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Photographs - Collections - 101-150 - #00120

Title: Richard Virgil Grace

Dates: ca. 1910-1945

Collection Number: 00120

Quantity: 300 items

Abstract: This collection consists primarily of photographs from Grace's professional life. Images include scenes from various movies and his aircrafts crashes, Grace's promotional car crash, and images of Grace acting in films. The collection also includes photographs from Grace's time in Europe serving in WWI, as well as photos with friends and family at home and abroad.

Provenance: The collection was donated to the SHSND by Cyril Grace on November 4, 1972.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Related Collection:
10109 Richard V. Grace

Biographical Sketch

Richard Virgil Grace was born on January 10, 1898, in Morris, Minnesota.  As a young boy Grace moved to the Mohall, North Dakota area with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Grace, and his two brothers, Alonzo and Cyril.  It was during those years immediately after the turn of the century that the young Grace saw his first airplane at a county fair.  Enthralled with the flimsy aircraft, Grace decided then and there that aviation would be his life's work.  It was a promise that he kept with a vengeance.

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, after years of self-imposed isolation, Grace got his opportunity to fly in the fledgling air force of his country.  Lt. Grace quickly advanced as a fighter and bomber pilot.  In 1918, the 20 year old pilot flew over the German island fortress of Helgoland and dropped three one hundred pound bombs from his Navy aircraft.  His daring and skill won him fame and, unfortunately, a Purple Heart for wounds suffered in the line of duty.  His experience over France, Belgium, and Germany proved to be beneficial upon his return to the United States and civilian life. During the 1920s and 1930s, Richard Grace was an unmatched stunt man and crash pilot for Hollywood during the movie industry's "Golden Age."  Walking on the wings of aircraft in flight, jumping from one plane to another, or crashing into the ground at between 90 and 110 mph was all in a day's work for Grace.  During one stunt on a plane's wing, Grace's clothes were torn from his body by the winds produced by the 100 mph air speed.  Grace completed the scene naked and gave his producers some fabulous - but unusable - film footage.  He is perhaps best known for his forty-seven crash landings for various movies between 1927 and 1940.  During that time, he broke 81 bones and suffered countless bruises and cuts.  Grace was the leader of a nine-man stunt pilot group known as the "Squadron of Death."  By the beginning of World War II, Grace alone survived the many crashes.  A prolific writer, this courageous pilot authored many articles and books dealing with his own experiences as well as fictionalized stories about flying.  For Grace, however, the advent of World War II was another opportunity to fly military aircraft in an open conflict with the Luftwaffe.  Despite his age, 46, the barn-storming stunt flyer was given an active commission as captain in the United States Army Air Corps.

As a pilot of one of the legendary B-17 "Flying Fortress," Grace was sent to England to join the U.S. Eighth Air Force (Army Air Corps) in daytime raids on Nazi Germany.  By 1944, Captain Grace made regular bombing runs over the Third Reich; in the process, he received another wound and subsequently received his second Purple Heart.  In 1945, at the war's end, Grace was the oldest pilot in the service.  He earned the nickname "Lucky" from the younger pilots for both his prewar and war experiences.  With the end of hostilities after the surrender of Germany and Japan, Grace returned home to his wife Christine, whom he had married in 1938.

The life of Captain, later Major, Grace was one filled with excitement and action.  Since he first saw an airplane in flight as a boy, to his death-defying antics as stunt pilot, Grace pushed his profession to its limits and beyond.  A prolific writer, the aviator put to paper his experiences as a fighter in both war and peacetime. His success in publishing his stories mirrored his career in the cockpit.  Major Richard V. Grace died in June, 1965, at the age of 67.  His wife Christine died in 1955; they had no children.  Grace was survived by two brothers, Dr. Alonzo Grace of the University of Illinois, and Dr. Cyril Grace of Northwestern State College of Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Dr. Grace was a former president of Mayville State College, Mayville, North Dakota.

