“Forgotten Hollywood”- Life and Times of Carole Lombard…

Posted on April 22, 2014 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…Fireball_cover-web-680x1024

   Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 is a new book that chronicles the tragic death of the gifted actress. The book also offers a day-by-day look at the struggles of her husband, Clark Gable, and Lombard’s family, friends, and fans, to cope with the tragedy.

   On January 16th, 1942, Hollywood’s Queen of Screwball  stepped onto a Transcontinental & Western Airlines DC-3, designated as Flight 3 in Indianapolis with her mother, Elizabeth Peters, and MGM publicity man Otto Winkler. Lombard had just completed the first sale of war bonds and stamps in the nation following its entry into World War II. Exhausted from five days on the road, Carole intended to return home to California by the quickest means possible. Fourteen hours into the trip, Flight 3 lay a flaming pile of debris, strewn across the side of Potosi Mountain, Nevada.

   Fireball is a fresh look at Carole Lombard’s life, and presents a first-ever examination of the events that led to that final flight and her death. Lombard became the first Hollywood star to sacrifice her life in World War II. The War Department offered Gable a funeral service with full military honors, but the actor refused, knowing his wife would never have approved such a spectacle.

   But, Fireball goes further and explores the lives of the 21 other passengers on the plane, including 15 members of the US Army Air Corps, and addresses one of the most enduring mysteries of World War II: On a clear night full of stars, with TWA’s most experienced pilot at the controls of a 10-month-old aircraft under the power of two fully functioning engines, why did Flight 3 crash into that Nevada mountainside? Author Robert Matzen visited the wreckage site for inspiration to tell the tragic story. He also interviewed Robert Stack (a close friend of Lombard) prior to his death for his insight on the sad event.

   Life magazine sent photojournalist Myron Davis on the road to capture Lombard’s day of bondselling for an uplifting photo essay. Davis made 32 negatives on January 15th, 1942 and returned to Chicago to process the film… only to receive the call that Lombard was dead. Life subsequently killed his story and used only one of the photos in its obituary of the actress. A few others made newswires or surfaced for high-quality reproduction, while the rest remained in a trunk for 70 years. The entire group acquired from Myron Davis’s estate, many of these fascinating photos will be published for the first time in Fireball. All photos chosen for print have never been seen and offer a glimpse of Lombard’s hectic last full day of life.

Fireball_Type_4web3    Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 by Robert Matzen is published through Goodnight Books.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at 1:19 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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