Carole Lombard's yeoman work in Indianapolis on Jan. 15, 1942 paid off in a big way -- and the national press reported it the next day. Witness this from United Press, in newspapers Jan. 16 (I'm not certain where this one is from):
Carole's fundraising enabled the American military to have money for this:
Here's the aircraft, in color:
Did MGM press agent Otto Winkler purchase copies of local papers as TWA Flight 3 made stops along its ill-fated trip? It's possible, although I'm a bit skeptical. Nearly all papers reporting the news likely used wire-service accounts (UP, Hearst's International News Service -- in 1958, they merged to create United Press International -- and the Associated Press).
Aviation researcher Michael McComb writes Lombard briefly left the plane when it stopped in Kansas City, meeting the public and signing autographs. He hasn't yet checked whether she did likewise in Wichita -- long an industry hub -- but here's what its old airport then looked like on the outside...
...and the inside: