required a book keeper. Shaw Livery had a fleet of automobiles on the street in Chicago driven
by chauffeurs and each customer owned a key that opened the police call boxes. Once opened
the customer could call for a car at a specified location and received a monthly bill for these
services. The book keeper suggested that Shaw liveries were all black as were the other cars on
the street and therefore impossible to identify. He suggested a different color and yellow was
decided upon, resulting in the birth of the Yellow Cab Company. Shortly after that decision, Mr.
Shaw sold out to his book keeper, John D. Hertz, Sr., and the rest is history!"
Comment by Sedona Legend- It is interesting to note that it was the board room battle between
Jack Frye and John D. Hertz that opened the door for Howard Hughes to become a part of
TWA. Jack Frye, who always felt TWA's future was in advanced equipment, safety, and
expansion, locked horns with the Hertz/Lehman controlled board who felt such ideals were
financially impractical. Because of this standoff, Frye and Hughes formed a partnership which
enabled Frye and Vice-President Paul E. Richter, Jr. to start buying up a majority of TWA
stock. The end result- Hertz was out and Hughes control was in. Frye was then left unrestrained
to pursue his dream of making TWA the premier airline of the world.
Aircraft Images From Daniel Peterkin's Personal Files
The first and foremost image of this exhibit is the former Frye/Hughes TWA Lodestar NC33604
shown below during its new career as the personal executive plane of President Daniel Peterkin
of Morton Salt Corp. Flown by Peterkin and two Morton Salt corporate pilots.
Unfortunately, because the photos below were mounted for many years on a display placard,
this resulted in delamination of the photographic emulsion. This is most unfortunate, as some
of the images are quite significant historically. All in all, though, they are a nice window into
the life of aviation enthusiast Dan Peterkin Jr.!
Many of the photos are from Peterkin's association with Howard Aircraft. Dan and Benny
Howard shared a love of aviation and the passionate desire to develop aircraft for civilian use.
Howard Aircraft planes are still considered the pinnacle of civilian transports.
Peterkin family friend and pilot Col. Walter Brownell was at one time employed with Howard
Aircraft as a Chief Flight Engineer. He went on to serve as Chief Pilot for Morton Salt, flying
the former TWA Lodestar for Peterkin and other executives. At the end of his career, this
talented pilot was flying a Morton Corporate Lockheed JetStar.
According to F.A.A. records
Peterkin purchased this NC33604
Lodestar in 1954. Peterkin had the
plane registered to himself,
although it was widely considered a
"corporate plane". The photo (left)
shows no identification except that
it is obviously a "Lodestar". This
appears to be the former TWA
Lodestar but I am unable to
identify it positively. The aircraft
shows a pre-LearStar 18
conversion as seen in the images
below with altered paint pattern.
Former TWA Lodestar
From Morton Chemical Retired Executive- Murray Elder
to Paraphrase (in part)
".... Dan was the principal operating head at Morton Chicago. His operating methods were
always of the highest ethical standard. Mr. Perterkin Jr. was a tall quiet, soft spoken man, who
surrounded himself with talented people.... He built the company slowly- Morton Chemical,
Morton Thiokol, Canadian Salt, and many others with subsidiaries in countries through out the
world.... The company did operate a Lockheed (Lodestar), it was fast, (Win - Montreal in about
1.5 hrs.) which delivered Chicago management to meetings in Windsor, Montreal, etc. It
operated out of O'Hare and the company employed two pilots."
Peterkin Upgraded Lodestar for Speed and Luxury
According to Herb Garrett, Chief Pilot for American General Insurance (the company that
acquired the Lodestar after Daniel Peterkin sold it in 1963), to paraphrase, “the Lodestar was
modified, prior, to A.G.I. purchase, and was quite fast. This was attributed to the Pratt and
Whitney, 1830-94 twin power plants, (1350 hp), a Dallas-Aero Kit, (modified wings to squared
wing tips and fillets- modification of the wings to fuselage). This is why the plane handled
remarkably, even to the disadvantage of one power plant operating. The aircrafts nose was
modified making it pointed and narrow with Bendix Aircraft Radar (rare for the time period)
installed in the center. This installation necessitated moving the landing light to a lower
position, as seen in the photos. (It must be noted that Howard Hughes developed early aircraft
radar. Is he responsible for this addition?) The plane's interior was outfitted for "1st Class"
executive service, with a long couch that seated 4 up front, and two adjoining lounge seats.
Behind this there were 4 more lounge chairs and the blue room (restroom) in the very back
with a small oval window. The plane did not have air-stairs, but rather instead, a porter's step.
There was a small room with door between the cabin and the cockpit thought to be a navigator's
station with table and seat. A hot plate in this area enabled food to be warmed up in flight.”
