Part of Con McGrath’s Role of the Irish in World War II Series


Known as ‘The King of Hollywood’, Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio. His father, William Henry Gable, was of German, some Swiss-German, distant Irish, and remote Belgian ancestry; while his mother, Adeline Gable, nee Hershelman, was of German and Irish ancestry.

The future Hollywood star was named William Clark Gable; William after his father, while the name ‘Clark’ was the maiden name of his maternal grandmother Rosetta Clark. (The Hollywood star’s mother Adeline ‘Addie’ Hershelman-Gable, was a daughter of Rosetta Clark Hershelman; whose parents Timothy Clark, and Jane L Bullock, nee Clark; were both born in Ireland.)

Sadly Gable’s mother Adeline passed away when he was only 10 months old.

After the Attack on Pearl Harbour, both Gable, and his wife Carole Lombard, who was the love of his life, became active in the war effort, selling bonds and helping to raise money. Then tragically, while returning from one of these trips in January 1942, Lombard was killed in a plane crash, along with everyone else onboard the DC-3 airliner. She was declared the first war-related American female casualty of the conflict.

Prior to the accident that killed his wife, Gable was feeling that the work he was doing to raise money through war bonds was not enough of a contribution. He sent a telegram to President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking for a role in the war effort. The president replied, “STAY WHERE YOU ARE.”

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own