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 and found- TWA Constellation Footage
Jack Frye- Howard Hughes- Guests
The Most Beautiful Airliner Ever Built- a Frye Dream Come true!
The very first production Constellation, second
Constellation produced- Lockheed model L-049
F.A.A. Registration 310310. Said to have been
assigned TWA fleet #310 (this would have been
short-lived though). Re-registered to
U.S.A.A.F. Reg 43-10310, May of 1944. To my
knowledge this is a TWA image and holds no
copyright restrictions. Rear entry is open.
Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc. Entertains Washington D.C.
Helen and Jack Frye (above) kissing
on the Constellation entry steps.
The Modern Airliner Born- Coup For TWA
Much has been written about the Lockheed Constellation airliner, which personally, I consider
one of the most beautiful, if not "the" most beautiful airliner ever designed. Every time I see
one it brings tears to my eyes, it is really that magnificent! I can’t help but think that Jack
Frye must have been so proud of the end result. This plane truly defines his "crowning
achievement" of a rather short 54-year life and a even shorter 31-year career in aviation. We
can truly thank Frye for his enthusiasm and drive to create the Constellation. For it was this
single design from which was borne all the modern airliners we see cruising the airways today!
One of the first clandestine meetings between Jack, Howard, and other Constellation
participants, was in June of 1939, at the Hughes Hancock Park mansion, in Hollywood. This
home at 211 S. Muirfield Road, still adjoins the Wilshire Country Club, near the West
Hollywood region of Los Angeles. The Constellation was the brainchild of Jack Frye and TWA,
bankrolled by Howard Hughes, to be built by the incredibly gifted engineers at Lockheed. The
bills were sent to the Hughes Tool Company by Lockheed, this due to the enormous cost of
these air ships, something TWA just couldn't absorb. The result was a dilemma for TWA,
whereas technically (later), they didn't own their own planes. Howard was always creating these
complicated paper trails with his companies. But this, too, aided his leverage and control.
Although Hughes is often given the lion’s share of the credit for the development of the
Constellation and Stratoliner, Frye took issue with this in a letter to Look magazine in 1954.
According to Frye, TWA had already received bids on the plane (that became the Constellation)
before Hughes came on line with TWA, however, Frye commends Hughes for having the
courage to support both planes financially. In my work I prefer Jack’s view on TWA any day,
as it is the only version that is not skewed by historians and associates, and comes from the
man who was truly at the top of this airline from the beginning.
Many entities helped with the development of this magnificent plane to include many TWA
executives and engineers, and Lockheed designers, not to mention various contractors. Most
notable was Lockheed's Chief Research Engineer Kelly Johnson. This one plane designed to fly
high and fast “over” the weather, was the beginning, the forbearer of all modern passenger
aircraft design. This “above the weather” focus was a driving force with Jack Frye every since
1931 when TWA was dealt a deadly blow with the Fokker aircraft crash which killed all
passengers and pilot to include celebrity Knute Rockne. Shortly after this disaster, which
nearly derailed the fledgling TWA, Frye was hell-bent on pioneering a program which would
develop flight far above inclement weather. This would enable TWA to offer passengers,
(previously not possible) silky smooth cross-country air travel. This development program was
to bring to TWA’s fleet the Douglas Commercial, Boeing 307 Stratoliner, and later, the
celebrated Lockheed Constellation. Only the latter made trans-ocean flights possible.
Jack and Helen's Sedona Deer-Lick Ranch was also a part of the Constellation Story. During
the development of this famous airliner Howard Hughes visited the Frye Ranch (now Red Rock
State Park) at least twice to work out details with Jack. One of those times he stayed under an
assumed name so locals and ranch hands wouldn't recognize him. Jack, also, found the
tranquility of the ranch and Sedona a perfect place to escape the stress of designing this
futuristic ship, and as an escape from his harried life in Washington D.C., and TWA. It has
been said Hughes also stayed one time at the Frye home in Kansas City where he and Jack
poured over the Constellation plans. This would have been Jack and Helen's 5-acre estate in
Overland Park Kansas. Jack had an office in L.A., Kansas City, Wash. D.C. and New York City.
In the spring of 1939 Lockheed Aircraft Corporation entered into an agreement with TWA to
develop the new Constellation airliner as a long-range commercial transport. By June,
Lockheed started the design process to bring the blueprints to life. Construction by Lockheed
on the Constellation started at the beginning of 1940 under heavy secrecy. Howard and Jack
would visit the Lockheed factory with false name tags when checking on the progress, talking
to people who had no idea their true identities. Their nicknames were "God" for Hughes and
"Jesus Christ" for Frye. Odd, but supposedly true. Others involved with the project were Paul
Richter, Tommy Tomlinson, Jack Franklin, Ralph Ellinger, and Jerry Brophy. There were
many parties working together behind the scenes bringing a TWA dream to reality.
The original Lockheed Constellation (not Super model) -had a range of about 3000 miles, at
over 300 mph with (4) Wright Cyclone 18 cylinder radial engines (said to be faster than a
Mitsubishi A6M Zero). Each engine, with a little over 2000 h.p., propelled the plane at an
elevation of up to 25,000 feet. Passenger load was to be 57, with non-stop hops coast-to-coast in
about 8 and 1/2 hours, above inclement weather. This was the first plane in the world which
supported transatlantic service. This was not the typical “tail-dragger” of the day but was one of
the first airliners which landed and took off level with modern tricycle retractable landing gear.
"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, 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- 1974
from Shades of Gray to Living Color!
Bringing a TWA
Milestone out of the
Past 1944-2014
70-Years of Glory!
In my work with the Sedona Legend Website I constantly seek to improve and enhance the
chapters found within. The most delightful element to my work is when I can connect forgotten
historical information or images to this valuable archive. Recently a gentleman contacted me
