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Part 5: Going Home with GhostsWhile having survived the immesurable cruelties of the Japanese, physical survival was now the least of Louie's problems. Suffering from what must have been PTSD, Louie did find some happiness in the debutaunt Cynthia Applewhite, and he quickly married her. But this beautiful band-aid could not suppress the horrifying nightmares that came to Loiue each night: The Bird tortured him continuously. Smoking and drinking allowed Louie to elude The Bird, but perhaps also induce a rage like so many other POWs possessed. Destiny intervened. Cynthia brought Louie to the evangelist Billy Graham, and on his second visit, Louie remarkably had a revelation: a vision of the night Louie promised God that if He would save Louie, Louie would serve Him forever. From that moment the nightmares stopped, the drinking stopped, and Louis Zamperini became a motivational speaker, helping all that drew into his path.

UNBROKEN:The Endurance of Spirit

"Forgive your enemies and pray for them" (397)

"Without dignity, identity is erased. In its absence, men are defined not by themselves, but by their captors and the circumstances in which they are forced to live"(183).

Russell Allen Phillips

Part 2: Flying for the WarWith much preparation, Louie,"Phil" Phillips and crew went on triaining missions and then true missions, with their B-24 D bomber Super Man. At a very close call, Super Man just barely made it back to base after the Nauru battle with 594 holes in the B-24 Liberator. The crew's replacement, the Green Hornet, proved to be not as reliable as Super Man, with the plane and crew crash landing in the sea 225 miles north of Palmyra. A main point of this section was the mysterious disappearance of cables that held Louie under the water. Their disappearance allowed Louie to be one of three survive the crash.

Part 4: Survival of Japanese ImprisonmentThe Japanese treasure honor and dignity, and Hillenbrand suggests that to retain power and dignity in the face of thier enemy is why POWs were treated with such cruelty. Louie and Phil were subjected to numerous physical and mental tortures on Kwajalein, Ofuna, Omori, and Naoetsu. Of all the tortures, though--of starvation, impossible physical labor, lice, isolation, heat and cold, and the psychological fact that today could always be the prisoners' very last day--for Louie, the worst was an officer, a sexual sadist nicknamed "The Bird." For whatever reason, Louie was The Bird's pet punching bag, the target of unbearable beatings and volatile psychological mind tricks, actions that Louie needed to survive in order to reach his goal: to live to see home again. His only refuge against darkness and depression was Louie's unwavering determination-- set in his personality so long ago--his penchant for causing meddlesome trouble, and the friends that he made in misery. The end of the war made rescue within reach, along with a glorious homecoming.

"Confident that he was clever, resourceful, and bold enough to escape any predicament, he was almost incapable of discouragement. When history carried him into war, this resilient optimist would define him" (7).

Part 3: Survival of the ElementsLouie had survived, but his longest challenge was yet to come. Louie, Mac, and Phil had all survived the crash--no one else. On the life rafts for 47 days, Louie and friends fought off starvation, dehydration, delirium, sharks, Japanese strafing, and finally death. Mac was the only one to succumb on the 33rd day, while Louie and Phil were discoverd by the enemy on the 47th day and taken into custody. After their unfathomable days of survival, each had lost about half of his body weight or more. Back in the States, no one knew of the duo's predicament, nor would for some time to come.

Part 1: ChildhoodLouie Silvie Zamperini's childhood was rife with dangerous excursions that defied belief and intrigued the mind. His utmost desire was to go beyond the accepted limit. The stories of jumping off trains as a two year-old, smoking at five and drinking by eight, stealing scrap metal and then reselling it to the same dealer, all illustrate Louie's determination, shaping his character and his ability to survive.

" Thrilled by crashing boundaries, Louie was untamable... mere feats of daring were no longer satisfying. In Torrance, a one-boy insurgency was born" (Hillenbrand 6).


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