Thank You For Visiting Sedona Legend-
The Jack And Helen Frye Story!
1960
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
Jack Frye-
Jack Frye's Career-
Appointments & Accolades
Burdett-Frye Airport School of Aviation
(Partner-Owner-President 1923-1930)

W-F-W Aircraft Corporation (Whittier-Frye-Woolsey)
Thunderbird Aircraft Corporation (1926)
(Founders) N. Paul Whittier, Jack Frye, Theodore 'Ted' A. Woolsey

Aero Corporation of California (President 1926-1930)
Founding Members:
Jack Frye, Paul E. Richter Jr., Walter A. Hamilton   

Standard Air Lines, Inc. (President 1926-1930)
Founding Members:
Jack Frye, Paul E. Richter Jr., Walter A. Hamilton

Western Air Express, Inc. (Vice President of Operations- 1930)

Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc.
T. & W. A. - T.W.A. - Trans World Airline - Trans World Airlines  
Founding Members:
Jack Frye, Paul E. Richter Jr., Walter A. Hamilton  
(Director, General Manager, Vice President Operations- 1930-1934
President- 1934-1947)

General Aniline & Film Corporation (GAF)
General Dyestuffs Corporation (Ansco)
(President, C.E.O. 1947-1955)

Frye Corporation
(President, C.E.O. 1954-1959)
Biographical Press Release- Summer 1947
The following is a biographical press release from the Frye Ranch at Sedona- summer of '47.
Jack Frye- one of the original founders and long-time president of Trans World Airlines
Residence- Smoke Trail Ranch, Sedona, Arizona. Married: Helen Varner Vanderbilt
A leader in the development of high-altitude, all weather flying equipment, Frye engaged in
more than a year of research in the substratosphere to gather data for a plane that could fly
above rough weather. The information was used in the design of the first commercial transport
featuring a pressurized cabin. This was the Boeing "Stratoliner" introduced by TWA
commercially in 1940.

Before the "Stratoliners" were even in the air, Frye, together with Howard Hughes, was at
work on plans for a high-speed, high-capacity express transport to cruise above 20,000 feet.
Completed five years later, the famed "Constellation" set a new pattern for air transportation
by inaugurating 300 mile per hour over-weather service from coast to coast and across the
Atlantic.

In less than 20 years, Frye's air pioneering had cut transcontinental flying time from a
48-journey to a jaunt of less than 10 hours. In the same time, he had built TWA into a
70,000,000 company employing 17,000 people. Jack Frye is a pioneer in air transportation who
started with one-plane 500-mile air route in the southwest and built a 26,000-mile air network.

Trans World Airlines, of which he was president, also acquired under his direction interests in
airlines in Mexico and Central America, Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil, Hawaii, Italy, Iran,
Greece and the Philippine Islands, as well as, operating contracts with lines in Ethiopia and
Saudi Arabia.

Many operating methods and techniques introduced by Frye at TWA are now standard practices
on the world's principle airlines.

When Frye became operating vice-president of Transcontinental and Western Air in 1930, the
company boasted a combined rail and air service which took 48 hours to move passengers from
coast to coast. Realizing that the way to develop air transportation was through more reliable,
more comfortable and safer equipment, Frye worked with Donald Douglas to develop the first of
the famous Douglas DC-series planes. TWA became the first airline to use these in commercial
service and cut transcontinental flying time to 16 hours. This was in 1934, the same year Frye
became president of TWA. Envisioning the possibilities in intercontinental flying, Frye was one
of the principle figures among the domestic airlines who defeated an attempt to place
trans-ocean air travel under monopoly control. In July 1945, TWA was certificated to fly the
North Atlantic to Europe, Africa and Asia over routes of great commercial and strategic
importance to the United States and to the countries served. Later, the Civil Aeronautics Board
extended these routes to Calcutta and Shanghai to form, through connections with Northwest
Airlines at Shanghai, an integrated 'round the world air service, the first in history. By this
time, Frye was active on five continents and his company had earned the right to change its
name to Trans World Airlines. Frye (6 foot 2 with dark brown eyes), who is now 43, was raised
in Texas and now resides in Sedona, Arizona where he operates a cattle ranch.

