Yesterday we looked at the headlines from the day of Carole Lombard’s death, published before she perished in a plane crash later that day.
They all said the same thing, in different ways.
Carole Lombard and 21 Others Killed As Air Liner Crashes on Mountainside
Clark Gable joins search for body of film star wife
Mother of actress alone in plane; 15 Army men are other victims
Bulletin: Brokenhearted Clark Gable turned back today from the mountainside climb toward the wreckage of a transport plane carrying his actress wife, Carole Lombard, and 21 other persons, leaving the search to an experienced crew of Indians, soldiers and hardrock minors.
Film Star Clark Gable joined ground crews of hardrock miners, Indian trail blazers and soldiers hewing a path up Table Rock mountain today in search of the wreckage of a huge air transport in which his actress wife, Carole Lombard, and 21 others were believed to have perished.
Miss Lombard was accompanied by her mother and publicity representative, Otto Winkler, returning from Indianapolis. Ind., where Miss Lombard had appeared a a defense bond sales rally. Also on the plane were 15 officers and men of the army ferry command stationed at Long beach, Cal. Miss Lois Hamilton of Detroit was the only other passenger.
Ground crews were unable to sight the wreckage of the plan, altho (sic) a Western Air Express pilot informed TWA that he believed he had seen the wreckage of a plane burning on the eastern slope of Table Rock Mountain dividing Death Valley from Nevada.
The pilot, Art Cheney, reported he was unable to get close enough the identify the ship. The country is extremely mountainous.
Gable, who had waited some time at Lockheed air terminal in Los Angeles for the “delayed” flight on which Miss Lombard and her party had been passengers, flew to Las Vegas by Western Air Express, arriving early today.
He joined the search at once. When the ground crews moved toward the wreckage scene this morning, soldiers, cowboys and Indians had before them one of the most difficult climbs in western America terrain.
The Transcontinental and Western Airlines plane crashed about 20 miles west of here at 7:30pm. a few minutes after it had left Las Vegas on the last leg of a transcontinental flight to Los Angeles, 300 miles west of here.
Miners in the vicinity said they heard the plane explode with a thunderous roar. Flames from the burning wreckage could be seen for miles.
O.E. Saylor, purchasing agent at the Blue Diamond lead mine, said he heard the plane overhead a few minutes after it left Las Vegas.
“Then we heard and explosion and saw the plane afire against the mountain,” he said.
D. Houston, an employee at the mine, said he failed to hear the crash but joined other onlookers five minutes later and still could see the glow against the mountain.
“It’s a steep hill and plenty high and I doubt that anyone will climb it in less than half a day,” he said.
Clark county peace officers recruited Tweed Wilson, septuagenarian Indian, to aid in the search. Army officers ordered trucks and “jeeps” into the area.
The scene of the crash was almost inaccessible. A dozen horsemen and a powerful tractor were pressed into service.
The snow-covered mountain is an 8,000-foot elevation at the lower end of the Charleston range, which separates Nevada from Death Valley. It rises almost 5,000 feet from the valley on either side.
Willard George, Los Angeles furrier who owns the ranch were Tweed Wilson works, said he saw the transcontinental plane passing in the twilight and that its tail appeared to be bobbing up and down in a peculiar manner.
“It seemed to be out of control for a time,” he said, “as tho (sic) someone was fighting in the cockpit. ”
A few minutes after the plane passed from view, it crashed against the mountain not far from a beacon marking its course.
Maj. H.W. Anderson, executive officer of the Air Corps gunnery school at McCarran Field, was in charge of the searching party. because of the rugged terrain, it was believed it would be almost noon before the party reached the scene.
First word from the scene was expected to come from airplanes scheduled to fly over the wreck at daybreak.
The transport left Las Vegas just at dusk and apparently was behind schedule. The course from Las Vegas to Los Angeles is not lighted, altho (sic) beacons mark the path.
The airline reported only one civilian passenger, Lois Hamilton, Detroit, in addition to the three Hollywood residents. Members of the crew included W.C. Williams, pilot; Morgan A. Gilette, co-pilot and Miss A.F. Getz, hostess.
Passengers aboard the air liner which crashed last night were:
M.B. Affrine, corporal, Air Corps.
James C. Barham, second lieutenant, Air Corps.
A.M. Belejekak, sergeant, Air Corps.
Hal brown Jr., second lieutenant, Air Corps.
Frederick P. Cook, sergeant, Air Corps.
Robert E. Crouch, first lieutenant, Air Corps.
Frederick Dittman, Air Corps, rank undetermined.
K.T. Donahue, second lieutenant, Air Corps.
Mrs. Clark Gable (Carole Lombard), Hollywood.
Lois Hamilton, Detroit, Mich.
Robert F. Negren, first lieutenant, Air Corps.
Edgar A. Negren, sergeant, Air Corps (brother of Lieut. Negren).
Charles D. Nelson, second lieutenant, Air Corps.
Mrs. Elizabeth Peters, Mrs. Gable’s mother, Hollywood.
Stuart L. Swenson, second lieutenant, Air Corps.
Martin W. Tellrank, private, Air Corps.
David C. Tilgman, sergeant, Air Corps.
Nicholas Varsamine, private, Air Corps.
Otto Winkler, movie press agent, Hollywood.
W.C. Williams, pilot.
Morgan A. Gillette, co-pilot.
Miss Alice F. Getz, hostess.