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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
Jack Frye & the Presidential Medal of Merit
|THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
By order of the
President of the United States-
Harry S. Truman
|TO ALL WHO SHALL SEE THESE PRESENTS, GREETING:
THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORDER ISSUED BY GENERAL
GEORGE WASHINGTON AT HEADQUARTERS, NEWBURGH,
NEW YORK, ON AUGUST 7, 1782, AND PURSUANT TO ACT
OF CONGRESS, HAS AWARDED THE MEDAL
The Highest Ranking Civilian Award
Bestowed During World War II
"The Medal of Merit, also known as the Medal for Merit, was
established in 1942 by Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was initiated to
honor civilian citizens of the United States and their allies for
exceptional service during World War II."
|FOR EXTRAORDINARY FIDELITY AND EXCEPTIONALLY
Word for Word- the text from the December 18, 1946, Medal for
Merit Certificate, issued to Jack Frye at the White House on the
date of December 21, 1946 is reproduced as shown below-
|GIVEN UNDER MY HAND IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON
THIS EIGHTEENTH DAY OF DECEMBER 1946
James F. Byrnes Harry Truman
SECRETARY OF STATE COMMANDER IN CHIEF
Jack and Helen Frye were invited to the White House for the Medal for Merit ceremony
Saturday, December 21, 1946. The photo above courtesy of Helen Frye's family shows the
presentation ceremony at the White House. A similar image ran in newspapers as well.
A note attached to the photo written by Jack's wife Helen Frye is transcribed as follows:
"When Jack Frye was given the highest civilian decoration at the White House during the war,
I, as his wife, was given the ribbon metal with the Eagle, against the circle of the stars- (for
merit). The gold wings were Jack's insignia." Helen Varner Frye
The writing on the photo as written by Helen Frye is transcribed as follows: "Jack receiving
Merit of Honor, Dec 1941 - Aug 1945, highest civilian award for outstanding service to United
Nations." Helen Varner Frye
The following quote is from Jack Frye's only sister, Ople (Sunny) Frye Thomas:
"The medal was bestowed by the President of the United States for performing air transport
service of vital importance during World War II."
The original citation which was presented to
Jack Frye has been lost by Jack's family.
However the basic wording is displayed below,
as on file at the Truman Library and the
National Archives. The version below ran in the
TWA Employee in-house publication, TWA
Starliner, Dec. 1946. The image aside also ran
in the Starliner, interestingly it is a uncropped
version of the image shown above.
CITATION TO ACCOMPANY
THE AWARD OF THE MEDAL
TWA Lockheed Constellations
Paris 'Sky Chief'
Star of California
Star of Paris
TWA Constellation 'Paris Sky Chief' December 3, 1945
TWA Constellation Paris Sky Chief (left) at
inauguration and christening at Frye's home
base of Washington National Airport.
The Glory Days- The Golden Decade- 'The Camelot Years of TWA'
Trans World Airline is officially born! Facing seemingly insurmountable opposition from
Howard Hughes and the TWA Board of Directors, Jack Frye alters TWA forever and ensures its
future for the next 50-years! His dream of making his airline a Trans 'World' Airline is
realized! On this day the 1st regularly scheduled TWA overseas passenger service is launched
LaGuardia to Orly Field- Paris (LGA-YQX-SNN-ORY) Commercial Record (16 hrs. 21 min.).
Shown (left to right) Capt. Paul Frederickson (Western Division Superintendent of Flying),
Paul (Slim) Henry (Relief Co-Pilot), Captain Lee Flanagin (Western Region Operation's
Manager), Mr. and Mrs. Jack Frye, and Joseph E. Casey. On stairs (left to right) TWA flight
hostesses Dorraine Strole and Rita P. Crooks. (Not shown) is E. T. Greene (student training
Flight Engineer), A. P. Lundin (TWA Relief Pilot), and John Hunt (TWA Communications
Engineer). Helen Frye compliments the TWA flight crew as she kisses her husband after Frye
set a new transcontinental speed record as Captain of TWA Constellation No. 503. This record
breaking (nonstop) TWA cross-country Constellation flight is identified as the TWA
"Navajo" Registration Number NC86503, TWA Fleet Number 503, C/N 2024.
