January 13th, 2019

carole lombard 07
  • vp19

77 years ago yesterday...



...Carole Lombard left Los Angeles for what would be the last time.

This photo apparently was taken at Union Station on Jan. 12, 1942 -- that's certainly the outfit Lombard wore on her productive but ill-fated war bond tour -- but who's the man with her? I have since learned he's Howard D. Mills, state administrator of the Southern California Defense Savings Division of the Treasury Department. (He probably consulted with Carole prior to her departure, just as she discussed procedure with Treasury officials during her stopover in Chicago.)

Lombard was boarding the Union Pacific's City of Los Angeles train to Chicago:



This streamliner began service in May 1936 (nearly three years before Union Station opened) and was discontinued on May 2, 1971, a day after Amtrak assumed operation of U.S. rail passenger service.

The City of Los Angeles traveled through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa en route to Chicago. Notable stops included Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, Omaha and Cedar Rapids. Here's how it looked in 1941:



And here's coach car seating, although I'm guessing Lombard's party used a private Pullman car:



Learn more about this train at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Los_Angeles_(train).
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