The Life of Louis Zamperini

Early Life

Louis Zamperini is Born

26 Jan 1917

Louis Zamperini Starts Running

1 Jun 1932

Loius decides to clean his life up and starts running with his brother, Pete.

Louis Qualifies For The 1936 Olympics

12 Jul 1936

Louis places second in the qualifier in New York by less than a hundredth of a second. He gets too run in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Gmaes.

Louis Places 8th in the Olympics

7 Aug 1936

Louis places 8th in the 5,000 meter run. His last lap was the fastest lap of the entire olympic games in the 5,000 meter run at 56 seconds.

Military Training and Pre-Crash

Louis Enlists in the Army

29 Sep 1941

After purposfully failling his first physical, Louis returns a few days later on th 29th to pass the physical and enlist.

Pearl Harbor Attacked

7 Dec 1941

While in training in Texas, Louis is in the theater at the military base when the theater lights are turned on and he commaded to return to the barracks because Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor.

Louis is deployed to a base in Ephrata, Washington

19 Aug 1942

Phillips and his crew are assigned a B-24D

26 Aug 1942

Mid to late August, Phil, Louis, and the rest of the crew are assigned a B-24D that would soon become "Super Man"

Louis and the crew are transfered Hamilton Airfield in California

24 Oct 1942

After leaving Ephrata and going to Sioux City, they are transfered to Hamilton Airfield.

The "Super Man" crew are ordered to Hawaii

2 Nov 1942

The crew was ordered to fly to Oahu's Hickman Field

"Super Man" returns from a mission with 594 holes in it

18 Apr 1943

"Super Man" returns from a mission with 594 holes in it. This would be the last mission for "Super Man".

Louis runs a mile in 4 minutes and 12 seconds

27 May 1943

Louis runs his fastest mile yet. The same day, he would be assigned to "Green Hornet" and would crash in the Pacific starting his harsh journey.

The Pacific Ocean

"Green Hornet" Goes Down In The Pacific Ocean

27 May 1943

Louis, Mac, and Phil are the only survivors of the crash.

Louis, Mac, and Phil are declared dead

4 Jun 1943

On The 27th Day, A Japanese Bomber finds Louis, Phil, and Mac

23 Jun 1943

A Japanese Bomber finds Louis, Phil, and Mac in their raft and makes four passes, shooting at them with machine guns. No one is injured.

On The 33rd Day, Francis McNamara Dies

28 Jun 1943

Mac dies and Louis and Phil wrap him, give a little eulogy, and drop him in the ocean.

Louis and Phil are captured by a Japanese Vessel after 47 days on the raft

12 Jul 1943

Louis and Phil are captured by a Japanese Vessel after 47 days on the raft floating over 2,000 miles. When they left Oahu, Louis weighed 155 pounds and Phil weighed 150 pounds. When they were weighed on the Japanese boat, Louis weighed 87 pounds and Phil weighed 80 pounds.

POW Camps

Louis and Phil are brought to Kwajalein a.k.a. Execution island

14 Jul 1943

Louis and Phil are transfered to Yokohama, Japan.

26 Aug 1943

Louis and Phil are transfered from Kwajalein to Yokohama, Japan. In Yokohama, they would be put in Ofuna POW Camp.

Louis is transfered to Omori POW camp

30 Sep 1944

Louis is transfered to Omori POW camp where he meets Mutsuhiro Watanabe a.k.a The Bird who will torment Louis day in and day out physically and mentally even after the war is over.

Louis sends a message on a Tokyo Radio Station

19 Nov 1944

Louis sends a message on a Tokyo Radio Station that is heard by a friend of the Zamperinis, Lynn Moody, who lives in San Francisco and he informs the Zamperinis that Louis is indeed alive.

Louis is transfered to Camp 4B a.k.a. Naoetsu

28 Feb 1945

Louis and some friends are transferred from Omori, where The Bird had just left, to Naoetsu, where Louis will discover The Bird had also been transferred to as well.

An Atomic Bomb is dropped on Hiroshima, Japan

6 Aug 1945

An Atomic Bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan also

9 Aug 1945

Japan officially surrenders and the war is officially over

4 Sep 1945

Louis is taken home from Japan on a B-24

17 Sep 1945

Post-War

Louis returns to Torrance after spending time in several different hospitals

16 Oct 1945 - 31 Oct 1945

Between these dates, Louis landed at Long Beach Airport where his family was waiting for him.

Louis meets Cynthia Applewhite

18 Mar 1946

Around March 18th, He meets Cynthia at a bar.

Louis and Cynthia get married

Aug 1946

Sometime in August of 1946, Louis and Cynthia get married.

The Bird is declared dead

Oct 1946

The Bird is declared dead although later in 1948, The Bird's mom claims that she sees her son.

Louis plans to kill The Bird and becomes a raging alcoholic

Jan 1947 - Oct 1949

Louis plans to kill The Bird because he doesn't know that he has already been declared dead although no one know that he really isn't dead and Louis becomes a raging alcoholic.

Louis has a dream about The Bird

Nov 1948

Louis has a dream that he is fighting the Bird and begins strangling him. When Louis hears screams it wakes him up and he realizes that he is on top of his wife strangling her.

Louis attends Billy Graham's sermon

20 Oct. 1949

Louis attends Billy Graham's sermon and it changes Louis' life and Louis remembers the promise he made to God on the raft in the ocean. He then returns home and pours all of his liquor down the kitchen sink. For the first time in five years, The Bird hadn't haunted Louis' dreams and he never would again.

Louis visits Japan

Sep 1950

Louis visits Sugamo Prison where all of his prison guards were being held. Louis went not to get revenge but to forgive and talk to the guards as he was now a christian speaker. Before he leaves he hugs and forgives all of his previous guards from all of the camps he was in.

The Bird is officially declared deceased for sure

1 OCt. 1950