During the time he was head of TWA, Frye was active as a pilot, licensed to fly all types of
equipment. He has set three transcontinental speed records for transports, the most recent in
1946, testing equipment he had helped TWA to develop.

Frye is a director of the Maryland Casualty Company, The World Trade Foundation, the
China-America Counsel, and TACA Airlines. He is a member of the transportation and
communication committees United States and International Chambers of Commerce, and a
fellow of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences. His clubs include the California Club, Cloud
Club, Wings Club, Family Club of San Francisco, Kansas City Club, and the Army and Navy
Club of Washington. In 1946, Frye was awarded the Medal of Merit by the War Department for
performing air transport of vital importance during the war. He was also decorated by the
present Italian government for assistance in setting up air service to replace the war shattered
air transportation system of that country.
William "Jack" Frye- Entrepreneur-Record Setter (NAHF) -National Aviation Hall of Fame  

Harvard Business Schools
Great American Business Leaders of the Twentieth Century, Jack Frye   

Omni-Plex Science Museum
Oklahoma Aviation and Space, Hall of Fame, Jack Frye  

OX-5 Aviation Hall of Fame  

Inducted into the San Diego Air and Space Museum,
The International Aerospace Hall of Fame (fall of 2006)
Honors
Frye Air Records (Speed & Others)
February 19, 1934- Los Angeles to New York with Air Mail, 13 hours 2 minutes
Douglas DC-1 transport (X-223Y).  

May 13, 1934- Los Angeles to Newark with Air Mail, 11 hours, 31 minutes
Northrop Gamma 2-D (NC-13757).  

February 18, 1936- Chicago to Washington D.C., 2 hours 22 minutes
Northrop Gamma 2-D (NC-13758).  

April 17, 1944- Los Angeles to Washington D.C., 6 hours, 58 minutes
Lockheed Constellation (310310) with Howard Hughes.  

February 3, 1946- Los Angeles (Burbank) to New York, 7 hours 27 minutes, 48 seconds
Lockheed Constellation (NC-86511). Also- Passenger Record, "Largest number of passengers
carried on a single flight" @ 45 passengers, 7 crew members. Event broke the previous TWA
Stratoliner Record of July 8-9, 1940.

Aircraft Yearbook 1953 (Aviation Records)
Chicago Ill., to Washington D.C. (Transport Aircraft) February 18, 1936, Award Holder
Jack Frye, TWA, Northrop Gamma 2-D Monoplane, NR-13758, Wright Cyclone, 710 H.P.
engine, from Chicago Municipal Airport to Washington-Hoover Airport, S. Washington,
February 18, 1936. Elapsed Time, 2 hr. 22 min., distance 599 miles, average speed, 253.098
m.p.h., Aeronautic Association award to Mr. and Mrs. Frye.
Incomplete List- Please See Page 1925 "Jack Frye Records"
Jack Frye: Altitude Records
Incomplete List
Commercial Plane Altitude Record- 3rd Place- Thunderbird- (Exceeded 12000 feet)- 11-7-1926

Commercial Aircraft Altitude Record per NAHF @ 22,680 feet, September 1929 (may be
somehow connected to the September 15th event, as seen below).

Stock (commercial) Plane Altitude Record @ 23,200 feet, September 15, 1929 (shared with Paul
Richter) payload 2200 pounds. Standard Air Lines released 23,800 at one point.

