Frances Wilson Grayson

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Frances Wilson Grayson
Grayson-Frances 01.jpg
Born circa 1890
Cherokee Village, Arkansas
Died December 25, 1927(1927-12-25)
Occupation Aviator
Spouse(s) John Brady Grayson
Parents A.J. Wilson

Frances Wilson Grayson (circa 1890 – December 25, 1927) was an American woman who died flying to Newfoundland just prior to her attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Birth and education[edit]

She was born as Frances Wilson in Cherokee Village, Arkansas to A.J. Wilson. Her family moved from Arkansas to Indiana, where she graduated from Muncie High School. She next attended the Chicago Musical College. Her plan was to accompany her brother, who planned to be a professional singer. When her brother died she stopped studying music. She then attended Swarthmore College for recitation and dramatic arts.

At Swarthmore College, she met John Brady Grayson and they married on September 15, 1914. They divorced after nine years with no children.

New York[edit]

Frances then moved to New York City where she was a writer for a newspaper. She then became a real estate agent and became interested in aviation.

Aviation career[edit]

She paid for a new Sikorsky amphibian plane (a Sikorsky S-36) and received financing from Mrs. Aage Ancker. On the night of December 23, 1927 she left from New York for Harbor Grace, Newfoundland. The plane, known as the Dawn, was to be flown across the Atlantic by Lieutenant Oskar Omdal of the Norwegian Navy, though Frances may have planned to perform some of the flying herself. The crew included navigator Brice Goldsborough and a radio engineer Frank Koehler. They never reached Newfoundland and their remains were never found.


In 1928, the Ontario Surveyor General named a number of lakes in the northwest of the province to honour aviators who had perished during 1927, mainly in attempting oceanic flights.[1][2] These include Goldsborough Lake (50°42′N 89°20′W / 50.70°N 89.34°W / 50.70; -89.34), Grayson Lake (50°53′N 89°26′W / 50.88°N 89.43°W / 50.88; -89.43) and Omdahl [sic] Lake (50°49′N 89°29′W / 50.81°N 89.49°W / 50.81; -89.49) which are in close proximity to each other in the Wabakimi Provincial Park.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (2007). "St. Raphael Signature Site Strategy". Toronto, ON. Retrieved 2011-07-19.  p 14.
  2. ^ "Lost Aviators: New Lakes Named". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 16 January 1928. p. 13. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  • New York Times, December 26, 1927, page 1; "Grayson Plane Radioed 'Something Wrong' Friday Night; Then the Signaling Ceased, Silent for 54 Hours Since; Probably Lost Off The Nova Scotia Coast in a Storm."
  • The Frederick Post; Frederick, Maryland; December 28, 1927; Hope Dwindiling in Plane Search

External links[edit]