Source- TWA Skyliner March 5, 1979.
Departure Burbank early Sunday morning (February 3) @ 3:59.12 A.M. with arrival LaGuardia
@ 11:27 A.M. TWA Captain (left seat) Jack Frye, TWA Co-pilot (right seat) Lee Flanagin.
Broke two records: west-east transcontinental speed record @ 7 hours 27 minutes, 48 seconds,
(previous record was a TWA Stratoliner on July 8-9 1940 @ 11 hours 55 minutes). Second
record was "largest number of passengers carried on a single flight" @ 45 passengers, 7 crew
members (TWA Skyliner states 44 and crew of 8) the difference is the same, a transport of 52.
Cruise elevation of 15,000 to 17,000 feet. Speed @ an average of 329 M.P.H. (5-miles a minute);
however, Frye stated to the press he averaged 345 to 350 M.P.H., with a top cruise speed of 375
M.P.H. from Fort Wayne Indiana to Hayesville Ohio. Flight miles were 2474 (one source stated
2490). Fuel consumption @ 450 gallons per hour. Interestingly, the all time fastest record (at
that time) for cross-country flight was an U.S.A.A.F. P-80 fighter jet, @ 4 hours, 13 minutes, 26
seconds on January 26, 1946 from Long Beach CA. to New York.
LaGuardia Airport, New York, left to
right, Flight Engineer Paul Henry,
President-Pilot Jack Frye, Asst.
Flight Engineer Eddie Greene, Second
row, Flight Captain Paul
Frederickson, Co-Captain, Lee
Flanagin. Top- Hostesses Dorraine
Strole (Palmer) and Rita P. Crooks.
Pilot Jack Frye checks pre-flight
weather at Burbank, CA., shown
with United Press associates,
Betty Harvey and Gene Gillette.
TWA Constellation 'Star of Paris' Sky Chief February 5, 1946
The Star of the Day is the "Star of Paris". This monumental event changed the course of TWA
and United States-European airline service forever, with speed, comfort, and unheard of safety!
TWA Star of Paris, NC86511, C/N 2035, TWA Fleet Number 555. For video of event- see here.
Mrs. Frye can be spotted on the podium (behind the flags) with the other dignitaries.
In image to (right) shown (left to right) Otis Bryan (TWA vice president), Charles R. Haffendon
(N.Y.C. Marine and Aviation Commissioner), Leo McCauley (Irish Consul in N.Y.), Guerin de
Beaumont (French Consul General in N.Y.), and Mrs. Jack Frye. The plane and the models
represent 3 nations bridged by this new service with authentic costumes and the fuselage flags .
Star of Paris
with a "cloud
gun". For a high
of this plane see
An interesting story regarding the beautiful leopard skin coat that Helen Frye is wearing for
this TWA event. It's a well-known fact that Jack Frye loved to play poker with his friends, it
helped him relax from the pressures of running TWA, and let me tell you, he was good at it too!
Of course his most famous poker buddy was Harry Truman who once told Jack’s sister,
"I liked Jack, because he'd let me win at poker." (This was at the dedication of the Jack Frye
Training Center at Kansas City in 1962). In the mid-1940’s Jack and Helen were staying in
New York City at a big hotel when Jack, as usual, was playing a spirited game of poker with his
pals. One of these men lost quite a bit of money to Jack and was unable for whatever reason to
pay up. He told Jack he had just bought a brand new leopard skin fur coat for his (girlfriend or
wife) and asked Jack if he would accept this as payment? Jack Frye was a fair man and said
"sure". So later that evening, when Jack returned to his suite, he tossed the large gift box on
the bed and told Helen, “here’s a present for you!” I am not one to condone wearing furs and no
doubt Helen, by the latter part of her life likely felt the same way, but in the 1930’s and 40’s
furs were all the rage and almost a requirement. Helen owned at least 3 full length mink coats,
one huge mink muff, and a silver fox jacket. These are just furs I'm aware of. Helen even gave
several fur coats away throughout the years. Diamonds and furs 'are' a girl's best friend, or so I
am told, and Helen Vanderbilt Frye deserved nothing less regarding the high society life she led!