Unfortunately on October 8th, 1929 (L.A. Times) the record was denied by the N.A.A. and the
Bureau of Standards, Washington D.C. (where the ship's barograph was sent for analyzing).
The actual altitude achieved by the Standard ship was found to be just 19,593. This was 1227
feet short of the 20,800 foot record set by Waldo D. Waterman (manager of the Los Angeles
Metropolitan Airport, Van Nuys), July 26, 1926, in a Bach Air Yacht. The Waterman record was
restored. The Frye/Richter flight was made in a regularly scheduled Standard Air Lines
passenger plane. The next morning at 9:00 a.m. the plane left Los Angeles for Phoenix with
passengers on a regularly scheduled run. (Fokker F-10A "Arizonan" registration NC581K).
Jack Frye: General Air Show Feats
"Jack Frye, entry in 'Dead Stick Landing'
competition." Event Date: May 30, 1925
Long Beach Airport (Daugherty Field) CA.
First Prize: Sterling Silver Trophy
Please see the actual trophy from 1925
displayed aside. (Trophy now on display at the
San Diego Air and Space Museum). Trophy
reads:"FIRST PRIZE, DEAD STICK
LANDING, WON BY JACK FRYE." Plane
likely an Alexander Eaglerock OX-5, long-wing
biplane. Frye was a foremost expert and often
winner of dead stick landing exhibitions. Frye
aviation records explored indepth on Page 1925.
One example of many similar feats achieved in
the 1920's by Jack Frye is described below.
The Frye trophy collection from Jack's career
was in the dozens. They were kept at the Frye
ranch at Sedona for many years, then shipped
to New York City. Incidentally, Frye also was
an avid collector and builder of model
airplanes. After his death, his former wife,
Helen Frye made inquiries as to how to
preserve and house this collection which was at
that time stored at ranch. It is not known
where this collection is today. All the trophies
were eventually lost after Jack Frye's death in
estate tangles and theft. Many of the trophies
are considered "hot" with dubious provenance.
Jack Frye: Registered United States Patents
The following is a partial list of United States Patents for Jack Frye, and one for his wife Helen
Varner Frye. Please note that Jack had additional patents from earlier dates which are not
reflected in the databases readily available. These patents will be added as time allows. Jack also
had patents processed in regard to his Frye Aircraft Company. In review of the following partial
list one realizes what a remarkable and intelligent man Jack Frye truly was! With barely a high
school education his patents reflect the mind of a genius and a true entrepreneur. Widely
unknown to many in the airline industry, Jack Frye's scientific mind and patents furthered the
success of TWA greatly. Most noteworthy is his research on static discharge and in-flight meals,
the latter, his wife Helen Frye helped pioneer for TWA's in-flight meal service.
Heat Sealing Device
Jack Frye, Smoke Trail Ranch, Sedona Ariz.
Patent Number 2,598,900
Application November 24, 1947, Serial No. 787,803
Patented June 3, 1952  

Heat Sealing Tool
Jack Frye, Smoke Trail Ranch, Sedona, Ariz.
Patent Number 2,615,113
Application November 24, 1947, Serial No. 787,801
Patented October 21, 1952  

Sealing Device For Plastic Sheeting Material
Jack Frye, Smoke Trail Ranch, Sedona Ariz.
Patent Number 2,629,809
Application November 24, 1947, Serial No. 787,802
Patented February 24, 1953  

System For Eliminating Static Interference
(based on Jack's extensive anti-static aircraft research)
Jack Frye, Smoke Trail Ranch, Sedona Ariz.
Patent Number 2,601,510
Application February 6, 1948, Serial No. 6,755
Patented June 24, 1954  

Stationary Power Plant Having Radially and Axially Displaced Jet Engines
Jack Frye, Smoke Trail Ranch, Sedona Ariz.
Patent Number 2,628,473
Application May 3, 1948, Serial No. 24,887
Patented February 17, 1953  

Bilge Water Ejector For Outboard Motorboats
Jack Frye, Smoke Trail Ranch, Sedona Ariz.
Patent Number 2,604,867
Application June 23, 1948, Serial No. 34,753
Patented July 29, 1952  

Convertible Furniture Base
Helen Varner Frye, Smoke Trail Ranch, Sedona, Ariz.
Patent Number 2,635,023
Application August 18, 1948, Serial No. 44,892
Patented April 14, 1953  

Roll Film Camera (film cartridge camera)
Jack Frye, Smoke Trail Ranch, Sedona, Ariz.
Patent Number 2,591,417
Application March 8, 1950, Serial No. 148,478
Patented April 1, 1952  

Control For Magnetic Fluid Transmission Drive To Vehicle Wheels
Jack Frye, Smoke Trail Ranch, Sedona Ariz.
Patent Number 2,695,675
Application March 8, 1950, Serial No. 148,477
Patented November 30, 1954  

Heat Sealing and Cutting Device
Jack Frye, Nevajac Ranch, Crystal River, Fla.
Patent Number 2,759,090
Application October 20, 1952, Serial No. 315,704
Patented August 14, 1956  

Note: A "Heat Sealing Device?" This was designed to enhance Transcontinental & Western
Air's In-Flight Meals. Jack Frye was instrumental in the development of many wondrous TWA
innovations during his tenure. To see the heat-sealing device used by TWA meal preparatory
chefs, please see the TWA Promo Film as listed below:  

1947- TWA Constellation passenger flight: Los Angeles-Kansas City-New York. This TWA
Promo film (copyright free & public domain) is called: "Letter From An Airline Pilot." The
movie starts as the pilot writes the passenger and explains the background details of an average
Transcontinental & Western Air flight. Please search YouTube for viewing.  

