Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TWA wins Safety Award, 1945 Best Year Ever!

Mr. Ned H. Dearborn, president of the National Safety Council, in response to a 'perfect safety record' for the year 1945, sent president Jack Frye a letter that stated,
"It is with great pleasure that we inform you that Transcontinental & Western Air, has been granted a Certificate of Safe Operations - in recognition of its having operated the entire year of 1945 without a passenger or crew fatality. The directors and staff of the National Safety Council join me in extending to you our heartiest congratulations on this fine contribution to safe air transportation."
Read Jack Frye's response to this letter of recognition beginning in second paragraph. 

At the new year of 1946, a letter by Jack Frye to his employees reviews the greatest year in TWA's history, that is 1945. Some of the highlights he touches on are:

  • The greatest air traffic ever.
  • The most airplanes TWA had ever flown.
  • TWA awarded new routes to Europe, Middle East, Africa, India and Caylon.
  • First plane to span the Atlantic by TWA, a Douglas Skymaster.
  • TWA's first commercial Constellation, the Paris Skychief flew from DC to Paris in record time setting a new standard for International airline travel.
  • Various new domestic routes established across the US.
  • The purchase of 36 new Constellations for $30,000,000.
  • Acquisition of 8 leased Douglas DC-4 airliners for overseas operations.
  • 5 Stratoliner aircraft re-purchased from the military, updated and reconditioned for Transcontinental duty.
  • Over 9,000 over-ocean missions for the Air Transport Command.
  • The welcoming back of hundreds of employee's from military service, plus the addition of 3,000 more new employee's, totaling 10,000 employees company wide.

Images courtesy WHMCKC

Frye calls for Worldwide Transport System

In 1945, Jack Frye stated - "The pioneering spirit which developed this country", he said "went into territorial hibernation when our development had reached the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. We have been a rich nation living off the fat of our richly developed country. We didn't really need foreign trade, or so we thought, but now we face a most difficult future. We face the end of this war with much of our natural resources used up. Our government will be in debt 300 billion dollars (wow, what we would give for that today!) or more. We probably will have 15 million or more people facing unemployment. What are we going to do about it?"
Thus Jack Frye and TWA on the cutting edge envisioned the new global reach of the Constellation being just around the corner. A feat full of challenges, rewards and a future of epic commerce proportions.


Images courtesy WHMCKC

Saturday, July 20, 2013

'Star of Paris' Christened and Flown, 1945

Finally, Jack Frye's vision of a truly International passenger travel line is about to become a reality. The 'Star of Paris' on December 3, 1945 was officially christened for this momentous milestone in International travel. The TWA "preview" flight departed from Washington National Airport in DC for Paris with a very precious cargo, the newly discovered miracle drug, Penicillin! The pilot of the Trans-Atlantic airliner was TWA's own, Harold Blackburn. Total flight time including stops in Newfoundland and Ireland was a record breaking 14 hours and 48 minutes with an average air speed of 316 mph. Another TWA first!
Below are photos of the Star of Paris being christened by Mme. Henri Bonnet in Washington DC, and Mrs. Helen Frye in Paris. The aircraft photo on the ramp is presumed to be the same aircraft, the only color image known.
Mme. Henri Bonnet in DC

Mrs, Helen Frye in Paris

Star of Paris NC86505

Frye and TWA's advertising group wasted no time presenting to the public it's new service to Paris. This very artistic and inviting poster says it all! The Jack Frye vision of global travel had finally culminated into his dream far beyond what he could have ever imagined on the ranch that day he encountered a few old biplanes as a young boy. A remarkable feat for Jack himself, but for his company as a World leader in air travel.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jack Frye spends $30,000,000

Jack Frye and TWA are first to receive 36 new Connie's, routing their first commercial flights coast to coast in 10 hours, and from New York to Paris in less than 14 hours. Trans Atlantic air travel time is now officially being reduced quite significantly since the launching of Stratoliner service in 1940. The photo on the front page of the September 1945 Skyliner issue below is of the signing of this new contract by Frye and Lockheed officials in Washington, DC.

Open image in a new window to read.

Image courtesy WHMCKC

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Jack Frye with Colleagues & Dignitaries

Assembled are some photos of Jack Frye addressing employees, colleagues and president Harry Truman at various occasions. Not only was Jack an incredible pilot of all types of aircraft even as an executive. He was also a very personable human being that loved his employees whom he often mingled with. As a business executive he was obviously very successful. As an airline pioneer, one of if not the best and most innovative in his field during his tenure.











President Harry Truman presenting Jack Frye the Medal of Merit
Images courtesy WHMCKC