Louis Zamperini - Adrift in the Pacific

Russell Phillips - whom his crew mates called "Phil" - was still alive when this story about Louie's life was produced.  His perspective adds depth to what happened to the men while they were adrift on the Pacific.

On the 27th day, Phil, Mac and Louie heard a plane.  Rejoicing, they thought it was a B-25, but ... it was a Japanese plane.  Soon, the men were strafed and the life raft had many holes which needed patching.

Mac - the tail gunner - grew weaker and weaker.  On his 33rd day as a castaway, Francis MacNamara died.  On the 47th day, the two survivors reached the Marshall Islands, occupied by Japanese forces.  Phil and Louie became prisoners of war.

Then the men were transferred to Kwajalein - also known as "Execution Island."  They thought they were going to die.

Pete Zamperini - Louie's brother - also tells the story, from his point of view, in this video clip. 

NOTE:   At the very end of this clip, there is an irreparable audio glitch.

See, also:

Louis Zamperini - Life Story

Louis Zamperini - Surviving Life as a POW

Louis Zamperini - Making a New Life

 

Credits

Clip from 60 Minutes' documentary on Louis Zamperini.  Copyright, 60 Minutes, all rights reserved.  Video online, courtesy YouTube, and provided here as fair use for educational purposes.

 

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