Unbroken: A World War II Story
of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand
Unbroken will steal your heart while reading! A true story of survival of the body, the mind and the heart!
The book is based on the life of Louis Silvie “Louie” Zamperini. Zamperini was born on January 26, 1917 in New York and moved with his family in 1919 to California. Zamperini qualified for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany and finished 8th in the 5000 meter distance event. He was 19 and the youngest U.S. qualifier ever in that event.
In September 1941 Zamperini enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces and earned a commission as a second lieutenant. He was deployed to the Pacific Island of Funafuti as a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator bomber.
Here is the part of the story that becomes a journey of survival for Zamperini! In April 1942 while on a search the bomber he was on crashed into the ocean. 850 miles west of Oahu. The crash killed eight of the eleven men aboard.
- Zamperini survived the crash. The bombardier is housed in the nose of the bomber!
- 47 Days adrift at sea in a dinghy! There was the open ocean for miles to see, a storm, multiple shark attacks and Japanese Bombers strafing them and their dinghy. Then there was the thirst and starvation.
- Just think of the mental will power to stay ALIVE and SURVIVE!
- Zamperini was held in the Japanese POW camp at Ofuna for captives who were not registered as prisoners of war.
- Zamperini was held in captivity until the end of the war in August 1945.
- Zamperini was first declared missing at sea and then a year and a day after his disappearance declared killed in action. He was ALIVE and SURVIVED though!
The tragedies and the triumphs played with my heart throughout the reading of the book! How much can one person take, especially in a span of 2 to 3 years. Zamperini was a little bit of a rebel in his youth and I truly believe this helped him ENDURE and SURVIVE!