The military life of Louis Zamperini
Louis Zamperini was born in New York but moved to Torrance, California when he was two. Before joining the military, he was an Olympic athlete, placing 8th in the 5000 meter race in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
Louis Zemperini was born.
Zemperini began his Army Air Force training in Ephrata, Washington where he met his pilot Allen Phillips who would stay with him throughout the rest of his service.
Louis Zamperini joined the Army Air Forces.
Zamperini met his plane crew.
Many bombers crashed but neither Zamperini nor "Phil" was on them.
An artist was painting the plane's names with a corresponding picture on each plane.
The first duty station for Zamperini and his crew was Hickam Field, Oahu were the war had begun for Americans eleven months earlier.
He was deployed to the Pacific island of Funafuti as a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator bomber. In April 1942 the plane was badly damaged in combat and the crew were assigned to conduct a search for a lost aircraft and crew. They were given another B-24, The Green Hornet, notorious among the pilots as a defective "lemon plane". While on the search, mechanical difficulties caused the plane to crash into the ocean 850 miles west of Oahu, killing eight of the eleven men aboard.
Zamperini's first bombing raid on a Japanese base.
The six man crew had been stationed in Canton for two missions over Makin and Tarawa. Here, local servicemen would throw grenades into the mouths of sharks trapped in the lagoon and watched them explode.
Louis' bomber, the Super Man, was badly damaged in air battle called the Battle of Nauru
While heading from Kualoa to Palmyra their plane crashed, roughly 225 miles north of Palmyra
After 47 days at sea, Zamperini and Phil reached the Marshall Islands in their raft and were taken prisoner by the Japanese Navy. They were beaten and mistreated until the end of the war in 1945.