Beyond the Blue Sky

09 Dec

Frank “Spig” Wead: The Legend Behind Dive Bomber…

From “The Moguls and the Dictators: Hollywood and the Coming of World War II”…



Further information and research assistance is available from the following sources

From Gale CenGage Primary Resource Research Libraries:

From “Warner Brothers Screenplays, 1930-1950”

Screenplay: Frank Wead, Robert Buckner.
Dive Bomber.
Producer: Hal B. Wallis; Director: Michael Curtiz; Principal Cast: Errol Flynn, Fred MacMurray; Source: Original story, “Beyond the Blue Sky,” by Frank Wead; Script: Treatment. Beyond the Blue Sky, by Frank Wead. ND. 102 pp. [100/6]; Final. By Wead and Robert Buckner. 11 Mar. with revisions to 30 Apr. 1941. c 145 pp. [101/2].
Reel: 49



From the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

§ Manuscripts Biography/History

The Frank “Spig” Wead papers span the years 1851-1994 (bulk 1929-1947) and encompass 5.1 linear feet. The collection consists of production files, stage files, subject files, photographs, and scrapbook pages. The production files include scripts, clippings, and reviews for films on which Wead served as a writer. Of interest are the files for the stage production and film version of “Ceiling Zero” (1936). Other notable production files include those for “Dirigible” (1931) and “The Wings of Eagles” (1957), the latter based on Wead’s life. The subject files contain information on Wead’s naval career and family genealogy, as well as correspondence. There is no correspondence from John Ford, who directed “The Wings of Eagles.” The collection also includes unpublished aviation-related manuscripts by Wead.

News report of the accident that changed Frank Wead’s life, famously depicted in “On Wings of Eagles”, with John Wayne & Maureen O’Hara:

“Lieut. Frank Wead Slips on Stairway of Coronado Home; Operated Upon. Lieut. Frank Wead, one of the best known aviators in the naval service, was operated on for a fractured neck at the naval hospital yesterday morning. Wead sustained the injury which came near costing his life when he slipped and fell from the top of the stairway of his home in Coronado late Wednesday night. The aviator had just moved into the home and was unfamiliar with the staircase. Physicians, following the operation yesterday, said that Wead will recover but it is doubtful if he will be able to fly again. Wead’s outstanding exploit since entering the naval flying corps was his flight against British pilots in the international seaplane races off the Isle of Wight in 1923, when American naval fliers took all the honors.”



— Tim


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