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Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3
by Robert Matzen
- Release date: January 16, 2014
- ISBN: 9780988502512 (0988502518)
- Format: hardcover, 400 pages
- Author: Robert Matzen
- Publisher: GoodKnight Books
- Genres: biography, history, film, historical, mystery
- Language: english
About The Book
At 5:00 A.M. on January 16, 1942, actress Carole Lombard, Hollywood’s «Queen of Screwball» and the wife of the king of the movies, Clark Gable, stepped onto a Transcontinental & Western Airlines DC-3, designated as Flight 3 in Indianapolis, Indiana with her mother, Elizabeth Peters, and MGM publicity man Otto Winkler. Lombard had just completed the first sale of war bonds and stamps in the nation following its entry into World War II. Exhausted from five days on the road, Carole intended to return to her husband and Encino, California home and by the fastest means possible. Fourteen hours later, Flight 3 lay a flaming pile of debris strewn across the side of Potosi Mountain, Nevada.Fireball provides a fresh look at Carole Lombard’s life, with plenty of focus on her list of lovers that included Howard Hughes and Clark Gable, and presents a first-ever examination of the events that led to that final flight and her death. The book also provides a day-by-day look at the struggles of Clark Gable and Lombard’s family, friends, and fans, to cope with the tragedy. Lombard became the first Hollywood star to sacrifice her life in World War II. 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.But Fireball goes much further and 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 Flight 3 crash into that Nevada mountainside?Author Robert Matzen digs deep into never-before-explored corners of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences Library to offer fresh new perspectives on Carole Lombard, “the Queen of Screwball.” He also explored 2,000 pages of federal government and TWA records on the crash and spoke to friends of Carole Lombard and Clark Gable as well as crash experts and family members of the passengers on Flight 3 to tell not one but 22 heartbreaking stories, one for each of the souls aboard the doomed airliner.The gripping page-turner Fireball 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. From the first page to the last, Fireball tells a story of accomplishment, bravery, sacrifice, and loss.
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