who came across a couple reels of movie film many years ago. Only after 8-years did he have
the opportunity to view the footage within. In writing me he hoped I could help him identify the
people and date. He stated he had identified two people in the film as Howard Hughes and Jack
Frye coming off a plane met by a throng of reporters and military personnel.
TWA Constellation
NC310310 loading a flight
full of V.I.P.'s for a jaunt
over the United States
Capitol and Washington D.C.
I wrote Robert back and told him that the
only time I had seen the two photographed
in that manner together was the April 17th,
1944, Constellation record breaking flight.
Then he mentioned, “it is in color and scans
the audience, which is neat, because seeing
it in color is a lot different than B & W. The
film with Hughes has a lady in a mink coat.
Was that an actress and wife of Howard
Hughes? She seems important to the
occasion?” I responded, that I did not think
Howard had a wife at the time, nor did I
think he was at the event with a girlfriend.
Adding to that, I stated, the only person at
the event that day who I had seen
photographed in a full length mink coat was
Jack's wife Helen Frye. I awaited stills from
the film for further confirmation.
TWA Pilot-President Jack Frye exits the Connie after a record breaking cross-country flight.
When I opened my next e-mail I was
blown away when I saw Helen Frye, Jack
Frye, and Howard Hughes, all together
at the foot of the TWA Constellation
310310. I was finally able to identify the
scene, along side other images I had
(clothing etc.) and determine a date of
April 17, 1944. The film shows the
deplaning of the record flight and the
boarding of a showboat flight (same
plane) for reporters and guests soon
after (same day) in Washington D.C. It
was marvelous, after looking at black
and white images all these years, to not
only see Jack and Helen (together) in
full color but to see Howard Hughes too!
As Robert commented, “if I had seen the film on a screen initially, I would have known the
lady was Frye's wife because they are kissing very seductively, before boarding the plane. The
mink is beautiful and the baby blue color of the dress is great. And that red lipstick......
WOW!...... what a woman!” Pilot Howard Hughes is seen above exiting the TWA Constellation
Airliner. Jack Frye can be spotted too (lower left without hat) looking up toward Howard.
What a wonderful treasure hidden away in
those forgotten old film cans! It just shows
that history can be found in the most
unlikely places- sometimes 58-years later!
These images are preliminary (captured
from a moving picture by camera) I am
awaiting sharper stills as they can be
processed. I hope that this colorful addition
to this page will serve to enhance a
wonderful event in aviation history and
bring to life three very close friends and
participants of this aviation milestone! Left
to right, Helen Frye, Jack Frye, Howard
Hughes, Jesse H. Jones (next to officer).
At the TWA Constellation passenger entry way (above) Jack Frye pauses with his glamorous
and very photogenic wife Helen (the former Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr.) captured joyously
celebrating a monumental event in the history of TWA. This event was likely the single most
important milestone
EVER for TWA- for on this day, a seed was planted, and Jack's dream of
trans-atlantic travel for TWA was soon to be realized- this all thanks to the creation of the
Lockheed Constellation which Frye helped envision. Later, on February 5, 1946, this seed
matured and Trans World Airlines was truly born and conquered the airways of the world!
Recently, in viewing this color movie from April 17, 1944, I was amazed by the real-life moving
images of Jack and Helen Frye. What is most startling, and
a real asset for early TWA, was
that the airline was headed by such a young man! In 1944, Jack was 40 and his wife Helen was
35. Whereas, Howard Hughes was just 39! TWA was not run by old men as was typical for such
corporations but rather Jack Frye was noted as being the youngest airline head in the world.
Amazingly, when Jack helped launch Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc. he was just
26 years
. However, he had already been a flight school owner and pilot from 1923 (at just 19 years
old) -can you imagine! On everyone's face is evident the unmistakable look of pride and
accomplishment. The foundation of TWA was seeded with dreams, dedication, and hard work. I
can't thank Robert enough for sharing this old movie with Sedona Legend.
After the record-breaking flight the Fryes and Hughes were joined by a throng of press,
dignitaries and military brass. Many thanks to Robert Naranda for his effort to document the
film for historic sake. The provenance of the films are unknown- All rights rest with Naranda.
TWA Constellation Celebration
Constellation Celebration:                     Second Leg BUR to DCA
The second (first production model) Lockheed-049 or L-049 Constellation was rolled out of the
Lockheed factory in early 1944. A ceremonial 'Delivery Flight' was made from (Lockheed Air
Terminal) Burbank to Las Vegas (Sunday, April 16, 1944) by TWA, Lockheed, and U.S.A.A.F.
Personnel. The test pilot on the first leg was Lt. Col. Clarence A. Shoop. (Shoop soon married
film actress Julie Bishop at the Frye mansion, Arlington VA., July 1944.) The flight crew was
Howard R. Hughes, with Lockheed crew, Joe Towle, Thomas Watkins, R. T. Thoren. After lunch
in Vegas, and on the return flight, Ed Bolton of TWA replaced R. T. Thoren as a pilot.
(Clockwise from bottom) R. L. Proctor- TWA Flight Engineer, John Lockhart- TWA Treasurer,
Jack Frye- President of TWA, Louis W. Wulfekuhler- Corporate Secretary for Lockheed
Aircraft Corp., Commander Paul Richter- United States Navy, T.W.A.’s former executive vice-
president (on leave). Total passengers on board were numbered 28, all names are as follows:
Howard Hughes, Jack Frye, Paul Richter, John Lockhart, Louis Wulfekuhler, R. L. Proctor.
(Lockheed) Pilots: Joe Towle, Thomas Watkins, R. L. Thoren. Others: J. W. Shigley, Richard
Stanton, Wesley G. Lafever, C. F. Schmidt, Henry Lay, Eric Miller, Paul Wegefahrt. (TWA) Ed
Bolton (TWA Test Pilot), Lawrence Chiappino (TWA Test Pilot), C. L. Glover, (Radio Operator),
Joe Bartles, (Western Operations Superintendent), Joe Putman, (Western Maintenance
Superintendent), Kenneth Rearwin, (TWA Assistant Treasurer), Jack Walsh, (Western Chief
Pilot), Johnny Radisson (TWA Photographer), John A. Collings, (Vice-President of Operations),
Lew Goss (Executive Assistant, Operating Facilities). (U.S.A.A.F.) Major E. J. Kelley, Captain
