William Jack Frye was the son of William and Nellie Frye. He was born March 18, 1904 in Sweetwater, Oklahoma. After his mother’s death he lived with his grandparents Henry and Lula Frye at the Frye Ranch. .He attended Rock School, Wheeler High School and Carver Chiropratic College in Oklahoma City. Jack was married to one of the wealthy Vanderbilts. The couple had one daughter. He and his wife were divorced later.
1921-22- Jack served in the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers
1926- Age 23, Jack formed “Aero Corporation of California.
1927- Jack organized “Standard Airlines”, a division of Aero Corporation. He was president of both.
1929-Jack made arrangements with Texas Pacific Railroads for joint operations for the country’s first coast to coast air service.
1930-Jack merged Standard Airlines with Western Air Express, becoming Vice President in charge of operations.
Later that year Western Air Express routes were merged with Transcontinental Maddox Air Line. Jack was made Vice President and Director in Charge of Operations.
Jack worked with Donald Douglas Sr. and engineers to develop the first of the famous Douglas DC Series Transport planes. In the book “The Grand Old Lady”, Donald Douglas Sr. states the most important letter he ever received was one from Jack Frye giving specifications and various ideas on what became the DC1 and asking if Douglas could build it. The rest is history.
TWA was the first to place into commercial use the DC1-DC2.
1934-Jack became President of TWA. He was commissioned Lt. in the U. S. Navy Reserve.
While with TWA, Jack was the first to adopt de-icer systems, Automatic Pilot, air brakes, anti-static radio and direction finder. Jack designed the TWA Constellation and made that plane’s first non-stop coast to coast flight. Transcontinental time had been reduced from 48 hours to 16 hours.
1940-Promoted to Lt. Commander in Navy Reserve.
1946-Jack was awarded the Medal for Merit by President Truman for performing air transport service in WWII. The Italian government awarded him with the “Order of Grand Officer of the Crown of Italy” for assistance and re-establishing air service after the war.
1947-Jack resigned TWA and became President and Chairman of the Board to General Analine and Film Corporation. After eight years he resigned and formed the Frye Corporation of which he was President and Chairman of the Board.
1952-Honorably discharged from Navy Reserve.
1958- He was a member of the Army and Navy California Club, The Cloud Club, Sleepy Hollow Country Club and Wings Club.
1959- Jack was killed in an automobile accident in Tucson, Arizona and was buried there.
1962- TWA dedicated an eight-story building in Kansas City, Mo., for the training of pilots, flight engineers and hostesses as the Jack Frye International Training Center. Ex-President Truman spoke.
1989- On July 8, Jack’s body was exhumed from Tucson and buried in Wheeler along side his brother, Don Frye, who was also an early day pilot and aviation pioneer.