Louis Zamperini 47 days at sea

His survival of a POW camp and his journey to forgiveness

Louis Zamperini's childhood

Louis was born January 26 1917 in Olean, New York his parents were immigrants from Italy and moved from new York to Torrance California at a young age .

Louis was a troubled child coming from immigrant parents he was often in trouble with the law and authority until one officer offered him this "Why don't you use your fleet feet for sport instead of mischief." Louis Joined his high school track team were he broke the record in the mile run at 4 minutes and 21 seconds.

Louis's career before and during the war

Soon after high school Louis had dreams to make it to the 1936 Olympics he qualified tying up with the 5000 meter world record holder. The games he participated at were in Berlin Germany where he finished 8th over all at the age of 19th he was the youngest participant and was also Americas top finisher in the event. With his plans to run for gold in the 1940's Olympic games he instead joined the air corps in 1941 were he served as a liberator on a B-24 bomber he was in the 372 air squadron. His plane was named superman and him and his squad flew on several missions including the one famous raid of wake island were his plane nearly ran out of fuel trying to make it back to the air strip.

Louie's biggest challenge

On May 27, 1943 Louie and his squad went out on a search and rescue mission over the pacific ocean when his two engines cut out and the plane headed straight into the sea, 3 of the 7 people on the plane survived on a lift raft with a couple thing of water and a tiny bit of food a couple times Japanese bombers came and shot at them and on the 33rd day McNamara had died from being eaten by a shark after Japanese shot at them and Louie and Phillips lasted another two weeks until they were captured by the Japanese navy. Louie and Phillips were held on Kwajalein island until shipped into Japan's main island and sent around to 3 different interrogation centers and POW camps were he would then suffer from many disease starvation and torture daily. A corporal Mutshiro Wantanbe or known as "little bird" who found much joy in torturing Louie and would do it ever single day he would beat him with clubs, belts, his fists and even made him hold a beam over his head and threatened him if he dropped it he would be shot on sight. He continued to be tortured until liberated in September of 1945.

Louie's road to forgiveness

Louie was unable to finish his running career due to his starvation and his body would never be the same. Louie became dependent on alcohol to escape his nightmares and flashbacks. Louie gives credit for being saved from his post traumatic stress to a priest named Billy Graham in 1949. When he came to Christ he began to preach world wide and started camps for troubled youth. In 1950 he visited Japan for the first time since his liberation and met face to face with his tormentors from Sugamo prison in Tokyo. Zamperini later wrote a letter to Mutshiro about his forgiveness and even tried to meet up with him in 1998 winter Olympics at Nagano but Mutshiro never showed. Louis found himself able to forgive him through god because he had remembered god forgave all

Theme of his journey

I feel the theme of his story is Forgiveness because he some how after all those years of being beaten tormented on the brink of death the find the humanity in people and forgive them and it takes a very strong person to do that.

Type of conflict

He type of conflict is Character vs Character and Character vs nature
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