William S. Cummings. The purpose of this event was a transition from Lockheed to TWA with
ceremonial hand-off at Las Vegas Nevada. Original Photo- Property of Sedona Legend.
Jack and Howard decided to make their soon-to-be record breaking transcontinental delivery
flight the next day. Twelve lucky guest-passengers (one was said to be Hughes girlfriend
Ava Gardner) were invited and told the plane would board @ 3:00 a.m. “and don't be late!”
TWA was to deliver the giant airliner to the Army brass in Washington; however, they would
not be able to add the Constellation to the TWA fleet until after the war (September of 1945).
The U.S. Government had requisitioned this new plane and all other airliners available at the
time for military use. The plane reflected the appearance of other TWA transports of the day. It
is said Hughes made the decision to have the Constellation painted in signature red and black
TWA logo (in this case, water-based paint) not the required Army camouflage (this was pre-
flight to Vegas). Later (at delivery) this caused quite a stir with the military; however, TWA
was proud of its new design, desiring the world to have the visual that the Connie was a
commercial airline project 1st, and an U.S.A.A.F. transport, 2nd.
Back to Los Angeles- finally at 3:56 a.m. (April 17, 1944), the Constellation airliner was ready
to depart. With its four giant radial engines screaming, the plane lifted off from Burbank into
aviation history! The mighty plane climbed out of the sleeping Los Angeles basin skywards
toward Needles California. From there, on to Washington D.C. Two crack pioneer pilots were at
the controls, Jack Frye and Howard Hughes. They would share pilot duties equally as they
winged their way to the nation’s capitol. Howard, the first half of the journey, Jack, the second
half. R. C. Loomis (First Officer), Edward T. Bolton (Navigator), R. L. Proctor and Richard de
Campo (Flight Engineers). Charles L. Grover (Radio Man). The world's fastest commercial
airliner cruised at 15,000 feet and was navigating a (hoped) record-flight.
Air route was from (BUR) Burbank CA., to Kingman AZ., to Taos N.M., to Wichita KS., to St.
Louis MO., to Cincinnati OH., on to Washington D.C. As the plane rocketed over the Southern
Rockies and Northern New Mexico it encountering unfavorable weather and turbulence. Over
Kansas, icing, necessitated a climb to 18,500 feet in order to stay above the weather. Soon they
were racing over the cities of St. Louis and Cincinnati. By then the "Connie" was in the
capable hands of TWA's most experienced pilot, President Frye. In no time, the Connie reached
Washington National Airport (DCA), after circling once, it swooped in for a perfect touch down,
amid a waiting crowd of military leaders, reporters, and civilian guests. A swift 2400-mile flight
was over. Cross-country, a record 6 hrs. 58 min., with average cruise speed of 327 m.p.h.
Military leaders were annoyed that the plane had been blatantly painted in TWA colors,
however; this was soon overlooked in the excitement of the moment. Jack and Howard exited
the plane to the deafening roar of an excited crowd, pausing at the bottom of the stairs for
photographers- a true hero's welcome. In an interview, Jack exclaimed the now famous words,
"the plane handled like a dream" the pride of accomplishment evident on his face!
For a week the plane was the center of activity, with flights being offered to celebrities, like
Harry S. Truman (not serving as president at that time but as Chairman of the Senate Special
Committee). Senators and Army dignitaries were flown over Washington D.C. by Hughes and
Frye. Absent on the initial cross-country flight was Helen Frye, but it instead she was a guest
on one of the “preview” flights. The plane was soon surrendered to the United States Army Air
Force for the war effort. Shortly after, the beautiful TWA airliner was refitted and painted with
Army camouflage paints and committed to the war effort and winning World War II.
Helen Frye, absolutely stunning, in a baby blue tailored suit, heels,
and 3/4 length mink coat, awaits the arrival of her husband Jack
Frye, and partner Howard Hughes, at Washington D.C., after the
two famous aviators broke a transcontinental record in the newly
designed TWA Lockheed Constellation airliner. Adjoining Helen
on the left is Jack's personal secretary, Beverley Dille. On the
right, Helen Frye's close friend, socialite-society columnist,
Austine 'Bootsie' Cassini (later Mrs. William Randolph Hearst Jr.).
Image courtesy TWA in-house publication Skyliner April 17, 1944.
"The Constellation Flight was quite a drain on me and I, like you, would have liked nothing
better than to have been along. I am glad that it’s over with; it’s been on my mind for five
years. Those maiden flights always cause some anxiety
." -Helen Frye (07-03-1944) from a  
letter to Robby Robinson who was the Frye's Lockheed Electra NC18137 executive TWA pilot.
The WavFile you hear is from an actual 1947 TWA Constellation  
flight: LAX-MCI-LGA. This TWA promo film (copyright-free and
in public domain) is called: "Letter From An Airline Pilot".
Images Not Found
Anywhere Else!
TWA President Jack Frye
Industrialist Howard Hughes
The President's Son and the Movie Star
A Grand Canyon Arizona Wedding
Hosted By
TWA's Jack Frye
December 3, 1944
Back Story
Jack and Helen Frye host a celebrity honeymoon
at the Grand Canyon and the Frye Smoke Trail
Ranch (now Red Rock State Park @ Sedona
Arizona). Jack Frye pilots the wedding couple on
the wings of his own executive TWA
mini-airliner, one of the most sophisticated
leading edge transports of the 1940's. The photo
to the right, shows Elliott Roosevelt and his bride,
Faye Emerson at the Grand Canyon, December 3,
1944. For more information on the photo to the
right please see page 1947.
A V.I.P. Wedding Flight
and the Arizona Honeymoon
Jack and Helen socialized with some of the most recognizable names in the world. In Jack's
business dealings he became friends with one such celebrity, Elliott Roosevelt, who just
happened to be the son of the President of the United States. Elliott was quite a business man,
and Howard Hughes, Jack Frye, and TWA were just one of many associations for him. All the
threads of these business dealings are too complicated and political for this page but Jack and
Elliott may have first become associated when Elliott was president of Gilpin Air Lines in '33, it
is not known. Interestingly, Elliott in August of '47 stated that Helen Frye and his wife Faye
Emerson were good friends, before, he and Jack became acquainted.