Photos of the Upgraded Lockheed Lodestar NC33604 from 1962
Lodestar pilot Herb Garrett generously provided me with 8 by 10 photos of the famous
Lockheed Lodestar N33604 from 1962. This was one year before Dan Peterkin sold the plane to
Gus Wortham of American General Insurance. The images show the plane in remarkable
clarity and in its final state before Peterkin of Morton Salt sold it. I have seen references,
although difficult to verify, that Dan Peterkin was involved with Bill Lear and the development
of the LearStar L-18 conversions. Peterkin invested capitol as well as his Lodestar pilot
knowledge and obviously his own plane for upgrade modifications. The images below are some
the best vintage (former TWA) Lockheed Lodestar photos available on line in the world.
In these stunning and clear interior shots, one can clearly imagine TWA president Jack Frye,
his wife Helen Vanderbilt Frye, and their many V.I.P. guests, navigating a flight path in the
1940's coast-to-coast (almost on a bi-weekly basis). This is also the very same plane Harriet
Appelwick hosted for Frye and Howard Hughes. Not to mention, Frye guest Baroness Garnett
Stackelberg, who was a passenger from Washington to Los Angeles, (1946). The images (left)
"Instrument Panel." The image (right) "Looking forward toward Flight Attendant Station and
Cockpit beyond." Morton Salt Chief Pilot, for Peterkin and executives, was W. T. Brownell, also
known as "Doc". This because he was a real 'doctor' of aircraft! For additional information on
the Jack Frye Lockheed Lodestar TWA ownership, please see Page 1945.
The Morton Salt Corporation (former Frye TWA Lodestar) shows stunningly in these photos.
The photos display the N33604 in a modified state from its original TWA appearance. Thought
to be a Learstar (Learcraft) conversion the tell-tale alterations are clearly obvious in these
images. From the extended nose, to the altered nose landing light, this Lodestar is no longer a
factory expression. Power plants have been upgraded to Pratt and Whitney R-1830-94's 1350hp
engines making it very fast. Notations on the photos are from American General Insurance
Chief Pilot Herb Garrett as shown in quotes here and below-
"Location is NAYAK Aviation, San Antonio, Texas." Photos by Joe V. Moldonado
Above (left) "Looking aft toward cloak closet on the left, toilet door on the right." Image
(right) "Facing aft- bar on left and coffee bar on the right." Note: if this plane was a joint
venture between Peterkin and William P. Lear to create a Learstar luxury executive transport,
the interior photos certainly are evidence of this.
Jack Frye Lodestar as seen in the 1940's.
From Sopwith Camel to Lockheed JetStar
The Progression of an Executive Aviator- Daniel Peterkin Jr.
Shown (above) is a
Curtiss Flying Boat from
1921 with Morton Salt
logo, "When It Rains It
Pours". The pilots are
Morton Salt Logo
Both planes (above) are Travel Airs, (right) possibly a 1926 Travel Air 4000.
De Havilland DH 60GM NC962H (Gipsy Moth) re-registered as N546QS at one time (left).
U.S. Production- C/N 259046. Laird- (right) -possibly 1931 Commercial LC B200.
Aircraft Associated with Daniel Peterkin Jr. and Morton Salt Corp.
"My father was a pilot, as was my maternal grandfather (Walden W. Shaw), and my Dad's
sister. My older sister, Ann Snyder, owned and operated the Doylestown, Pennsylvania airport,
for about seven years in the 1970's. She was a Beech Dealer and flew in the Powder Puff several
times." -Joy Peterkin Rasin
Stinson Reliant NC13456 with Dwight Morrow
and Dan Peterkin Jr. (1933). Same to (right).
Seen (above) pilot Daniel Peterkin with
his Stinson Reliant NC13456. (1933)
Howard Aircraft Builds Planes For The War
Howard Aircraft Company, DGA-8,
4-passenger cabin plane, Wright Whirlwind
320 H.P., NC14871 (1936)
This appears to be a factory photo.
"My Dad was a partner with Benny Howard,
and they, together, owned Howard Aircraft
Company, which came up with the first
ambulance planes for the Navy. They never
went into mass production because of the
fortunate end of WWII."
President of Howard Aircraft Corporation, Chicago, was Morton Salt C.E.O., Daniel Peterkin,
Jr., (second from left in dark suit). Howard Aircraft Executive Vice-President and General
Manager, Roy A. Watkins is far right. Plane shown is Navy Trainer DGA18 (1943).
Howard Navy Trainer (left) USN 249233 DGA 18 July 12, 1943. (Left) USN 249233, DGA 18
Howard- Navy Trainer, (this image is likely the same plane as seen above). September 2, 1943.
(Left) USN Howard Aircraft DGA 18 Navy Trainer 249233 and Howard NH1 (1943).
(Right) Navy- Howard GH-2 Nightingale, August 30, 1943.
