Unbroken By laura Hillenbrand

Laura Hillenbrand, the author of this magnificent story detailing the life of Louis Zamperini. Laura also is the author of a well known story around the world, "Seabiscuit". She wrote "Unbroken" as a memoir to the life of Louis. Louis did not die until just a couple of years ago so she had first hand primary knowledge of all told in the book.

Louis the rebellious little kid, who was known around his town of Olean, New York for his thieving and his constant getting in trouble. His family grew tired of his ways and tried helping him find something to wrap his head around and get him to focus on things other than stealing and causing trouble. Louis only listened to his brother, and when his brother got him into running track, Louis fell in love for the first time. The running took his life over.

With his love for running his training was constant, all the way to the point of him getting so good he was the best in the country ( On a high school level ) Strong, and fast Louis swooned the country with his speed and endurance.

Louis went to Berlin to race in the summer Olympics in 1936, he even looked Hitler, who opened the games up this year, in the eyes. With the world unaware of his awful doings Louis smiled and waved.

Louis saw the atrocity that fell on our country in December, of 1941. This outraged him and thousands of other American boys across the country. Louis set out to join the Army Air Corp ( Our Air Force before it was created after WWII )

2nd Lt. Louis Zamperini was put into 372nd Bombardment Squadron, and the 307th Bombardment group on a B-24 Liberator nicknamed SuperMan.

On a routine bombing run of a Japanese held island, SuperMan was badly damaged and was not able to be used again, forced into a new plane they were unfamiliar with the next mission they went on didn't go as planned, the plane not ready to be in the air began to struggle and ultimate stop running in the air about 900 miles away from any land they knew of. 8 out of 11 of the crew on board perished in the crash.

Louis inspecting a huge hole put into the SuperMan a week before his fateful trip in the new plane they had been given.

Those 3 surviving being; Zamperini, The pilot Russell Alenn Phillips "Phil, and Francis McNamara "Mac" had to live on a small raft not built for the comfort of 3 people for 47 days they survived on small raw fish and rain water which didn't come to often. McNamara died on the 37th day. Louis and Phil found The Marshall Islands on the 47th day but unfortunately these islands were Japanese held and they captured the men immediately on sight.

Louis was tormented by Mutsuhiro "The Bird" Watanabe (Right), who later became one of the 40 most wanted Japanese war criminals after the war. He was by Louis' side for the entirety of his time as a POW. "The Bird" moved with him between the 4 camps he had to be at.

Exactly 1 year and a day after the crash Louis was freed and allowed to return home after the Japanese surrendered to the U.S. he returned with a big Heroes welcome. Nothing is said about "Phil" and his whereabouts after the first move to another camp, the friends were separated.

Louis and his Wife Cynthia (Left)

Louis got married in 1946 after the war was complete. He had a daughter (Cissy) and Son (Luke) right after. Louis had nightmares of the horrors he was involved with and for a good while after his coming home, he even hit the bottle extremely hard and it was hurting his family. Cynthia attended a service where Billy Graham was the preacher and this radically changed her life and she came home and began work on Louis immediately and convinced him to come see Billy Graham with her, and the message he just happened to preach, hit Louis hard and he rededicated his life to Christ and began a personal crusade of forgiving those who tortured him at the camps. Louis traveled to Japan and face to face forgave each Japanese officer he remembers harming him or others around him and ultimately tried leading these men to Christ as well. The only unfortunate thing being, Mutsuhiro refused to see him.

Louis Lived to be 97, he even ran the torch for the 1998 winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. He lived a peaceful life of speaking at churches and trying to share the gospel to people all the way til the day he died in July of 2014. Louis was apart of 2 Movie adaptions where he was directly involved in the directing and the script of each movie to make them as true to life as he could. Louis died before either movie was released.
Created By
Wesley Holmes

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