The destination of the honeymoon couple was the Grand Canyon (El Tovar) and the Frye Ranch
at Sedona. Throughout the years, many celebrities were guests of Jack and Helen Frye at their
famous Smoke Trail Ranch at Sedona. Many have been forgotten because of the limited press
in Sedona at the time, but a few like Marlene Dietrich and Howard Hughes are remembered.
Elliott is the most verifiable of them all as enhanced with secret service, a movie star, and a
U.S. President and first lady who were not privy to all the wedding details!
Washington Royalty Meets Hollywood
Colonel Elliott Roosevelt was recently divorced when he met Faye Emerson. She was a lovely
Hollywood movie star and her subsequent engagement to the current President of the United
States' son Elliott caused quite a stir in the movie industry. Let alone the fact that Elliott was
very handsome and dashing! Prior to their marriage she was working on a film for Warner
Bros. called "Danger Signal". Every time Elliott would fly over the sound stage the production
crew would stop filming and run outside to wave. That circus atmosphere was creating
headaches for Warner Bros. with numerous filming delays. Yet it was a heyday for Hedda
Hopper and Luella Parsons who worked for the studios! The Colonel, in knowing Jack and
Helen Frye, along with Faye, cooked up the subsequent escape to the Grand Canyon and Frye
Ranch at Sedona for the wedding and honeymoon. Of course, all of this entailed Faye "running
away" from her commitment in Hollywood, costing the studio thousands of dollars in delays. It
is assured though, Warner Bros. "ran" with all the publicity in regard to one of their "family
members" marrying into the U.S. version of a "royal family". Certainly all parties benefited in
the end! Only the film suffered as it took forever to finish. This not only due to the wedding but
also the national tragedy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt passing away in office the next year. At
that time Faye had to leave immediately from Hollywood rushing to the White House to join a
mourning nation and grieving first family which she was now a bona fide member.
Departure- Howard Hughes Field
Culver City California Aboard
Faye Emerson was whisked off the Warner Bros. movie set to Culver City where she joined her
fiance, the President's son. At Hughes Field, they were ushered aboard Jack and Helen's
executive mini-airliner; a polished to a mirror finish, Lockheed. As one of the most advanced
and powerful planes of the era, this particular airliner had a dual-purpose, it was a TWA
executive airliner, and a TWA "overweather flight research plane". The famous TWA logo,
"Flight Research Laboratory" was painted on it's side. The pilot was none other than William
John "Jack" Frye, TWA's most accomplished pilot, and president-founder of the third largest
airline in the world. Certainly Jack was qualified to provide transportation for a sitting U.S.
President's son and granddaughter. Other crew members were presumably Jack's private TWA
co-pilot Glen H. Knudsen who often flew with Frye. Destination was Valle Airport, about 30
miles south of the Grand Canyon. This airport was familiar to Jack and Helen Frye, as they
owned a large ranch nearby (Spring Valley Ranch) above Williams Arizona. This ranch, one of
four the Fryes owned in Arizona, by 1948, in all, encompassed over 50,000 acres of land. The
other three were Deer-Lick and Smoke Trail Ranches near Sedona and the 20,000 acre
Sunshine Ranch (now known as Red Gap) east of Flagstaff. Departure from Culver City was at
1:55 p.m. By 5:00 p.m. the gleaming Lockheed executive plane circled amid snow flurries,
landing safely at Valle Airport in Arizona. From there, the passengers were driven to the
Grand Canyon rim. Three wedding party planes departed from California that day, to include a
fourth plane full of reporters, which was forced to land due to inclement weather at Blythe Ca.
Four Planes Depart- Only The Frye TWA Mini-Airliner
Arrives Safely
- Amid A Howling Blizzard
The TWA Lockheed airliner which Jack Frye personally piloted was the only plane which
arrived at its intended destination. Mrs. Frye was on a second plane, which unfortunately, had
to make an emergency landing at the primitive location of Ashfork, Arizona, due to bad
weather. It's doubtful there was much of a runway there (it was an emergency landing strip)
and no doubt it proved a rather rough and tense landing. It can be assured that if Jack was at
the helm, this second plane would have arrived safely at its destination as well! The third plane
was forced to land at the Kingman Airport due to snow flurries.