Likely a rare photograph- more than 40 Howard Aircraft Navy planes lined up at an unknown
Naval Base. Photo taken April 14, 1943.
St. Charles Factory (1943) both images courtesy of Hedrich-Blessing Studio and the Peterkin
family. (Right) notice a "Rosie Riveter" hanging out of the plane. Click for larger file.
Vice-Pres. Howard Aircraft, Roy A. Watkins, and (Ray) in front of Navy NH1 (CBD) 29458.
Caption reads: "Dan (Peterkin)- This is the 'Can't Be Done' 25th ship. 7/31/43. Roy & Ray"
Morton Salt Corporate Transports and Aircraft Considered for Use
Stunningly beautiful machine (above) is the Peterkin Douglas B-23 conversion (private
executive plane for Morton Salt Corporation). Registered to Daniel Peterkin, Jr.
1940 Douglas B-23 Dragon, former U.S.A.A.F., Reg. 39-0028, NC54584 C/N 2714,
Wright Engines, R-2600-20. Later registered as N100P, and N58091.
Douglas B-23 Dragon- a pretty significant plane. Research shows it as NX54584, and later,
NC54584, as seen on the wing in the image above. Registered to Daniel Peterkin, Jr. from
roughly 1946 to 1947. The image shows the plane either loading or unloading, with what looks
like a '47 Lincoln convertible, parked aside. Although the landing strip certainly looks like salt
flats where a Morton Salt Corporation plane possibly would land, I think it is but the illusion of
a deteriorated image. Man in dark suit next to plane is likely Dan Peterkin. Re-registered to
National Distillers Products, N.Y., in 1954, interestingly, this is the same year the F.A.A. shows
Peterkin registered the former TWA Lodestar (NC33604).
The B-23's were produced by Douglas Aircraft Corporation for World War II, but not utilized,
so subsequently they were sold and converted to corporate private planes and sold to the
general public. One such rather famous plane (NC49548) was utilized by Howard Hughes in the
mid-1940's. He flew it many times from the production of the H-4 Hercules Flying Boat in
California to the Brewster-Senate Hearings in Washington D.C. (discussed on Page 1945). TWA
renovated a similar ship from wartime to civilian use under Jack Frye's presidency. This was
the Boeing B-17 TWA NX4600, later as NL1B, used exclusively overseas, executive transport.
First Twin Cessna T50 Bobcat, radial engines,
factory photo (1940).
Beech 18 AT-7 Navigator, NC4455R. May 1946, Jay McCord, Jack Clay, Bill Ryan. Research has
shown that in 1952 Peterkin also owned a Lockheed PV1 (Ventura?) Brownell was the pilot.
(Right) likely Morton Salt Corporate Jet (1961). Lockheed JetStar 6 JT12/L-1329? N9210R
C/N 5016. Later re-registered as 2222R. The men above (left) in unmarked photo can be
identified as a image of two Morton Salt Corporate jets with what looks like an executive and a
pilot standing in front. The larger plane has been hard to identify the registration number is
unclear, perhaps akin to (N52QR)? The smaller jet, most certainly a late 1960's Learjet 24
Business Jet, is equally hard to identify. Both have the typical auxiliary fuel tanks for long
(Left) Morton Corporate jets? Likely late
1960's. Smaller plane is identified as a Lear jet
24. Location is Learjet Operation's Center.
1964 Potez 840, registration F-WJSH, country of origin- France, 18 passenger turboprop (promo
image). "....my father was either interested in a Potez purchase or investment in the company"
-this per Dan's daughter Joy Peterkin.
Howard Aircraft Corporation (Head Office and PT Division)
St. Charles Municipal Airport, St. Charles, Illinois
DGA Division, 5301 West Sixty Fifth Street, Chicago, Illinois
President- Daniel Peterkin Jr.
Executive Vice-President and General Manager- Roy A. Watkins
(Source) "Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft" 1945)
Sedona Legend would like to graciously thank Joy Peterkin Rasin for
her materials and editorials without which this priceless historical
presentation would have never been possible!
Walden Shaw was a pilot who regularly flew cross-country from his California estate at
Pasadena to Chicago. Walden is shown above with his son-in-law's (Dan Peterkin, Jr.) Stinson
Reliant NC13456 (also shown below). One of Walden's personal planes from (October 1936 to
June 1936) was a Howard Air DGA-8, NC14873. Please note a similar sister ship (NC14871)
following the Stinson photos below. Walden Shaw was the first owner of 1936 Howard DGA-8
(NC14873) which is currently owned by Les and Sparky Barnes Sargent and is under
restoration. NC14873 was featured on the cover of Popular Aviation Magazine (March 1936) and
was later owned by Pure Oil. The Sargents are seeking historical photos, records of use by
owners/operators, or even leads for information. If you can help in any way please contact:
Sparky and Les by clicking on this link.
Howard Air DGA-8