Sources: 
Fargo Forum, June 26, 1965, page 8
Richard V. Grace Papers

Photographs Inventory

00001    Richard Grace in uniform ca. 1915
00002    Richard Grace holding a cigarette ca. 1915
00003    Richard Grace in front of a house ca. 1915
00004    Man with hands on hips                ca. 1915
00005    Two men in uniform on a ship ca. 1915
00006    People on fantail of ship ca. 1915
00007    Man in uniform in front of bamboo ca. 1915
00008    Man in front of large building ca. 1915
00009    Man in uniform in front of house ca. 1915
00010    Man and woman in front of large building ca. 1915
00011    Man in uniform in rigging of ship ca. 1915
00012    Man in pea coat on deck of ship                ca. 1915
00013    Man in uniform on deck of ship ca. 1915
00014    Triple exposure of woman ca. 1915
00015    Five men leaning on a boat ca. 1915
00016    Man and woman against a railing ca. 1915
00017    Two men crouching in front of bamboo ca. 1915
00018    Two men in front of biplane ca. 1915
00019    Bridge of steamship underway  ca. 1915
00020    Palm tree lined street of Los Angeles, CA ca. 1915
00021    Man and woman on a sidewalk ca. 1915
00022    Richard Grace signing a copy of his book, Visibility Unlimited ca. 1915
00023    Man in front of a biplane ca. 1915
00024    Richard Grace and another man posing  ca. 1915
00025    Richard Grace in aviator clothing ca. 1915
00026    Richard Grace in front of a plane ca. 1915
00027    Man in uniform and another man in front of farming equipment ca. 1915
00028    Man in aviator clothing in front of a small office ca. 1915
00029    Man leaning out from roof of tall building ca. 1915
00030    Two men with a movie camera  ca. 1915
00031    Main in front of an amphibious aircraft  ca. 1915
00032    Richard Grace and two other men in front of a helicopter ca. 1915
00033    Group of men in front of a helicopter ca. 1915
00034    Upside down biplane ca. 1915
00035    Richard Grace talking with another man ca. 1915
00036    Richard Grace holding a puppy   ca. 1915
00037    Man behind a fence ca. 1915
00038    Autographed photo of Richard Grace wearing flying helmet ca. 1915
00039    Man driving an oxcart in front of a biplane ca. 1915
00040    Uniformed man in front of an amphibious aircraft ca. 1915
00041    Man lifting railroad wheels ca. 1915
00042    Aerial view of amphibious aircraft base  ca. 1915
00043    View from a cockpit ca. 1915
00044    Group of uniformed men in front of an amphibious aircraft ca. 1915
00045    Uniformed man with four women ca. 1915
00046    Uniformed man with three women ca. 1915
00047    Uniformed man with two women ca. 1915
00048    Uniformed man with woman ca. 1915
00049    Uniformed man with four women who are saluting ca. 1915
00050    Man with arms around a porch post ca. 1915
00051    Man petting a dog ca. 1915
00052    Man in naval uniform with two other men ca. 1915
00053    Woman looking up ca. 1915
00054    Man in chair with a book ca. 1915
00055    Man and a woman outdoors ca. 1915
00056    Man in chair reading a newspaper ca. 1915
00057    Man in naval uniform with two other men ca. 1915
00058    Richard Grace in aviator clothing with another man ca. 1915
00059    Men in uniform on an airboat ca. 1915
00060    Crowd of people round a biplane ca. 1915
00061    Flying biplane ca. 1915
00062    Man in naval uniform ca. 1915
00063    Man in uniform on deck of ship ca. 1915
00064    Biplane over a field, "My field, Federated Fliers, Minneapolis, MN" ca. 1915
00065    Biplane on the ground   ca. 1915
00066    Four men sitting on a crate ca. 1915
00067    People standing around a car ca. 1915
00068    Biplane on the ground ca. 1915
00069    Airplane in flight ca. 1915
00070    Griswold in uniform ca. 1915
00071    Men in uniform behind a biplane with a bucking mule on it ca. 1915
00072    Men standing on a boardwalk    ca. 1915