At Ashfork Arizona Helen and the other passengers walked four miles in a freezing snow storm
before being rescued by a United States Secret Service agent who delivered them all safely to
Valle Airport and the Grand Canyon. This disclosure, by media sources in 1944, tells us that
there was a Presidential Secret Service detail assigned to the wedding party. It is not known if
the Secret Service shadowed Elliott Roosevelt after he left the Grand Canyon and traveled to
the Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff, Mayhew's Lodge, and the Frye Ranch at Sedona. It appears
from media sources and passenger loads the Secret Service was not on board the Frye plane,
coming or going from the canyon, but followed in another plane and car.

After Jack offloaded his passengers at the Valle Airport, Jack and Helen flew down to the
Sedona Ranch, landing at their private Verde Valley airstrip. After retrieving some accessories
for the wedding, and instructing their ranch hands and housekeeper to make ready for the
"Presidential" party, they returned to the airstrip. From there, Jack and Helen flew the
Lockheed back to the Valle Airport, arriving at the Grand Canyon late in the evening. The
Fryes drove up to El Tovar Lodge where they registered. Jack Frye paid the entire wedding
party bill himself at a cost of over $850.00 dollars! No, the weekend event was not charged to
TWA as media reports inferred early on. Later, Howard Hughes reimbursed Frye for the
wedding weekend expenses, according to my research.
Honeymoon @ The Sedona Frye Ranch
At some point after the wedding and reception Helen and Jack again boarded their private TWA
plane and flew back to their private airstrip near their Sedona ranch. Meanwhile, after a short
honeymoon at the Grand Canyon, Elliott and Faye were chauffeured to Flagstaff where Jack
and Helen drove up from Sedona and met them, treating them and 2 other guests to dinner at
the famous Hotel Monte Vista. The dining room was known for first class service. Late in the
evening, the wedding party departed downtown Flagstaff and the Monte Vista proceeding down
Oak Creek Canyon to Mayhew Lodge where the Roosevelts and Fryes stayed for the night.