Frye Patent Attorney: Donald F. McCarthy

What happened to all these patents?
These patents were maintained until Jack Frye's death after which his widow, Nevada Frye
eventually sold some of them before her death in the late 1970's. Please note that there are
many missing patents on this list, these being the patents from the 20's, 30's, and 40's. One
glaringly, missing, is Jack's 1925 invention of an automatic airplane car wash (see Page 1925)
and others like plane design elements. The patent for the "convertible furniture base" was in
conjunction with the building of the Frye- House of Apache Fires at the Sedona Frye Ranch.
'Who's Who America' Showcase: Jack Frye
This famous "annual" has chronicled the lives
and careers of America's most noteworthy
citizens since 1899. Jack Frye was listed at
least 5 times (likely more). I have only viewed
the 5. Below is transcribed the info I have
viewed. I have combined all entries into one.
Frye, Jack
Aviation Executive; married Helen Varner Vanderbilt, Jan. 1, 1941.
Married Nevada Smith, July 21, 1950; 1 dau., Lili Nevajac.

Partner Burdett Flying School, 1923-24; pres. Aero Corp. of Calif., 1926-30; president Standard
Air Lines, 1928-29; vice-pres. in charge of operations Western Air Express Corp., 1930; vice
pres. operations Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc., Kansas City, Mo., 1930-34, pres. and
dir. 1934-1947, chmn. exec. com. since May 1939; chmn. bd. Gen. Aniline & Film Corp.,
General Dyestuffs Corp., April 47-55, pres. chmn. bd. The Frye Corp., 1955-59.     

Fellow Inst. Aero Sciences; dir. Maryland Casualty Co., mem. advisory committee The Institute
Aeronautical Sciences; director The Air Transport Assn. of America; mem. Nat. Aeronautic
Assn., Lieut. Commander U.S. Naval Reserve. Decorated Medal for Merit; Grand Officer Crown
of Italy.

Clubs; Family (San Francisco); California, (Los Angeles); Kansas City Club, (Kansas City);
Traffic, (Chicago); Cloud, Wings, (New York); Army and Navy, (Washington D.C.)

Home: Smoke Trail Ranch, Sedona, Ariz., Arlington, VA., New York, N.Y., Crystal River, Fla.
Office: 101 W. 11th St. Kansas City, Mo., and the Airlines Terminal Bldg., New York, N.Y.,
230 Park Av., New York, N.Y., 617 Texas St., Ft Worth, TX.

Jack Frye was also listed for many years in the International Motion Picture Almanac.
This was due to his involvement with the film industry through Aniline Film Corporation.
Who's Who In World Aviation-1955
Frye, Jack (b) Sweetwater, Okla., Mar. 18, 1904; (m) Emily Nevada Smith; children, Lili Nevajac.
Edu.: public schools. Business record: partner, Burdett Flying Sch., Los Angeles, 1923-24; pres.,
Aero Corp. of Calif., 1926-30; pres., Standard Air Lines Div. of Aero., 1927-30; v.p.-ops.,
Western Air Express; v.p.-ops., dir., Transcontinental & Western Air., TWA, 1934-47; present
position since 1947; transport pilot license NO. 933; altitude record, 22,680 ft. in three-engined
Fokker, 1929; transcon. speed record, 13 hrs. 2 min. in DC-1, 1934; transcon. speed record, 11
hrs. 30 min., Northrop Gamma, 1934; Burbank-Washington in Constellation, 6 hrs. 57 min.,
1944; Los Angeles-New York, Constellation, 7 hrs. 28 min., 1946; dir., General Aniline and Film
Corp., Electronatom Corp., Maryland Casualty Co., resigned as pres., General Aniline and Film
Corp., April, 1955. Military Record: U.S. Army Engrs., 1921-22; U.S.N.R. as Lt. 1934; resigned
Lt. comdr. 1952. Awards: Fellow, IAS; Medal for Merit; Grand Officer of Crown of Italy.
Member: Quiet Birdmen; Conquistadores del Cielo; Wings Club; Army and Navy Club;
California Club; Cloud Club; Sleepy Hollow Country Club. Home: Crystal River, Fla.
This honor was the result of a public celebration in 1927 at which Frye was bestowed with the
"First" State Air Pilot's License ever issued for the State of Arizona (by the Arizona Corporate
Commission). This license was the
very first ever issued by an individual State (of the United
States of America). Shortly thereafter airline president Frye was issued an additional second
“First” Arizona license, a (Commercial Transport License) as issued by the Arizona Corporate
Commission. Technically this license was called a “Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for
the Operation of Scheduled Air Transportation in the State of Arizona”. Both these licenses
were stamped with “Number 1". This honor was bestowed on Jack Frye because he personally
developed the state’s first passenger service air line (from Los Angeles to Tucson) and flew the
first commercial flight of passengers into Arizona from California (see last article on this page).
This was just one leg of his eventual establishment of the first U.S. Trans-Continental service.

