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Wead, Frank Biography




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biography of Wead, Frank

24 October 1895, Peoria, Illinois, USA
15 November 1947, Santa Monica, California, USA
Frank Wilber "Spig" Wead was a US Navy aviator turned screenwriter who helped promote United States Naval aviation from its inception through World War II. Before and after World War I he was an early proponent of pushing the Navy into air racing and speed competitions. This competition, mainly against the United States Army (and their leader 'James Doolittle (I)' (qv)), helped push US military aviation forward. These competitions would give military aviation a much-needed spotlight in the public eye. The public attention that it generated helped push Congress to fund the advancement of military aviation. He served with distinction in World War I. After WWI he was a test pilot for the Navy. In September of 1923 Wead was a member of the US Navy team that traveled to Cowes, England, to compete in the Schneider Cup Race (Jacques Schneider Maritime Seaplane Trophy). The Schneider Cup (or Schneider Trophy), which was named for the French aviation enthusiast, started in Monaco in 1913. This most prestigious seaplane racing cup resided in Europe until 1923 when Lieutenant David Rittenhouse won the race and brought the cup home to the United States for the Navy team. On the 22nd and 23rd of June 1924 in Anacostla, DC,, as a lieutenant, Wead along with Lt. John Dale Price, using a Curtis CS-2 with a Wright T-3 Tornado engine, would set new Class C seaplane records for distance (963.123 miles), duration (13 hours, 23 minutes, 15 seconds) and three speed records (73.41 mph for 500 kilometers, 74.27 mph for 1000k, 74.17 mph for 1500k). Wead and Price would strike again on the 11th and 12th of July 1924, with new Class C seaplane records for distance (994.19 miles) and duration (14 hours, 53 minutes, 44 seconds) using a CS-2 with a Wright Tornado engine. Wead would have no doubt continued to be an excellent naval aviator, as a squadron commander, had it not been for a tragic accident--in April of 1926 he broke his neck in a fall and was paralyzed. While convalescing, at the encouragement of his Navy friends, Wead began writing. That would turn into a second, and even more important, career for him. It would be the promotion of naval aviation through the pen and screen. This second, unforeseen, career would be his true position of importance in promoting naval aviation, far more important than his endeavors as a pilot. Wead's writings would lead him to Hollywood and the eventual friendship and collaboration with director John Ford. Wead would receive two Academy Award nominations in 1938, one for Best Original Story for _Test Pilot (1938)_ (qv) and a second for Best Screenplay for _The Citadel (1938)_ (qv). Wead also wrote for leading magazines (The Saturday Evening Post and The American Magazine), and he was published writer of at least two books, including "Ceiling Zero" (1936) and "Gales, Ice and Men" (1937). Frank Wead died in 1947. 'John Ford (I)' (qv) would eventually be persuaded to make a movie about Wead, _The Wings of Eagles (1957)_ (qv), and would cast 'John Wayne (I)' (qv) to play the part of Commander Frank "Spig" Wead. John Dale Price was played by 'Ken Curtis (I)' (qv). 'Ward Bond' (qv) would play director Ford in the character of John Dodge. Mrs. Minnie "Min" (Bryant) Wead (Frank's wife) is played by 'Maureen O'Hara (I)' (qv). Frank A. Andrews' book "Dirigible" (New York: A. L. Burt Co. 1931), is based on the Columbia Picture screenplay of the film _Dirigible (1931)_ (qv) by Wead.
Don Burns (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)



-   (1935). Active on Broadway in the following production:

-   (1935). Stage Play: Ceiling Zero. Written by 'Frank Wead' (qv). Directed by 'Antoinette Perry' (qv). Music Box Theatre: 10 Apr 1935- Jul 1935 (closing date unknown/104 performances). Cast: John Bohn, 'John Boruff' (qv), Geoffrey Bryant, 'Chester Clute' (qv) (as "Baldy Wright"), 'John Drew Colt' (qv) (as "Dick Peterson"), Joseph Downing, 'Walter Greaza' (qv) (as "Al Stone"), Gladys Griswold, 'Alan Hale (I)' (qv) [credited as Allan Hale] (as "Tay Lawson"), John F. Hamilton, 'Nedda Harrigan' (qv) (as "Mary Lee"), Walter Hill, John Huntington, Hope Lawder, 'John Litel' (qv), 'Osgood Perkins' (qv) (as "Jake Lee"), 'Margaret Perry (I)' (qv) )as "Tommy Thomas"), Philip Remar, Grandon Rhodes, G. Albert Sith, Ben Starkie, James Todd. Produced by 'Brock Pemberton' (qv). Note: Filmed as _Ceiling Zero (1936)_ (qv) and as _International Squadron (1941)_ (qv).


