Carole Lombard's service to America on what would be the last full day of her life -- Jan. 15, 1942, when she sold more than $2.1 million worth of war bonds at the Indiana State Capitol -- was not forgotten.
In 1946, Lombard's widower, Clark Gable, received this from the Treasury Department...
...along with this letter:
Here's the letter in close-up:
The letter implies that other women -- women who didn't make the ultimate sacrifice -- may have received a similar award. And that includes other actresses, such as Hedy Lamarr, shown here at bond rally in York, Pa., later in 1942:
I have no idea whether Lamarr, or other women, received similar awards for their contributions.
Gable, who would make his contribution to the war effort in uniform (though Carole sadly would not be there to see it), probably treasured this item honoring his late wife's patriotism.
This one-of-a-kind item of Lombardiana is being auctioned at eBay, though only the most serious (and wealthy) collectors likely will be able to pursue this. That's because the minimum bid is $50,000. If, for some reason, you have that money available, or will come into it over the next few days -- bidding ends at 8:52 p.m. (Eastern) next Thursday, the day after the Fourth of July -- go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-1941-1945-Patriotic-Medal-for-Services-/130721993190?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e6fa351e6. Of course, you can always go there merely to online window shop.
It's always good to remember how much Lombard loved the country, and how she proved it in both word and deed.