cinemafan2 (cinemafan2) wrote in carole_and_co,

The War Bond Tour and TWA Flight # 3

Below is a news article from the Deseret News on January 13, 1942.  (The Deseret News was an evening newspaper that was published in Salt Lake City, Utah.)  Carole's train made a brief stop in Salt Lake City on Tuesday morning on its way to Chicago.  This news article identifies several cities that Carole Lombard planned to visit on her war bond tour.  Indianapolis was only the first planned stop.  After she finished in Indianapolis she was to go on to Cleveland, Ohio (Gable's birth state), and then several other cities after that.  Obviously, this is not what happened.  Instead early Friday morning Carole and her party were on TWA Flight #3 headed back to Los Angeles.  Exactly why she aborted the rest of the tour and rushed back home has never been fully explained.

               Carole Lombard in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday January 13, 1942.,1368540&dq=carole-lombard&hl=en


Carole Lombard, her mother Bess Peters, MGM publicity man Otto Winkler as well as 19 other passengers and crew members all died when TWA Flight # 3 crashed into Mt. Potosi outside of Las Vegas, Nevada on the evening of Friday, January 16, 1942.   One eye witness, a Los Angele furrier who had a cabin in the area, said that the tail-lights on the plane were bobbing wildly shortly before the crash. 

                   Carole Lombard in Indianpolis, Thursday, January 15, 1942.                     

A variety of web sites cover this incident and the investigation that followed.  Here are some photos that bring home the stark reality of that event.

                            A TWA DC-3 like that used by Carole Lombard and party.



The seating chart  on departure from Las Vegas.  Carole and her party sat in the middle section of the plane.

                                   The interior view of a DC3 fitted out as a  "day coach."


                                    The middle section of the plane after the crash.

                              Others photos taken at the crash site during recovery.  

(left) Molten aluminum from the intense heat still embedded in the mountain at the crash site.  (right) Some air mail did survive the crash.  Here is an example.

The following website articles provides further details:


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