The nation’s highest civilian award for wartime service, the Medal for Merit, was presented to
Jack Frye, President of TWA, by Secretary of War Robert Patterson at a ceremony, Saturday,
December 21, in Washington D.C.
The award, made by President Truman, was accompanied by a citation in which Frye was
commended for “exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to
the United States from December, 1941, to August, 1945.”
The citation, was read by Patterson in the presence of top-ranking military men, Mrs. Jack
Frye, W. Stuart Symington, Assistant Secretary of War for Air, and TWA officials, stated in
“As President of Trans World Airline, you made a noteworthy contribution to the success of air
operations against the enemy as a result of your broad experience in the operation of
commercial air transports, and the force and vigor with which you addressed yourself to the
critical conflict into which your country was projected.
“Even before the outbreak of hostilities, you established schools for the training of pilots and
maintenance crews to insure successful ferrying of material and personnel to the combat
theaters. After the war begun you inaugurated air routes across the North and South Atlantic,
and from Northern Europe to bases in Africa. Thus the network of air communications you
established made the speedy shipment of mail, cargo and personnel necessary to carry out vital
missions for the armed forces.
“In accomplishing these projects you devoted yourself unselfishly and vigorously to the military
necessities of the nation, and made a direct contribution to the success of the air war. Your
conduct and achievements, your patriotic devotion, and your unselfish pursuit of the means to
achieve victory in the air reflect the greatest credit on you and the government and the people
of the United States.
In accepting the award, Frye extended credit to all TWA employees, stating: “It is in recognition
of the part played by all TWA employees that this award is given. I am proud to accept this
honor,” Frye told Secretary of War Patterson, “and I am happy to have been able to serve the
TWA, in performing its wartime service, completed more than 9,500 overseas flights, carrying
tons of urgently needed military supplies. Mail, cargo, and thousands of high ranking military
personnel and wounded service men made up the loads of TWA’s wartime Intercontinental
Again on October 1, 1947 Jack Frye was invited to the White House (Rose Garden) where
Truman presented another Medal for Merit to Col. Louis Johnson, United States Secretary of
War, Commander of the American Legion, and executive with G.A.F., (Frye was C.E.O. of
General Aniline and Film). Little known information follows as related by Jack’s Frye’s family.
Jack Frye was the only civilian readily admitted to the White House and the president’s office
night or day without question or restraint during the 1940's and 1950's. This unfettered access
was unheard of especially in regard to security during the war, but yet, I have heard it
recounted by several sources connected to Frye. This condition was likely a result of Frye’s
relationship with both presidents; Roosevelt and Truman and his position with the Democratic
Party. TWA during World War II was a vital asset of the United States and they worked closely
with the military stateside and overseas. No other leader of TWA ever achieved this status or
relationship with the highest levels of the United States Government.
Frye was a true patriot and his lineage went back to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson,
as found on page 1904. He also, in the forties, was one of the most powerful and influential men
of the Democratic Party. It was Frye who was one of the men who ensured Truman won the
White House in 1945. For more information on the Fryes and the White House, please see page
1943. From 1941 on, Jack was working 24/7 with his contemporaries toward the war effort. This
included committing all available TWA resources to serve our troops and personally setting up
instruction centers to train U.S. service men to fly the larger support planes of the day. Many of
the planes were airline flying stock previously unfamiliar to military pilots. One of the most
famous facilities was the Eagle Nest Flight Center (more commonly known as the Jack Frye
Training School) at Albuquerque, N.M. Jack Frye appointed TWA chief pilot Otis Bryan (former
Army pilot) to head the Albuquerque school which became associated with many others around
the nation. These training efforts greatly aided our military advancements in the Pacific and
European theatres, Jack’s military position during the war was Lt. Commander A-V (S) USNR.
In an unprecedented act of gratitude, Jack Frye was awarded the "Order of Grand Officer of
the Crown of Italy" by the Italian Government for Frye's invaluable aid and support toward
rebuilding Italy's national aviation services after World War II. Quite an honor for Frye.
