Frances Wilson Grayson

Frances Wilson Grayson

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Frances Wilson Grayson

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

Birth and education

She was born as Frances Wilson in Cherokee Village, Arkansas to A.J. Wilson. Her family moved from Arkansas to Indiana and she graduated from Muncie High School in Indiana. 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 studying recitation and dramatic arts.


At Swarthmore College, she met John Brady Grayson and they married on September 15, 1914. John Grayson was the postmaster of Warrenton, Virginia and was twenty years older than Frances. They had no children and divorced after nine years.

New York

Frances then moved to New York City where she was a writer for a newspaper. She then became a real estate agent and then became interested in aviation. She was inspired by the Charles Lindbergh flight to Paris in May 1927 and she attempted to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by plane.

Aviation career

She placed a deposit on the construction of a new Sikorsky amphibian plane (a Sikorsky S-36) and received financing from Mrs. Aage Ancker, a daughter of the Pittsburgh steel manufacturer Charles H. Sang. On the night of December 23, 1927 she left from Curtis Field in New York for Harbor Grace,...
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