Memorial Day Observance…

Memorial Day




Memorial Day or Decoration Day, began in 1868 when members of the Grand Army of the Republic heeded the request of their commander, General John A. Logan, to decorate the graves of their fallen compatriots. It has since become the day on which the United States honors the dead of all its wars and is observed as a legal holiday in most states. National services are held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Virginia.


Following are four entertainment casualties during World War II.




CAROLE LOMBARD (1908-1942) -Popular comedienne of films during the 1930s, most notably in Twentieth Century (1934), My Man Godfrey (1936) and Nothing Sacred (1937). In January 1942, Lombard had sold over two-million dollars worth of war bonds in her home state of Indiana. Anxious to return to her husband, Clark Gable, she chose to take a plane. The plane crashed into a mountain outside Las Vegas. Everyone on board was killed, including Lombard’s mother, Bessie Peters and MGM publicity man, Otto Winkler.



TAMARA (1910-1943) – The Russian-born radio singer and Broadway actress who made popular such songs as “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” “Love for Sale” and “Get Out of Town.” She was one of twenty-four entertainers, foreign correspondents and business men who were killed when a USO Yankee Clipper crashed in the Tagus River near Lisbon on February 22, 1943. Also on board was actress and singer, Jane Froman, who was severely injured in the crash. She was rescued by the clipper’s co-pilot, John Curtis Burn, whom she married five years later.




LESLIE HOWARD (1893-1943) – British-born actor best known for his role as Ashley Wilkes in the popular film classic, Gone with the Wind (1939). Howard died when he was returning from Lisbon and his plane was shot down by a German Junkers Ju 88 over the Bay of Biscay. His body was never found.



CHARLES KING (1889-1944) – Vaudeville entertainer who appeared in a number of Hollywood films, most notably the Academy Award winning, Broadway Melody (1929). King died of pneumonia in London while entertaining the troops.



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