One person privy to Frye’s involvement in the war effort was Washington D.C. (Wash. Post.)
insider Baroness Garnett Stackelberg. The Baroness was a Washington correspondent not
unlike our current icon Barbara Walters. Garnett’s husband, Baron Steno Stackelberg worked
for TWA and was a close friend of Frye, he also worked for the State Department. The Baroness
related to me that Jack Frye had flown endangered people from behind enemy lines, and that
the communist were killing off all the free-thinking wealthy families. They didn’t want free
thought, she stated, continuing, that one of these was her husband, she added that the
Stackelberg family would forever be grateful to Jack Frye and his efforts. Garnett also said that
Jack knew her husband long before she came on the scene and that in regard to these war
efforts there was a plane (involved) named after Frye (perhaps the Frye Interceptor I have
heard references to). She closed by stating all the information was in storage or with her son. I
have never been able to make sense of any of this and because it was the very end of her life. I
wonder if she was confused on some of the details. Garnett died before I could follow up with
her or meet her and her son Sandy was not privy to any of these classified operations.
Frye’s activities in the World War II were top secret and Frye worked directly with the
president’s office, so uncovering the details of the operations he was involved with, is difficult at
best. The only parties I am aware of (all dead now) who were privy to Frye's involvements were
President(s) Roosevelt and Truman, Helen Frye, Steno and Garnett Stackelberg. I think we can
now better understand why Jack Frye was given the Medal for Merit, even if the classified
details have never been fully disclosed to the public at large. Please see Page 1940 and Page
1936 for more information.
Top Award To Frye For War Job
To the right, Helen Frye and movie star Helen
Parrish at the grand opening of TWA's
Intercontinental Division TWA clubhouse,
Washington D.C. The guests of honor were
TWA president Jack Frye, and his wife, Helen,
Mr. and Mrs. Harold F. Blackburn, and W. G.
"Swede" Golien. Directly above, can be seen
the Fryes sitting at the table behind the pillar
(right) while Mr. Blackburn (Washington D.C.
I.C.D. Manager) and his wife wave to the
crowd. July 1945
Jack Frye served as captain on this 1946 record
flight which also tested Constellation
experimental upgrades. Frye piloted the flight
for the entire cross-country record only leaving
the flight deck once to conduct business and
take a break in the cabin for 1 hour.
Helen Frye Portrait - Constellation Leopard Coat- 60 Yrs. Later
Some 60-years later, Helen's fur coat is still
treasured, now a precious family keepsake.
Seen here with the backdrop of the Arnold
Mountfort portrait Jack Frye commissioned in
1942 which hung over his Washington D.C.
executive desk. Both these artifacts have been
TWA Celebration Washington D.C.
A Leopard Skin Fur Coat is Witness to Priceless TWA History!
witness to priceless Transcontinental & Western Air history. The fur (as seen in 1946) appears
to the right (above). In the 1950's the coat was cut down to a waist length jacket befitting the
styles of that era. Images on this page are the only ones known to survive of Helen wearing the
fur. Very few Frye artifacts have survived from this glamorous era of 1st class airline travel.
Record Breaking TWA Constellation Transcontinental Flight
Pilot 41-Year-Old TWA President Jack Frye
This was the end result of all of Frye's work
during the war- to secure the international TWA
routes. It was the very beginning of Trans World
Airlines 'round the world' service. To be sure,
these were the "Camelot Years of TWA!"
What of this 'Paris Sky Chief'?
TWA's 1st Scheduled Trans-Atlantic Service
Sedona Legend Editorial:
Conjointly with the above, I have had a difficult time accessing the registration number and
fleet number of the Paris Sky Chief. So little is mentioned historically in regard to this
particular “preview” flight as TWA titled it. And although TWA publications did tag this plane
the Paris Sky Chief, we must take into consideration that the other Constellations below were
also called Sky Chiefs. So that leaves me wondering if the plane above had no specific name and
was just called the “Paris” Sky Chief because of the destination of the flight. Please don’t
confuse this flight with the planes and flights as referenced below, it was not one of the same
According to the TWA in-house publication Skyliner (March 5, 1979) the “Paris” Sky Chief was
actually NC86505, TWA Fleet Number 505, and C/N 2026. This is further evidenced by the
passenger flight manifest which records the registration below.