-   _The Wings of Eagles (1957)_ (qv)

Pictures of Wead, Frank

Frank Wead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Frank Wead
FRENCH CANCAN: Type A1 military leather jacket for French Cancan ...
and of course Young Clark

Frank Wead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Frank Wead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Frank Wead | A Certain Cinema
Frank Wead

Frank "Spig" Wead papers
Frank "Spig" Wead
Frank Wead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Frank Wead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hollywood's Representation of Naval Aviation: Frank W. “Spig” Wead ...
by Frank W. “Spig Wead,
Hill Place: Protocol, Cohesion and Sacrifice in "They Were Expendable"
What distinguishes "They Were




Frank Wead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia FRENCH CANCAN: Type A1 military leather jacket for French Cancan ... Frank Wead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Frank Wead | A Certain Cinema Frank "Spig" Wead papers Frank Wead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Hollywood's Representation of Naval Aviation: Frank W. “Spig” Wead ... Hill Place: Protocol, Cohesion and Sacrifice in "They Were Expendable"
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Videos of Wead, Frank


Wead, Frank Videos

Written by Wead, Frank

  1. The Wings of Eagles (1957) (based on the life and writings of) (as Commander Frank W. 'Spig' Wead) <2,1,1>
  2. The Beginning or the End (1947)
  3. Blaze of Noon (1947) (screenplay) <1,1,1>
  4. The Hoodlum Saint (1946)
  5. They Were Expendable (1945) (screenplay) (as Frank Wead Comdr. U.S.N. {Ret}) <2,1,1>
  6. Destroyer (1943) (screenplay)
  7. Destroyer (1943) (story)
  8. I Wanted Wings (1941) (story) <2,2,1>
  9. International Squadron (1941) (play "Ceiling Zero")
  10. Dive Bomber (1941) (from a story by) <2,1,1>
  11. Dive Bomber (1941) (screenplay) <1,1,1>
  12. Moon Over Burma (1940)
  13. Sailor's Lady (1940) (original story) <3,1,1>
  14. 20,000 Men a Year (1939) (story) <1,1,1>
  15. Tail Spin (1939) (writer)
  16. A Yank at Oxford (1938) (contributing to treatment) (uncredited) <5,1,1>
  17. The Citadel (1938) (screenplay) <1,1,2>
  18. Test Pilot (1938) (original story) <2,1,1>
  19. Sea Devils (1937)
  20. Submarine D-1 (1937) (screenplay) <2,1,1>
  21. Submarine D-1 (1937) (story) <1,1,1>
  22. Ceiling Zero (1936) (play) <1,1,1>
  23. Ceiling Zero (1936) (screenplay) <2,1,1>
  24. China Clipper (1936) (screen play) <1,1,1>
  25. Alas sobre El Chaco (1935)
  26. The Great Impersonation (1935)
  27. Murder in the Fleet (1935) (screenplay) <2,1,1>
  28. West Point of the Air (1935) (screenplay) <2,1,1>
  29. Storm Over the Andes (1935) (screenplay) (as Lt. Comm. Frank Wead) <2,2,1>
  30. Stranded (1935) (story "Lady with a Badge") <1,1,1>
  31. I'll Tell the World (1934) (story)
  32. Fugitive Lovers (1934) (story)
  33. Hell in the Heavens (1934) (contributor to screenplay construction) (uncredited)
  34. Midshipman Jack (1933) (screenplay) <1,1,1>
  35. Air Mail (1932) (story and screenplay)
  36. The All-American (1932)
  37. Shipmates (1931) (continuity) (as Lieutenant Commander Wead) <3,2,1>
  38. Dirigible (1931) (story) (as Commander Frank Wilber Wead U.S.N.) <1,1,1>
  39. Hell Divers (1931) (story) (as Lt. Comdr. Frank Wead U.S.N. Ret.) <1,1,1>
  40. The Flying Fleet (1929) (story) (as Lieut. Commander Frank Wead U.S.N.) <1,1,1>