Unfortunately, Mayhew Lodge in Oak Creek Canyon burned down about 25 years ago. The
hotel is so much missed locally that you would think it still exists! The location is at the
entrance to West Fork Trail where thousands of Sedona residents make an annual pilgrimage
(including me) each fall to see the beautiful autumn leaves before the winter snows fall. It is
said that it was this location the famous writer Zane Grey wrote his renowned "Call of the
Canyon" which became Sedona's very first motion picture. Guests throughout the years
included U.S. Presidents, movie stars, and even Walt Disney, who spent considerable time in
the Sedona area and was acquainted with the Fryes.

The next morning the motorcade continued its journey to Jack and Helen Frye's Smoke Trail
Ranch (now Red Rock State Park) at Sedona. Colonel Elliott and his bride spent two days of
their honeymoon at the "Willow House" which still exists today as the State Park Manager's
residence. Jack and Helen Frye stayed at the old Armijo Ranch House on the adjoining Frye
Deer-Lick Ranch (now Cross Creek Ranch Estates). Finally, after several days of relaxing with
the Fryes, the Roosevelts left the Sedona honeymoon ranch. Jack and Helen drove Elliott and
Faye out to their own private airstrip at Cornville Road and 89A, near the ranch. There they all
boarded Jack and Helen's private Lockheed and departed Arizona. It is not known if there were
other passengers on this flight. The destination is unknown. One source states the plane
departed for Texas (Faye's family) and the White House (Roosevelt family) where the wedding
couple spent time with loved ones. Another source; however, states the Fryes flew Elliott and
Faye back to Hollywood, California.
The Wedding Party Transport Mystery-
Was it a Lockheed Electra or Lodestar?
This event is the first time the press started mentioning Frye's private plane as a Lodestar (18)
instead of a Lockheed (12). Yet Frye stated later to the press that the plane used for the event
was the Lockheed 12? How could the press make such a mistake when the 18 was visibly a
much larger plane? One clue may be that at the time Frye was fitting out a Lodestar 18 to
replace his well known Lockheed 12 private plane.
December 2, 1944
Flight miles- Culver City California to Valle Arizona (approximately 350 air miles)
Departure @ 1:55 P.M.
Arrival @ about 5:00 P.M.

Jack Frye’s private executive airliner-
(possibly) 1937 Lockheed 12A Junior Electra NC18137
Original Lockheed 12 configurations:
2 pilots and 6 passengers (see note below)
Twin engine- (2) 450 H.P. Pratt and Whitney power plants
Cruise speed better than 200 m.p.h.
210 m.p.h. @ 7000 feet (as noted on a Frye flight)

Note: In 1941 or 1942, TWA NC18137 was retrofitted for Frye by either Lockheed Aircraft or
TWA- first two passenger seats removed- in this space (2) auxiliary (48) gallon fuel tanks were
mounted. This increased 12A fuel load to 298 gallons resulting in “a safe 6-hours of flight
time". This made it possible for President Frye and his V.I.P. passengers to fly non-stop
from Kansas City to Washington D.C., or Kansas City to Winslow, AZ. Passenger capacity was
reduced from 6 to 4 (2 pilots and 4 passengers.
airplanes from the 1940's. NC18137 (left) and NC33604 (right). Both airliners occasionally
served as a TWA "Flight Research Laboratory". As well both transports were in use by Frye
around the time of the famous "Roosevelt Wedding". There has been much speculation as to
"which" plane Jack actually utilized for the Roosevelt wedding. This confusion has arisen from
the fact that Jack acquired the Lodestar in December 1944. Recently, though, I found
documentation that this former Army Lodestar was not (officially) registered as TWA NC33604
until December 27, 1944. Yet Frye's private plane as referenced in Roosevelt Wedding
newspaper articles was said to be Frye's "private Lodestar". However, Jack stated later to
newspapers that it was his "Lockheed 12" (NC18137) that was used on this particular occasion.
This seems to clear up the mystery once and for all or does it? A mystery complicated by the
fact that no photos of the wedding party plane have ever surfaced. Read Jack's comment, as
seen below, (public congressional record).
(In regard to a Washington Congressional Investigation) Jack Frye, president of TWA,
explained that "he gave Col. Elliott Roosevelt one plane, not three, for his wedding party. The
other two were rented by Press Associations to cover the wedding story". Frye says "he has
known Elliott a long time and admired the job he did in the war, so turned over a Lockheed 12,
about eight years old, which he used for observation purposes and for trying out various
gadgets". "The plane" he says "was not pulled out of service".

One newspaper article of the day stated the passengers on the Frye plane were Frye, Col.
Roosevelt, Roosevelt's daughter Ruth Chandler Roosevelt, and Faye Emerson. This seems to be
incomplete though, as likely there was a 4th passenger and a co-pilot. However it does fit the
passenger capacity of the 12A in 1944 as retrofitted by Frye to accommodate 4 passengers and 2
pilots. It is likely the 12A, while owned by TWA, was never changed back to its original
configuration of 6 passengers, as Frye regularly flew it from Kansas City to Washington D.C.,
and Kansas City to Winslow, up until the plane was sold by TWA in 1945.