Trans-Atlantic TWA "preview" flight Paris Sky Chief (shown above) pre-flight with departure
Monday December 3, 1945 @ 2:38 p.m. from Washington National (DCA), Washington D.C.,
with stops at Gander Newfoundland (YQX) and Shannon Ireland (SNN) to arrive at Orly Field,
(ORY) Paris France @ 5:25 A.M. Tuesday morning. Total elapsed time was a record breaking
14 hours 48 minutes (actual time in the air was 12 hours 57 minutes) with 6 hours 27 minutes
from Newfoundland to Ireland. The flight at an average of 316 M.P.H., earned an Atlantic speed
record for non-military aircraft and broke 5 international speed records. This flight, although
not the first scheduled passenger flight for TWA, was the forerunner of eventual regular TWA
scheduled service to Europe.
The Paris Sky Chief carried a crew of 10 with 23 passengers, to include Jack Frye’s close friend
Robert E. Hannegan (U.S. Postmaster General under President Truman), Senator Edward
Robertson (Wyoming), William A. M. Burden, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Rep. Clarence
Cannon (Missouri), A. S. Koch, Civil Aeronautics Administration, Francis LaCoste, Minister
Plenipotentiary of France, Rep. Clarence Lea (California), Henry Lesieur, U.S. Manager of Air
France, Joseph D. Nunan, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue, Kenneth Romney, Sergeant
at Arms (House of Representatives), Gael Sullivan, Second Assistant Postmaster General, Jean
Robert Vielle, Chief Engineer of France. News service officials were Tom Cluck, United Press
International, Larry Hauck, Associated Press, Venice Willicombe, International News Service,
Donald Pryor, Columbia Broadcasting Company (CBS). Officials of TWA included Otis Bryan,
Vice President of Operations for International Division, Clifford Mutchler, Service Staff
Superintendent, Stanley Schlenther, Director of Advertisements (International Division),
Eugene Warner, Publicity Director (International Division), Sidney Maestre, Mississippi Valley
Trust Company (and a Director of TWA).
Cargo was precious, a newly developed Penicillin which was air freighted to France and utilized
to save the life of dying Frenchman Captain Henri Launey of Paris who soon recovered after
receiving the miracle drug. After the TWA Constellation landed in Paris, the life-saving drug
was rushed to the apartment of the critically ill Frenchman, at which his wife Paulette burst into
tears, when she was handed the overnight air express package. Captain of the transatlantic
airliner, TWA’s Harold F. Blackburn, was summoned to Captain Launey’s bedside where
Launey insisted on thanking the man responsible for saving his life. A day of pride for TWA!
TWA Constellation 'Navajo Sky Chief' February 03 1946
Previous to the Frye flight mentioned (above) the same Constellation left New York City for
Burbank, Friday February 1 @ 6:42 A.M., stopping at Kansas City @ 11:48 A.M. to board
additional passengers, to depart @ 1:09 and arrive at Burbank California by 6:52 P.M. The
plane set an east-west transcontinental record of 10 hours 49 minutes on that flight. Shortly
after the giant TWA airliner departed Burbank @ 5:00 P.M., to arrive San Francisco @ 6:15
P.M., on yet another promo flight with 45 passengers, at a cruise speed said to be 375 M.P.H.
The Lockheed returned to Burbank on February 2 with 56 passengers (49 with a crew of 7)
breaking a record for most passengers carried between these two cities. Flight time was 1 hour
14 minutes with a cruise speed averaging 275 M.P.H., and a max of 305 M.P.H. between Fresno
and Bakersfield. After landing in Los Angeles the plane was immediately prepped for the early
morning February 3 V.I.P. flight with President Frye and his full load of New York passengers.
'Navajo Sky Chief' Tours Country as Showcase of TWA Technology
"Jack and Howard intended to build a fleet of
Constellations for TWA and make all other
airlines obsolete-- the very first fast planes.
This is why they were building the plane in
secret. Unfortunately, with the onset of the war
(1941), the Army asked what they were doing.
Subsequently, a deal was made, whereby TWA
would fly the planes for the Army Air Force."
