Louis Silvie Zamperini

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On May 27, 1943 a United States B-24 bomber fell from the sky and crash landed in the Pacific Ocean 850 miles south of Hawaii. Eight of its passengers died, leaving the remaining three stranded in the ocean for forty-seven days until they reached land, but only to be captured by the Japanese. Among the survivors of this tragic accident was an Olympic distance runner. Louis Silvie Zamperini, second son to Anthony Zamperini and Louise Dossi, was born on January 26, 1917 in Olean, New York. He grew up in Torrance, California, where he became a sort of delinquent. As the target of bullying, Louis was often forced to defend himself. He was often in trouble as a child, both from school and from his parents. Louis’ older brother, Pete, often…show more content…
They constantly battled shark attacks, as well as several attacks from the Japanese. During this time, the other man on the raft died. Louis and Phil buried him at sea. Finally, Louis and Phil reach land, but are immediately captured by the Japanese. Following their capture, they were separated and spent the rest of the war held in prisoner-of-war camps. Louis was held in multiple POW camps, and was severely mistreated, starved, and beaten. He was singled out by one of the prison guards, who made it his goal in life to torment Louis. Louis’ family had no idea that he was still alive, as he had been declared missing at sea. Louis finally returned home on October 5, 1945. Following the war, Louis was tortured with memories of his time in captivity. He had recurring nightmares and eventually began drinking to forget. He and his wife, Cynthia, fought frequently until Louis finally began to fix his life. He became a Christian again and worked to fix and forgive everything that had happened. His nightmares stopped, and Louis became an advocate for the Church. In 1998, Louis was able to run a leg of the Olympic Torch relay at 80 years old. He is also now the subject of two biographies and two major motion pictures. Louis died at home at age 97 from

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