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Unbroken - Louis Zamperini Story - Summary

Meet Louis Zamperini who, living through a troubled childhood, discovers running at the age of 15. It was as if he forgot how to walk; he ran everywhere. When he got to his first high school track meet at UCLA, the truth hit him: He ran faster than any of the 101 other boys. In fact, he set running records, one of which was unbroken for 18 years.

Zamperini was fast-enough to enter the 1936 Olympics in Berlin Germany, where he ran the 5,000 meter race. It was in Germany where he made a name for himself, met Hitler and observed events leading to the coming war.

In 1942, Louie joined the Army and was assigned to a bomb unit in the Pacific. As a bombardier on a B-24, Louie dropped bombs. Learn why the B-24 was called a “Flying Coffin.” Learn its history and take a look inside the cockpit. Go along on B-24 bomb runs. Look at images of bomb loadings, mid-air collisions and crash landings.

Crash land with Louie’s plane, Green Hornet. Sit in a life raft with Louie and two crewmates who survived the crash in the Pacific Ocean. Although one crew member died, Louie and Lt. Russell Allen (Phil) Phillips survived 47 days at sea living on rain water, fish and birds.

Imagine their horror when they were discovered by Japanese soldiers rather than Allies. Track Louie and Phil’s journey from one Japanese prisoner of war camp to another. Visualize the abuse the Americans received at the hands of the Japanese from 1943 to 1945. Details of various guards, and their mistreatment of prisoners, are well-documented.

Post-war, discover how Louis was transformed by religion from an angry and bitter man to someone who was able to forgive his former Japanese guards in person in Japan. Decide whether you could survive and forgive abuse like Louie.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 01, 2011

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Unbroken - Louis Zamperini Story" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 01, 2011. Oct 22, 2017.
       <https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Unbroken-Louis-Zamperini-Story/Summary>.
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