Helen Frye- Red Rock News- 1974
“Into the darkness over Burbank Airport the early morning of February 3 climbed the triple-
finned Constellation No. 503, headed east to meet the rising sun halfway. At the controls was
President Jack Frye, the man who, with Howard Hughes, had first conceived the super airliner
which was built for TWA by Lockheed. In the right-hand seat was another 20-year veteran of
TWA, Western Region Operation’s Manager Lee Flanagin...." Source TWA Skyliner
Howard Hughes was also the pilot of the "Star of California" as it streaked across the United
States on February 15 @ 8 hours 38 minutes with 28-Hollywood celebrities. Point of origin was
Burbank, departure at 2:30 A.M., with destination to LaGuardia Field, arrival @ 11:08 A.M.
Unfortunately, although it was the intent of Hughes to break Frye's Feb. 3 record, he failed.
With a flourish
Mrs. Jack Frye
Welcomes all to
the Future of
Chain of Events - Infamous TWA Pilot Strike 1946
Several events contributed to Jack Frye leaving TWA, one was design safety issues with the
new Lockheed Constellation, which resulted in the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) grounding
the airliners on July 11, 1946, which in turn, crippled TWA. Although the issues were certainly
no fault of Frye and the transports were soon back in the air with even more safety features, as
implemented by Frye himself, the incident caused the company much grief with its domestic
and international routes.
The second was the TWA Pilot’s Strike of (October 21 to November 15, 1946). I feel Jack
especially was betrayed by this event as he felt he was offering his pilots every possible
concession in a very difficult transitional period for TWA. His TWA employees were considered
"like family", and he always went far and beyond to satisfy them. But history shows unions
have destroyed many a content and successful company. In this case, the fall-guy was to be
Jack Frye. Certainly no one realized that at the time.
To recap: On October 21 through November 15 1946 (25-days) TWA experienced a pilot's
walkout strike over wage-disputes. This strike was noted as the first such ever in the history of
United States commercial aviation (by fliers). The strike effected world-wide TWA service
(at over 28,270 miles). Frye was quoted at the end of this dark period as saying (to paraphrase)
“TWA hoped to reach a full schedule of operations within a few days. The first schedules would
start about 7:00 A.M. tomorrow (November 16) on flights originating on both coasts. Frye
added, it would be some time before all the 15,000 TWA employees furloughed, as result of the
strike, would be back on the job. Frye continued, the strike which was initiated by the 1000
TWA pilots and co-pilots 'has hurt TWA to an extent we cannot immediately recover.'”
Certainly Frye was deeply concerned with the fall-out of this event at a time when TWA was
reaching 'round-the-world' with trail-blazing legendary new service via the Constellation
The third was the mad-management of Howard Hughes and the maniacal micro-management by
his power-hungry business manager Noah Dietrich. Noah was a man who personally hated Frye
and was jealous of the legendary Frye-Hughes partnership. The end result was that Dietrich
made it his goal to remove Frye from power. Hughes by then had experienced an embarrassing
and devastating plane crash at Beverly Hills (July 7, 1946) which drove him to mind altering
pain-killers for the rest of his life. An event which degraded any sort of normal function within
the man and between him and his associates. Noah’s method was to take advantage of Hughes'
drug-induced stupor and blame all of TWA’s problems on Frye and Frye alone. It worked, he
drove a wedge between Frye and Howard in business, but fortunately he never destroyed the
friendship of these two legendary brothers of aviation.
All these circumstances caused Jack a lot of grief. Jack knew Howard would destroy TWA in
the end, a company he himself had built from infancy and nurtured, a company only Jack knew
how to manage. The funding Howard loaned the company couldn’t save TWA with Howard’s
constant meddling and mismanagement of the airline. In 1966, the TWA board finally forcedly
removed Hughes from TWA in a desperate attempt to save the floundering airline.
By the late 1940’s, Jack was telling friends he wanted to retire from TWA and spend more time
with his wife Helen, at his Sedona ranch. Finally, by February 21 1947, Jack did just that. A
move which was personally devastating as he loved TWA like his own child. Jack knew he had
to take another successful position immediately, though, in order to maintain the lifestyle
which was expected of him. This position necessitated Jack relocate to New York City (Page
1949) which in turn stressed his marriage with Helen. As a result of this move he was to
eventually remarry; however, he found out too late the marriage was a disaster. By the mid-
1950’s, Frye knew that the only position he was ever meant to fill was an airline president. A
dream he had lived, and breathed, from the age of 18. He fought to get back to where he started
but it was too late, the end of the road was approaching fast for Frye, or perhaps, the ground
was closing fast. For further reading (See Page 1957 and 1959).