00073    Man standing in front of an amphibious aircraft ca. 1915
00074    Men in uniform at an airbase      ca. 1915
00075    Men in uniform in front of an amphibious aircraft ca. 1915
00076    Two men in a garden      ca. 1915
00077    Man in cloak with a bayonet on a rifle     ca. 1915
00078    Man in a cockpit ca. 1915
00079    Large group of men in various uniforms posing  ca. 1915
00080 - 00081 Men in uniform in a garden ca. 1915
00082    Men in uniform posing in front of a wooden building ca. 1915
00083    Men posing outdoors    ca. 1915
00084    Aerial photo of European city ca. 1915
00085    Captured German blimp  ca. 1915
00086    European seaside city    ca. 1915
00087    Seaplane plying next to another plane ca. 1915
00088    Biplanes on display  ca. 1915
00089    Photo from roof of European church ca. 1915
00090    St. Christina church ca. 1915
00091 – 00094 European city       ca. 1915
00095    Flying biplane    ca. 1915
00096    Sailing ship          ca. 1915
00097    Boat       ca. 1915
00098    Man in uniform holding a box     ca. 1915
00099 - 00100 Man in uniform in a ventilation funnel ca. 1915
00101 – 00102 Zeppelin ca. 1915
00103    Biplane in target sights  ca. 1915
00104    Four men in uniform on ruins     ca. 1915
00105    Men in uniform in a car ca. 1915
00106    Richard Grace standing next to one of Caesar's roads ca. 1915
00107 – 00108 Aerial view of a coastline ca. 1915
00109    Soldiers outside of a café ca. 1915
00110    Zeppelin ca. 1915
00111    Soldier standing under an arch   ca. 1915
00112    Bombed city ca. 1915
00113    Two soldiers at the Colosseum  ca. 1915
00114    Soldiers sitting on a bridge ca. 1915
00115    Tree lined road ca. 1915
00116    European city    ca. 1915
00117    Road in Rome    ca. 1915
00118    Soldier standing in rocks ca. 1915
00119    View from a biplane cockpit ca. 1915
00120    European city    ca. 1915
00121    City as seen from a biplane cockpit ca. 1915
00122    Biplane surrounded by men        ca. 1915
00123    Steamship under way    ca. 1915
00124    European city    ca. 1915
00125    Aerial view of a city ca. 1915
00126    Coastline ca. 1915
00127    Bartender polishing glasses ca. 1915
00128    Women doing laundry   ca. 1915
00129    Two men and a child on a street corner ca. 1915
00130    Aerial view of a city         ca. 1915
00131    Trees and houses in the distance ca. 1915
00132    Soldier sitting on a bridge ca. 1915
00133    Railyard near Rome ca. 1915
00134    Roofs in a European city ca. 1915
00135    Small building overlooking the ocean ca. 1915
00136    Oceanside cliff  ca. 1915
00137    St. Christina church interior ca. 1915
00138    Orvieto Cathedral exterior ca. 1915
00139    Aerial view of European farms ca. 1915
00140    Boats at anchor in seaside town ca. 1915
00141    View of city from above ca. 1915
00142    Aerial view of European city ca. 1915
00143    Amphibious aircraft under way  ca. 1915
00144    Amphibious aircraft in a hanger ca. 1915
00145    Amphibious aircraft sunk at dock ca. 1915
00146    Amphibious aircraft in flight ca. 1915
00147    Amphibious aircraft in a hanger with group of men outside ca. 1915
00148    Amphibious aircraft taxiing to dock ca. 1915
00149    Amphibious aircraft afloat ca. 1915
00150    Amphibious aircraft being pushed out by man ca. 1915
00151 – 00152 Amphibious aircraft in flight ca. 1915
00152    Amphibious aircraft in flight  ca. 1915
00153    Amphibious aircraft in hanger with group of men outside ca. 1915
00154    Amphibious aircraft crashed on the beach ca. 1915
00155    Amphibious aircraft just above the waves ca. 1915
00156    Amphibious aircraft with two men posing alongside ca. 1915
00157    Amphibious aircraft and hangers ca. 1915
00158    Amphibious aircrafts pulled up on the beach ca. 1915
00159    Amphibious aircraft with a man standing on a float ca. 1915
