Jun 7, 2013

Dick Grace

Dick Grace (1898-1965) was a flier in World War I. After the war, he moved to Los Angeles and found work as a stuntman at Fox studios. His specialties were high falls and car stunts. A few years later, he bought several airplanes and started flying for the movies. He became known for crashing airplanes or "crack-ups."

Below: Dick Grace at work.

Below: In May, 1930, Dick was contracted by the General Tire and Rubber Co. to perform a "Blow out proof test" for their tires. 

Below: Dick Grace performing one of his "crack-ups."

Below: Dick Grace standing before a Spad he "cracked-up" for "Wings" (1927)

Below: While performing a stunt crash for "Wings" (1927), his airplane partially overturned. Grace's straps broke and he was thrown against the instrument panel. His neck was broken. He had this photo made wearing his cast.

Below: Dick Grace (center, wearing suit) with actress Colleen Moore (right of Grace), and Grace's stunt squadron, the Buzzards, on the set of "Lilac Time" (1928). 

Dick wrote several books about his adventures including, "Squadron of Death," "I Am Still Alive," and "Visibility Unlimited." His novel, "The Lost Squadron," was made in a movie starring Richard Dix. 

Dick Grace went back into the service (Jan. '43) during World War II. He joined the Army Air Corp and flew several missions with the 8th Air Force as a B-17 co-pilot. After the war, he operated a charter business in South America. He passed away at the age of 67, one of the few early stunt pilots to die of old age.