Originally Posted by ethereal_reality
This is quite an interesting mystery BifRayRock
Obviously the death certificate would have the correct location of the accident.
That said, I love that original photograph captioned 'Signal Hill'.
asked, did the La Brea Oil Field have tanks as shown in the sepia photo? (near a row of eucalyptus trees)
The simplest answer would be that the penciled in location on the back of the photograph is incorrect. (but I don't think that's the case in this instance)
Here's Ormer Locklear's death certificate again.
Originally posted by BRR
Locklear died in a nighttime crash in an oil field near 3rd Street and Fairfax (Gilmore?). It was just a few blocks up from the two airfields, Rogers and De Mille, at the time at Fairfax and Wilshire. He took of from De Mille with a passenger, a pal, Skeets Elliot. IIRC, it was to be the final climactic scene for The Skywayman.
A line of five or so searchlights were pointed skyward up Fairfax. The stunt was for Locklear to put his Jenny into a spin inside the line of lights. He would, of course, pull out in time--a cut would be made to a shot of a crashed wreck with his character's body lying alongside it.
As he kicked the Jenny into the spin, he ignited ten magnesium flares along the trailing edge of the wing. For reasons never determined, he never pulled out of it.
Universal did not want Locklear flying the stunt, according to legend, but he insisted, saying "my public demands it, " or some such.
The bit about his love affair with Viola Dana was true enough, not just studio PR fluff. Pilots were like NBA All-stars in 1919. The two had an aeronautical romance--Locklear would fly low and slow along Hollywood Boulevard and Viola, in the front seat, would throw compacts and other things to onlookers below. She mourned him all her life.
I wrote and directed a play about them at the Mark Taper Forum Lab at the Anson Theater in 1981 and again in 1982. The show turned out fine, but it hasn't been seen since.