16 Jan 1942: Carole Lombard, Life Lost To A Flip Of A Coin

CLIPPED FROM: The Daily Item / Sunbury, Pennsylvania
17 Jan 1942, Sat  •  Page 2

Carole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne. When her parents separated, she moved with her mother to California. Her career spanned from the silent era to “talkies.” An auto accident almost ended her life and left her with scars on her face that almost ended her acting career as well. She would cover the scars with heavy cosmetics and continue on, undaunted.

She received her only Oscar nomination for Best Actress in “My Man Godfrey”. But it would be her movie “No Man Of Her Own” that saw her opposite Clark Gable. They became the ideal Hollywood couple known for their success in the film industry and would wed seven years later.

On January 16, 1942, Carole Lombard was killed when the TWA DC-3 plane she was traveling in crashed en route from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Clark Gable journeyed to Nevada to join a search party seeking the wreckage of the DC-3 airliner which has been flying from Indianapolis to Los Angeles.

Aboard were 22 passengers including Carole Lombard Gable and her mother. She had completed a war bond drive just before boarding. There were no survivors. Clark Gable rode on the train that carried the bodies of his wife and mother-in-law back to Los Angeles. She had left specific instructions for her burial in the event of death. Clark Gable purchased three crypts at Forest Lawn Cemetery, one for Carole, her mother and a reserve for himself. She mandated a swift, direct interment in a mausoleum crypt at Forest Lawn with only her immediate family present. In the wake of her death at age 33, the Army offered to conduct a military funeral to honor the first star to give her life while aiding the war effort. They were refused and her wishes were carried out as specified. A World War II Liberty Ship was christened in her honor. She is interred next to Gable and to her mother, Elizabeth Peters, who also perished in the crash.

CLIPPED FROM: The Lincoln Star / Lincoln, Nebraska
17 Jan 1942, Sat  •  Page 1
CLIPPED FROM: Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
17 Jan 1942, Sat  •  Page 3
Right: Otto Winkler, Center: Carole Lombard, Left: Clark Gable, March 1939

CLIPPED FROM: The Nebraska State Journal / Lincoln, Nebraska
17 Jan 1942, Sat  •  Page 1
CLIPPED FROM: Fremont Tribune / Fremont, Nebraska
17 Jan 1942, Sat  •  Page 2
Source LA Public Library:

Photo caption dated Jan. 15, 1944
“In an impressive ceremony attended by leaders of the film industry, actress Irene Dunne, center, is shown launching the S.S. Carole Lombard, Liberty ship named in honor of the film star who died in an air crash while making a war bond tour, at Wilmington today. Left to right, Capt. Clark Gable, husband of Miss Lombard; Mrs. Walter Lang, matron of honor [whited out]; Miss Dunne, and Louis B. Mayer.”

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