Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3
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This fresh look at Hollywood's "Queen of Screwball," Carole Lombard, presents a first-ever examination of the events that led to the shocking flight mishap that took her life on the side of a Nevada mountain in 1942. It also provides a day-by-day account of the struggles of Lombard's husband, Clark Gable, and other family, friends, and fans to cope with the tragedy. In effect, having just completed the first sale of war bonds and stamps in the nation following its entry into World War II, Lombard became the first Hollywood start to sacrifice her life in the War. The War Department offered Gable a funeral service with full military honors, but he refused it, knowing that his wife would not approve of such spectacle. Based on extensive research rather than gossip, this investigation further explores the lives of the 21 others on the plane, including 15 members of the U.S. 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 the flight crash into that Nevada mountainside? This gripping page-turner presents the story of the people on the plane, the friends and families left behind, and the heroic first responders who struggled up a mountain hoping to perform a miracle rescue. It is a story of accomplishment, bravery, sacrifice, and loss.
would go over and when on this morning it finally did, Charles leapt and waved and shouted so loud that even she could hear it near to a quarter mile away, and then for Charles the day had ended, and he would slink back to the house with his shoulders slumped, and he would do his chores and then get ready for bed, already anticipating tomorrow’s flight. In coming weeks Charles convinced his mother to make him a flight uniform like he imagined Jimmy would wear, and Charles himself crafted
U.S. Secretary of Labor, the first woman to sit in the cabinet of the president of the United States. In the 1930s about one in four women in the United States worked at a job outside the home, meaning that three out of four were “homemakers” and central to holding families together during the Great Depression. Carole Lombard counted herself in the minority, and by 1937 reigned as one of the highest-paid women in America and spoke stridently of her beliefs that the sexes were different and yet
different from planning the White Mayfair Ball or bringing the Encino ranch up to speed. She would just jump in and do it. America changed overnight after Pearl Harbor. Boys aged 18, 19, and 20 suddenly became men and mothers held them tight. 144 Fireball Manufacturing shifted to the machinery of war, and raw materials became precious. Hollywood changed its working hours from the traditional 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. to 8 to 5 so that production would be wrapped for the day before mandatory blackouts
wanted to be able to tap him on the shoulder and say, ‘Hey, remember me?’ She wanted to be there without being there. It was the longest they had been apart since they’d been a couple. It was like having her perfume in the room with him.” Early on Sunday, long before dawn, at the Winkler house on North Wilton, Otto awoke with a start. His pajamas were soaked in sweat. He lay there awake and then carried dark thoughts with him through the day. At dinner with Jill that evening, he finally broke
remake of Phantom of the Opera. Carole Lombard’s name had barely hit the papers before her career was finished. 13 3 The Radiating Halo The Blue Diamond Mine sat atop a high bluff guarding the entrance to Red Rock Canyon, southwest of the growing city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Almost 9,000 people now inhabited Las Vegas, and things were looking up further with the opening of a sprawling motor hotel and lodge called El Rancho Vegas, located on Highway 91 just south of town. The strip mining