Jack held a variety of additional licenses to include an aircraft mechanic's license and a radio-
telephone operator’s license. The latter because all his private planes from the late 1920’s had
radio-phones installed in them, a rarity for the day. In September-October 1932 he completed
testing and received his S.A.T.R. license. Additionally, it has been noted he held an airframe
license too.
The Greater Arizona News- Yavapai County Edition
July 1946  
This article ran with a photo of Jack Frye under which was stated: "Member of the Advisory
Board: Jack Frye" Jack Frye member of the Advisory Board, Yavapai County, lives on a large
ranch in the Verde Valley, his address Sedona Arizona. Mr. Frye, President of Trans World
Airline (TWA) is a native of Oklahoma, coming to Arizona in 1940. His business address is
Washington D.C. Mr. Frye is a member of the following clubs and organizations:
Army and Navy Club
California Club
Cloud Club
Family Club
Kansas City Club
Propeller Club
Wings Club
Academy of Political Sciences
Conquistadores del Cielo (founder)
Institute of Aeronautical Sciences
Society of Automobile Engineers
In addition: Jack Frye was also an Honorary Member of Alpha Eta Rho, (An International
Professional Collegiate Aviation Fraternity) Founded in 1929.

Besides his numerous activities in the Aviation field. Mr. Frye has time for his special hobbies:
photography, swimming, and fishing. He served as Lt. Commander A-V (S) USNR during World
War II. One of the biggest boosters for Yavapai County, he spends much time in eulogizing
the beauties of Verde Valley and the state of his adoption- Arizona.
Medal for Merit (Highest Civilian Honor) U.S.
By order of the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman.
Awarded to Jack Frye, accompanied by his wife, Helen Frye, at the White House
December 22, 1946. For performing air transport service of vital importance
during World War II. Please see Page 1946.
Essence Of
Early TWA
Pacific Aviation Club of California
Jack Frye Member Executive Committee
P.A.C. Magazine January 1940

In reviewing the sins and successes of The Pacific Aviation Club Executive Committee
members, the biography of Jack Frye reads like a Dick Merriwell novel. As President of
Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc., he has two paradoxical distinctions in the air transport
line from a standpoint of years-- and the oldest from a standpoint of flying experiences. Today,
as a respected member of prominent clubs from coast to coast, and serving as a director of the
Air Transport Association, the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, National Safety Council,
Private Flyers Association, etc., it is difficult to realize that seventeen years ago, he enjoyed the
distinction of being a first class dishwasher in a Los Angeles restaurant.

This transition was not brought about without trials and tribulations. Jack first saw the light of
day in Oklahoma, although he claims the Lone Star State, where men are men, as his home. In
accordance with custom, his grandparents, who owned a sizeable ranch, gave him a heifer calf
when he was born, and a horse as soon as he was old enough to ride. By the time he was seven
years old, the "JF" brand adorned live head of cattle, so he had an early start in entering
business.