00160    Amphibious aircraft with man leaning against it  ca. 1915
00161    Amphibious aircraft and hangers ca. 1915
00162    Amphibious aircraft taking off    ca. 1915
00163    Amphibious aircraft on the beach ca. 1915
00164    Amphibious aircraft in flight ca. 1915
00165    Amphibious aircraft wreck with two men standing with it ca. 1915
00166    Two aircraft in flight ca. 1940
00167    Several aircraft in flight  ca. 1940
00168    Richard Grace next to an airplane ca. 1940
00169    Man with a broom next to an airplane   ca. 1940
00170    Aircraft in flight ca. 1940
00171    Richard Grace standing on a biplanes upper wing ca. 1920
00172    Richard Grace hanging underneath a biplane in flight ca. 1920
00173    Richard Grace standing on a biplanes upper wing ca. 1920
00174    Richard Grace in front of a wrecked airplane ca. 1920
00175    Wrecked airplane ca. 1920
00176    Aircraft crashing into the ground ca. 1920
00177    Man in front of a wrecked biplane ca. 1920
00178    Men standing around a wrecked biplane ca. 1920
00179    Wrecked airplane ca. 1920
00180    Men standing around a wrecked biplane ca. 1920
00181    Richard Grace's wrecked plane in Hawaii ca. 1920
00182    Airplane wreck on a movie set   ca. 1920
00183    Soldier with rifle in front of wrecked aircraft ca. 1920
00184    Soldiers with a wrecked biplane ca. 1920
00185    Amphibious aircraft sunk on the beach  ca. 1920
00186    Richard Grace's wrecked plane in Hawaii ca. 1920
00187    Airplane crashing into a barn       ca. 1920
00188    Richard Grace's wrecked plane in Hawaii ca. 1920
00189    Four men standing in front of a biplane ca. 1915
00190    Man watching a flying biplane    ca. 1915
00191    Four men in uniform, "The Beautiful and the Damned"  ca. 1915
00192 – 00193 Amphibious aircraft base from the air  ca. 1915
00194    Ruins ca. 1915
00195    Small island with ruins on it ca. 1915
00196    Soldier sitting on a floatplane ca. 1915
00197    Funeral in Italy  ca. 1915
00198    Group of mechanics posing with an amphibious aircraft ca. 1915
00199    Two pilots in an amphibious aircraft ca. 1915
00200    Three women in bathing suits    ca. 1915
00201    Man in suit standing in bushes   ca. 1915
00202    Stunt in a biplane             ca. 1915
00203    Actors in a biplane Richard Grace crashed for movie "Wings" ca. 1915
00204    Biplanes flying over mountains for the movie "Wings" ca. 1915
00205    Two biplanes flying above the clouds ca. 1915
00206    Biplane flying above a field ca. 1915
00207    Richard Grace in a flight suit posing in front of an airplane ca. 1940
00208    Amphibious aircraft crashed on the beach ca. 1915
00209 – 00210 Richard Grace wearing neck brace after wreck in "Wings" ca. 1927
00211 – 00212 Richard Grace portrait       ca. 1935
00213 – 00217 Richard Grace portrait       1939
00218    Richard Grace portrait    ca. 1930
00219 – 00220 Richard Grace portrait       ca. 1920
00221    Richard Grace portrait in front of car crash wall   ca. 1920
00222    Richard Grace portrait holding large light bulb     ca. 1920
00223 – 00225 Richard Grace portrait       ca. 1920
00226    Richard Grace holding an object on set of "Wings" ca. 1920
00227    Richard Grace sitting on railing   ca. 1920
00228    Richard Grace in airplane with movie camera ca. 1920
00229    Richard Grace with four other actors ca. 1920
00230    Richard Grace on set standing on a shelf about to be hit by a chair ca. 1920
00231    Richard Grace with three other men next to a wrecked airplane ca. 1920
00232    Richard Grace on a movie set with a man and a woman and some airplane parts ca. 1920
00233    Richard Grace in a promotional photo for "The Flying Fool" ca. 1926
00234    Richard Grace and Bill Wellman next to an airplane ca. 1920
00235    Richard Grace and three men next to an airplane ca. 1920
00236    Richard Grace speaking with Buddy Rogers who is in an airplane  ca. 1920