Another newspaper article from Los Angeles had this to say on December 3, 1944. In part
(The President’s son and Miss Emerson, and five members of their wedding party took off from
Hughes Aircraft Field at Culver City at 1:55 p.m., yesterday, (Dec. 2). They boarded the two
motored Lockheed Lodestar of Jack Frye, T.W.A. president, who will be best man. They arrived
late yesterday at Valley (Valle) Airport, near Williams, Ariz., about 20 miles from the luxurious
tourist inn where they will be married. After motoring through Grand Canyon National Park
they drove to the hotel).

This passenger load of 7 plus 2 pilots would be more suited to the TWA Lockheed Lodestar 18.
Interestingly, another one of Jack's V.I.P. passengers on his Lockheed 12A NC18137 in the
1940’s, was President Harry S. Truman, a good friend of Frye's. This was several times, one
when Truman was being groomed for the White House and several hunting and fishing trips.
President Roosevelt's Granddaughter Remembers Wedding
Recently I had the great pleasure of interviewing Chandler Roosevelt Lindsley, daughter of
Elliott, and granddaughter of the then United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Ms.
Roosevelt attended the wedding with her father Col. Elliott Roosevelt, as Maid of Honor.
Chandler was in Santa Barbara the day before the wedding and boarded a single engine bi-plane
for the flight to the Howard Hughes Field where she connected with her father, his fiance, and
TWA president Frye. Coastal flight weather was clear. Chandler related to me (although she
does not recall much of the wedding at the young age of 10) she does remember that an
elaborate large round flower arrangement was delivered by the 8th Army Air Corps in the
likeness of their proud insignia. From her description of the ceremony location it is apparent
the stunning vistas of Yavapai Point made a lasting impression on her young mind as well.
The image below is the
emblem of the 8th Army Air
Corps, as used in World War
II. This was the branch of
the service that Colonel
Elliott Roosevelt flew with.
Courtesy of-
Hughes Corp. Dispatches Plane-
Transport- President Roosevelt's Granddaughter
Many thanks to Andy Heins, president of the National WACO Club and chief curator for
identification of the plane seen above. Before I physically received the photo I thought it might
be Jack’s Lockheed 12, but at the time I did not know this plane originated in Santa Barbara. I
was of course hoping to finally get an image of the “wedding plane”.

Once I got the photo from the Roosevelts, I immediately knew this was another plane and
proceeded to identify it. In the beginning I merely thought it was a local shuttle plane. An
aviation friend here in the Sedona area mentioned that the plane might be a Waco, at which
point I decided to contact the Waco Club. This in turn led me to Andy who proved to be a wiz at
identification of vintage plane images. Although the photo has very limited identifying features,
he was able to recognize the windshield bracing, triangle wing window, and unusual paint
pattern, etc. What he came up with is seen below, this guy is amazing!

1936 Waco DQC-6 bi-plane
S/N 4386, Registration Number NC15706
(Currently registered as N15706 and owned by Wheeler Aviation, Knox, Indiana)

Wright Whirlwind R-760 285h.p.
Owned by Hughes Aircraft Corporation from 1941 to 1944.

The plane was painted Waco Vermillion with a Fokker Red stripe edged in gold. It was a
stunningly beautiful ship. The Hughes connection cinches the deal as the entire trip was set up
by Howard Hughes, Johnny Meyer, and Frye. I have not found any reference to this particular
plane in Hughes historical information yet, but Howard owned many planes, some he was not
even aware of! It is clear now, Hughes or Meyer sent a plane to Santa Barbara to transport Miss
Roosevelt to the Hughes Field at Los Angeles where she could connect with the Frye plane.