It was while attending Clarendon High School that he first caught pneumonia from spending a
rainy day watching an airplane. At sixteen he entered the Army Engineering Corps, went to El
Paso, and within a year saw service at Camp Dodge, Iowa, and Camp Lewis, Washington.
Shortly after returning to the ranch, he decided to leave Texas before they elected a woman
governor. So he and his brother, Don, headed for California with two other boys in an old Ford.
It was shortly after that the dishwasher career came into Jack's life. It was followed by a job
selling newspapers, then a soda jerker in a corner drug store. He must have had a racket on the
side somewhere because he saved up a sufficient fortune to take seven and a half hours of
instruction from Burdett Fuller at twenty dollars an hour before acquiring solo status. Jack
made a deal with his brother Don, to sell Don's cows and loan him the money to buy a half
interest in Fuller's plane and in return he agreed to teach Don to fly. Fuller and Frye continued
to operate a scenic flight line and to train students to fly.

One day, a young man from Colorado came to the flying school. Although he was short of
stature, he was long on ready money, and when he signed his enrollment as "Paul Richter,"
and paid $250 cash to learn to fly, Fuller and Frye almost fainted. Soon Frye and Richter
became close friends. In the meantime, Walter Hamilton had joined the school as mechanic and
learned to fly under Frye. The three bought out Fuller and started the Aero Corporation of
California. Although the assets consisted only of a few old planes and junk equipment, each of
the three had something definite to contribute to the newly formed company. Frye had
organization ability, flying experience, and a likeable personality. Richter displayed a keen
executive knowledge that carried him to the position of Executive Vice-President and General
Manager of the present T & W A, and Walt Hamilton, who now manages the Douglas
company's El Segundo Division, is a mechanical genius who almost can make a washing
machine fly an airplane.

Aero Corporation was successful. From a school it branched out into advertising by air, an
agency for Eaglerock and Fokker, and finally Standard Air Lines was formed flying between
Los Angeles and Phoenix, with connections to El Paso. A deal was negotiated in 1929, whereby
Western Air Express acquired the line, and Frye was made Vice-President in Charge of
Operations. In October, 1930, Western Air Express merged with Transcontinental Air
Transport to form T & W A, and Jack moved into the same position with the larger company.
When Mr. Farley shuffled up the air lines and dealt them over in 1934, Frye emerged as
President of the company which has grown to employ over seven hundred and fifty persons,
serving twenty-one cities from coast to coast.

Recently, Frye and Richter became capitalists in a big way when they out-wolved Wall Street to
acquire a working control of their own company. As President of T & W A, Jack Frye never
forgets his dishwashing or his early flying days. He may be found at almost any point on the
line, flying his own ships, riding in the cockpit with the scheduled pilot, or relaxing in the rear
with the passengers. He is an enthusiastic booster for The Pacific Aviation Club.
Pacific Aviation Club- Profile: Jack Frye
Persistent Training Is The Key To TWA Excellence
And The Foundation Of Public Trust In All Of Us
”           Jack Frye
As engraved on a plaque which hung in the 8-story Jack Frye International Training Center at
1307 Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City, MO. See Page 1961 for further details on this event.
Pilot Licenses Issued To Jack Frye- In Detail
Why Is Jack Frye Honored As Arizona’s 'No. 1 Pilot'?
Transcontinental & Western Air-
Phoenix's Own Airline
Jack Frye was honored in Arizona many times  
throughout the years but one notable event was
September 2, 1938. Frye arrived, as did other
TWA executives, to discuss a proposed TWA
Phoenix - Prescott - Kingman - Boulder - San
Francisco passenger route. Festivities were held
at Sky Harbor and the Arizona Club by the
Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and other civic
organizations. The evenings celebration was at
the Phoenix Hotel Westward Ho- Fiesta Room.
Press reports stated Frye arrived at 10:30 a.m. in his own “stratosphere plane”. This would have
been the Northrop Gamma NX13758 which was used frequently by Frye at the time as his
private transport. Other TWA officials arrived on a TWA airliner. We know the media sources
refer to the Gamma because this is the only stratosphere plane TWA owned during that time
frame as the Douglas Commercial 1 (X223Y) was sold by TWA in May of 1938. Jack was
welcomed in this Phoenix “Homecoming” as an official "Son" of Arizona and the "State’s
Number 1 pilot". (See Page 1938).
Sky Harbor-Phoenix Arizona-1938
1930- Jack Frye holds a commission as second lieutenant in the 479th Pursuit Squadron of the
United States Army Air Service Reserve (479th Pursuit Squadron, U.S. Air Corps Reserve, at
Clover Field in Santa Monica). He is a member of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
Aviation Committee and holds a transport pilot's license granted by the Department of
Commerce. Additionally he holds a airplane and engine mechanic's license. He has
approximately 2500 hours of flying experience throughout the United States and Mexico and is
an official certified pilot's license instructor- one of the best on the west coast. Note: In addition
to this Jack is said to have held an airframe mechanics license, but I have no verification.
A quote and story, as related in "This Week"
by Jane and Woodrow Wirsig, best describes
Jack Frye from the earliest years-