00237    Richard Grace, Leo Nomis, E. H. Robinson, Frank Clark, Paul Lukas, and William A. Wellman around an airplane ca. 1920
00238    Richard Grace on set with two other men ca. 1920
00239    Richard Grace on set of "Lilac Time" with Earnest Hillaird and Grace Sarmond ca. 1928
00240    Richard Grace on set with an a man and woman crouching on the ground ca. 1920
00241    Richard Grace on set holding two men apart ca. 1920
00242    Richard Grace on set putting on his coat with a man pointing at his face  ca. 1920
00243    Contrails of a bomber squadron ca. 1940
00244    Royal Air Force squadron, every member has shot down at least three enemy airplanes  May 1918
00245    Four images of biplanes and men standing near them ca. 1918
00246    Woman with "Mother" written below the image and a series of place names and dates surrounding 1918
00247    European city ca. 1918
00248    Three biplane dogfight scene from "Lilac Time"  ca. 1928
00249    Unused number              
00250    Bomber going down in flames  ca. 1940
00251    Bomber with smoke trail behind it ca. 1940
00252    Drawing of man leaping from one flying airplane to another ca. 1920
00253    Man hanging underneath a flying biplane ca. 1920
00254    Man hanging underneath a flying biplane ca. 1920
00255    Richard Grace on top of a flying biplane's wing   ca. 1920
00256    Close up photo of a crashing biplane ca. 1920
00257    Crowd admiring a crashed airplane ca. 1920
00258    Soldiers with a wrecked biplane ca. 1920
00259    Crashed biplane in a field ca. 1920
00260    Biplane hitting the ground ca. 1920
00261    Crashed biplane in a field ca. 1920
00262    Two men in a crashed biplane    ca. 1920
00263    Man and woman draped over a crashed biplane ca. 1920
00264    Airplane hitting the ground ca. 1930
00265    Biplane flying over a crashed airplane     ca. 1930
00266    Movie set of soldiers on a crashed airplane in a village ca. 1930
00267    Airplane crashing into a creek ca. 1930
00268    Biplane crashing into the ground ca. 1930
00269    Crashed biplane in a field ca. 1930
00270    Richard Grace sitting in front of a crashed airplane with several other men ca. 1930
00271    Richard Grace and another man in front of a crashed biplane      ca. 1930
00272 – 00273 "Wings" movie set of soldiers charging with biplanes flying over them ca. 1927
00274    "Wings" movie set of soldiers and trenches ca. 1927
00275    Men digging trenches for "Wings" ca. 1927
00276    Biplanes at a small field airport   ca. 1927
00277    Soldiers pointing guns at cameramen on set of "Wings" ca. 1927
00278    Trucks rolling out of a small town on set of "Wings" ca. 1927
00279    French biplane taking off for German lines ca. 1915
00280    Troops with trucks on set of "Wings" ca. 1927
00281    Crashed biplane on a movie set ca. 1927
00282    Battle scene on set of "Wings"   ca. 1927
00283    Buildings used on set of "Wings" ca. 1927
00284 – 00285 Trenches on set of "Wings" ca. 1927
00286    Blimp used for shooting on set of "Wings" ca. 1927
00287    Trench construction on set of "Wings"   ca. 1927
00288    Biplane on set of "Young Eagles" ca. 1930
00289    "The Lost Squadron" movie set ca. 1932
00290 – 00291 Battle scene on set of "Wings"      ca. 1927
00292    Richard Grace pointing to tire after General Tire Test crash 5/1930
00293    Richard Grace and another man with car used for General Tire Test crash 5/1930
00294    Richard Grace and camera crew assembled for General Tire Test crash   5/1930
00295    Richard Grace preparing for General Tire Test crash 5/1930
00296    Moment car impacted wall during the General Tire Test crash 5/1930
00297 – 00298 Dornier Do 335 Pfeil Number 105 ca. 1945
00299    Richard Grace and a Lieutenant Colonel in front of a bomber 3/27/1945
00300    Richard Grace looking out of a bomber window 4/15/1945

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