Louis Zamperini - Surviving Life as a POW

At Kwajalein Island, Zamperini and Phillips were subjected to experimental medical procedures.  After the war, Allied physicians (who were also POWs) reported how they were forced to make some of those concoctions.

Surviving Execution Island, Louie and Phil were sent to Omori.  Tom Wade, and other POWs, share their recollections about the person they feared most at Omori:  Mutsuhiro Watanabe (whom POWs called "the Bird").

Then ... came the real reason why Zamperini had survived Execution Island.  The Japanese wanted Louie to be a propaganda tool.  The Olympic star would carry much more "star power" than someone like Tokyo Rose.

Refusing to spread propaganda, Louie was sent to a different camp called Naoetsu.  Tom Henling Wade was transferred with him.  Standing at attention, at the new camp, the men saw their new prison keeper - The Bird.  Wade and Zamperini were stunned at their utter misfortune.

By the summer of 1945, the POWs believed they would be dead.  They were worried about what would happen to them, even if the Allies didn't win the war.

NOTE:  At the very end of this clip - at about the time Louie is reunited with his family - there is an irreparable audio glitch. 

See, also:

Louis Zamperini - Life Story

Louis Zamperini - Adrift in the Pacific

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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