In the image (above) we see a pensive looking Frye (left) at the TWA pilot strike negotiations
at Washington D.C. (October 24, 1946), seen as well, from (left to right) are Judge Frank P.
Douglass (National Mediation Board) and David L. Behncke (President of the Airline Pilots
Association, ALPA). In the photo below we see the end of this crippling strike with Frye and
Richter signing off on the agreements to move the TWA pilots back to the flight lines. I feel
the image below is a great photo of Jack and Paul, although certainly Jack looks worn out from
his exhausting participation in this matter.
Credit: The images above and below were originally used by a media-news agency. They are
vintage wire-photos or what we would categorize today as copies of originals used for various
news publications. The images were not owned by news service agencies (in the field) who
reproduced (published) the images, rather they were on loan. The original photographer is
unknown and these image are not thought to hold a renewed (current) copyright. These two
original vintage wire-photos from 1946 are owned by Sedona Legend. Further information
regarding photos seen on Sedona Legend can be found at the bottom of Page 2010.
Cascade Effect- Chess Moves
Jack and Helen Frye (right) at a very special TWA celebration when Jack was presented with his
20-year TWA commemorative service pin (1926-1946) March 18, 1946. The date signifies the
founding of Standard Air Lines which became TWA (the actual founding of TWA was in 1930).
Credit: The image seen (above and below) was originally used by a media-news agency. The
image was not owned by news service agencies around the country which reproduced the image,
rather it was on loan. The original photographer is unknown and this image is not thought to
hold a renewed (current) copyright. This original vintage 1946 photo is owned by Sedona Legend.
Further information regarding photos seen on Sedona Legend can be found at the bottom of
Photo Caption: Jack Frye shown (above) in the left pilot seat of the Lockheed Constellation
'Navajo Sky Chief' on February 3, 1946. Officer with back to camera is member of the flight
crew. This image was likely captured at LaGuardia, as the airliner left Burbank in darkness.
"More than mere coincidence led to the establishment of the starting record on February 3.
That date is a significant anniversary for Jack Frye and TWA, for it was on February 3, 1926,
that Frye begin his first aviation venture in California. The plane he flew (above) marked
another milestone in the aviation career of Jack Frye. It was the first of TWA's new fleet of 36
Constellations, the plane began flying in scheduled international service the same week the
record was set. Developed by Frye and Hughes to set, once more, the air transport pace first
established by TWA with the DC-3. The Constellation was first flight tested in 1943 and
delivered to the Army shortly thereafter (as the C-69)." Source- TWA Skyliner
Editor Note: On February 3, 1926 Aero Corporation of California (Standard Air Lines) was
founded by TWA founders Jack Frye, Paul E. Richter, and Walter A. Hamilton.
Photo Caption: Front row, left to right, Paul Henry (Flight Engineer), Jack Frye, (President
and Pilot), E. T. Greene, (Flight Engineer). Second Row, Paul S. Frederickson, (Relief Captain),
Lee Flanagin, (First Officer). Top Row, Special Event Hostess Dorraine Strole and Rita Crooks.
“The passengers were almost ecstatic in their
praise of the comfort and speed of the
Constellation. 'It’s the most amazing
wonderful plane I ever saw!' I thought to
myself how proud Jack Frye must have felt
when his big plane left Washington on its
maiden trip and came back with five new
records. He has every right to be!” Eugene
Warner, TWA International Publicity Director
(V.I.P. passenger on the Washington to Paris
“Paris Sky Chief” December 3, 1945.) To the
right is the passenger manifest on the inbound
flight which landed at Washington National. If
I can locate the outbound manifest I will add.
Starts End of 1945 - Commencing by 1946
Credit: The header image on this page was originally used by a media-news agency. It is a
vintage wire-photo or what we would categorize today as a copy of an original used for various
news publications. The image was not owned by news service agencies (in the field) who
reproduced (published) the image, rather it was on loan. The original photographer is unknown
and this image is not thought to hold a renewed (current) copyright. This original vintage
wire-photo from 1945 is owned by Sedona Legend. Further information regarding photos seen
on Sedona Legend can be found at the bottom of Page 2010.