"It was a hot night in Phoenix Arizona in 1927,
bored and restless reporters were sitting
around in the city room of the local newspaper
when in strode a tall gangling stranger wearing
grease covered work clothes with goggles
pushed up under his flier’s helmet,

'My name’s Jack Frye' he announced, 'I’m
going to start an air line here and I’d like to
tell someone about it."'

This, folks, was the man and the beginning of
the legend! In just 3-years, this effort would
become one of the foundation stones of TWA.
A remarkable moment in the history of
aviation and my favorite story about Jack Frye!
Jack Frye Career Dates In Depth:
The Quintessential Jack Frye-
'This Week Magazine'
Burdett Flying School (partner with Burdett Fuller)
1923-1925

President of Aero Corporation of California
Founders: Jack Frye, Paul E. Richter Jr., Walter A. Hamilton
February 3, 1926

W-F-W Aircraft Corporation (ThunderBird Aircraft 1926)
Founders: N. Paul Whittier, Jack Frye, Theodore 'Ted' A. Woolsey

President of Standard Air Lines and Standard Flying Schools
Founders: Jack Frye, Paul E. Richter, and Walter A. Hamilton
1927

Vice-President in Charge of Operations for Western Air Express (W.A.E.)
March 15, 1930

Founder and Vice-President in Charge of Operations for the newly formed
Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc. (T. & W. A.)
 
October 1, 1930

General Manager and Vice-President of T.W.A. (Replaced Richard W. Robbins as active head)
September 25, 1934 (General Manager title added September 19, 1934)

Executive Vice-President of T.W.A.
October 11, 1934

Appointed President of T.W.A., Board Director, Chairman of the Executive Committee
Thursday, December 6, 1934, (most sources state December 27, 1934, this is not correct)

Resigned from Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc.
Trans World Airline, Trans World Airline(s)
February 21, 1947

President and C.E.O. of General Aniline and Film
(to include Ansco Film Corporation and General Dyestuff, Agfa, American IG, G.A.F., etc.)
July 1, 1947

Resigned from President and CEO of General Aniline and Film (GAF)
January 26, 1955 (official date Frye vacated his position was April 1, 1955)

Founder-President-C.E.O. Frye Corporation
1954-1959
The Flying President With His
'Office In The Sky
' From 1939
'Who's Who' 1930's - 1950's
The Man
The Legend
An 'oft repeated error made by historians who profess to know their TWA history is that Jack
Frye was the first president of TWA. Harris Hanshue was the first, Richard Robbins the second.
Jack's original Pilot's License was either misplaced or stolen after his death. However N.A.A.
records show
Sport License Number 38 for Frye (1936). Another listed for Frye is F.A.I.
Certificate Number 6338. Jack Frye was the only airline president of his day to hold a National
Transport Pilot's License
Number 933. Eventually he accumulated over 7000 flight hours to his
flight log by the end of his short life. Notable for a busy airline executive who died at just 54.
Jack Frye U.S.A.A.F.
'American's Young Men' Annual Biographical Edition
'Outstanding Young Men of 1940'
Ten illustrious, successful & influential young men of the United States, for the year of 1940,
were as follows: Jack Frye, Fultan Lewis, Jr., Martin Dies,  Bing Crosby, Dr. C. G. Suits,
Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, Mark Stanley Mathews, Oren Root, Arch Obler, and Dr. George
Gallup. What an honor! (Media 2-26-1941)