So in the end, the nearly 70-year old mystery plane photo Ms. Roosevelt had of herself taken
on December 2, 1944, is solved! We also have a photo of one of the "wedding planes" the day
before the famous event! Eureka! All thanks to Andy Heins!
Above is seen Chandler Roosevelt on board the Waco that delivered her from Santa Barbara to
the Howard Hughes, Culver City Air Field, on the morning of December 2, 1944.
Photo of the Wedding Party at the Grand Canyon
The Hotel Monte Vista in downtown Flagstaff in January 2011. The landmark hotel surely looks
quite similar to its 1944 appearance when Jack and Helen hosted dinner there for President
Roosevelt's son, Elliott Roosevelt and his new bride, movie star Faye Emerson, on the evening
of Wednesday, December 6, 1944. Other guests that night included, Mr. and Mrs. H. V. Watson
of Flagstaff, making a party of 6, and possibly a Secret Service detail. The dinner party arrived
in Flagstaff, Wednesday afternoon, from El Tovar Lodge at the Grand Canyon, and left for Oak
Creek Canyon late in the evening.
Monte Vista Hotel hosts dinner for the Roosevelt Wedding Party
The three images aside are provided by the United States National Park Service, Grand Canyon
National Park. They are "Public Domain" images owned by citizens of the U.S. The image above
of the exterior of El Tovar is where Jack and Helen Frye and the Roosevelts stayed.
Above to the left is the El Tovar Lodge sitting area where reporters gathered for the wedding in
1944, and to the right is Yavapai Observation Station- South Rim, Grand Canyon.
Wedding & the Senator Brewster Hearings
So what was the controversy over the Grand Canyon Roosevelt wedding event in Washington
D.C. and with the press? After researching the famous Howard Hughes-Senator Brewster
Hearings of 1947, I was able to pin point the basic core of the controversy. To surmise, Howard
Hughes reimbursed Frye for most the wedding trip to include aircraft fuel, catering, you name
it. A few of the expenses, the Fryes paid personally, as a gift to Elliott and Faye who were
personal friends. TWA did not incur any expenses. Brewster was trying to prove that Howard
used the wedding "gift" to sway Elliott who was in a political position to approve a new
government contract for manufacturing planes by the Hughes Aircraft Company. However,
nothing was ever proved and eventually the hearings were dismissed. Whatever Howard was up
to Jack Frye was never directly involved in the controversy and was not implicated in any way.
Brewster was soon discredited for his own improprieties and disappeared from public eye.
Recap Roosevelt Wedding
*Flight from Hollywood to the Grand Canyon on the TWA Frye private Lockheed Electra
(which looked similar to Amelia Earhart’s famous plane) along with three other planes, to
include the wedding party, a presidential Secret Service detail, and reporters.
*Wedding at Grand Canyon and lodging at El Tovar
*Transport to Flagstaff with dinner at the Monte Vista hosted by the Fryes
*Lodging at the famous Mayhew Lodge in Oak Creek Canyon
*Honeymoon at the Frye Ranch in Sedona (now the famous Red Rock State Park)
*Return flight from Sedona Arizona to Hollywood California
Washington Girl Friends- Martini Lunch
December 20, 1944
Mayflower Hotel Lounge, Washington D.C.
Helen Frye meets her girlfriends, movie star- Faye Emerson, and Garnett Gardiner, (soon to be
the Baroness Stackelberg), at the Mayflower Hotel lounge in Washington D.C., for a
champagne lunch. Helen and Jack had flown home for the holidays to the Doubleday Mansion at
Washington. Faye Emerson Roosevelt was meeting the 1st family for the first time. The
luncheon was interrupted by many dignitaries all anxious to meet Elliott’s wife, to include
Senator Albert Benjamin “Happy” Chandler. Media reports ran the story with photo of Helen
and Faye in front of three champagne glasses. Garnett was not in the shot. See page 1936.
The Magic of Early TWA-
The Glamour & the Dream-                       Starts with a Kiss!
At Washington special event TWA
Hostess(s) Dorraine Strole (Palmer) and
Rita Crooks graciously welcome
Constellation guests and fields questions
at the entrance to the new Constellation.
History has no Value and is Meaningless- Unless It Is Shared!
Left- Helen Frye ascends the Constellation stairs followed by TWA President Frye. Right-
Jack speaks with United States Secretary of Commerce Jesse Jones (dark fedora).
The Youthful Side Of Early TWA
On-line Newsreel of this event can be viewed here: (TWA Constellation Flight).
(Right) Howard Hughes, Jack and Helen Frye. Courtesy Robert Naranda Collection.
Seen (left) is the streamlined Constellation airliner
pre-flight at Los Angeles. Howard Hughes and Jack
Frye are center. The photo reflects the flight started
in darkness. TWA Skyliner Magazine
The famous TWA circle
and arrow is seen (left) as  
reflected on the TWA
Constellation entry ramp
at Washington D.C. (1944)
Shown aside are Jack Frye's TWA executive
Credit: The image above 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 1944 is
owned by Sedona Legend. Further information regarding photos seen on Sedona Legend can be
found at the bottom of Page 2010.
Seen (left to right) Mrs. Jack Frye, Jack Frye, Miss Janet Thomas, Col. Elliott Roosevelt, Faye
Emerson, Johnny Meyer, and Mrs. Joseph B. Livengood. Yavapai Observation Station (1944)
Constellation Shakedown Flight:                First Leg BUR-LAS RT
Credit: The image above 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 1944 is
owned by Sedona Legend. Further information regarding photos seen on Sedona Legend can be
found at the bottom of Page 2010.
To see this short film clip in it's entirety please click on Sedona Legend's YouTube Channel.
Jack and Helen Frye Host Party for 1500 Guests!
At the Statler Hotel (now Capitol Hilton in Washington D.C.) Jack and Helen Frye host a party
for 1500 guests in the Presidential Dining Room, this to commemorate the record flight of the
Constellation just days earlier, the world’s largest land-based transport. Howard Hughes
attends too, and contrary to popular rumor of the day which states Howard never shakes hands
out of fear of germs, he stands by graciously beside Jack and Helen and proudly shakes nearly
1000 of them! This promo, hosted by the Fryes and Transcontinental & Western Air, celebrates
the future of TWA, a grand introduction to Trans-World air travel via the futuristic
Constellation airliner, an event all but forgotten today!