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6 Water fight: Russell Allen Phillips, letter to Cecy Perry, May 12, 1943.

7 Beer fight: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

8 Pornography: Russell Allen Phillips, letter to Cecy Perry, December 29, 1942.

9 Greenhouse windows froze: Cleveland, 103.

10 Phil hits pole: Russell Allen Phillips, letter to Cecy Perry, March 27, 1943.

11 Gunnery, bomb scores: Louis Zamperini, war diary, January 20, 30, February 2, and March 21, 1943 entries.

12 Sea search: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interview, August 27, 2004; Louis Zamperini, war diary, March 14, 1943, entry; Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

13 Diving over sub: Louis Zamperini, diary, March 14, 1943.

14 Practical jokes: Louis Zamperini, telephone interviews.

15 “kind of daring”: Russell Allen Phillips, television interview, CBS, La Porte, Ind., January 1997.

16 Leisure-time activities: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Louis Zamperini, war diary, November 1942–May 1943 entries.

17 Wake attack: Louis Zamperini, war diary, December 22–25, 1942, entries; Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interviews, August 25, 27, 2004, March 9, 2005, and August 18, 2006; Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Jesse Stay, telephone interviews, July 23, 2004, and March 16, 2005; “Son of Pickett ‘Sky Pilot’ Pilots Bomber over Wake I,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; Walter Clausen, undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; “Delphi Flyer Is Given Medal for Pacific Bombing,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; “Former La Porte Youth Helps to Bomb Wake Isle,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; “Fledglings’ Raid on Wake Token of Things to Come,” Berkshire Evening Eagle, January 2, 1943; St. Louis Globe, undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; “Their Raid on Wake Biggest of Year,” Mansfield News-Journal, January 2, 1943; “Tells of Raid on Wake Island,” Mansfield News-Journal, January 2, 1943; “Nobody Scared in Raid on Wake Island, Ace Says,” Ada Evening News, January 2, 1943; Walter Clausen, “Hawaii Fliers Get Jap Planes in Wake Raid,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; Britt, p. 12; Jesse Stay, “Twenty-nine Months in the Pacific,” unpublished memoir.

18 New Year’s: Louis Zamperini, war diary, January 1, 1943, entry.

19 STEEL FILLS JAP SOX: Undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN.

20 “fled in terror”: “Tells of Raid on Wake Island,” Mansfield News-Journal, January 2, 1943.

21 Japan finished within the year: “U.S. Can Take Care of Japan, Halsey Thinks,” Ada Evening News, January 2, 1943.

22 “it’s a little premature”: Russell Allen Phillips, letter to Kelsey Phillips, December 31, 1942.





Chapter 8: “Only the Laundry Knew How Scared I Was”


1 Coxwell’s crash: Louis Zamperini, diary, January 8–10, 1943; Missing Air Crew Report No. 16218, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.; Russell Allen Phillips, letter to Kelsey Phillips, February 13, 1943.

2 Buried in Honolulu: American Battle Monuments Commission.

3 Crashes over the past two months: Army Air Forces Statistical Digest, Table 64; Louis Zamperini, diary, December 27, 1942, and January 9, 1943; Britt, pp. 10, 13.

4 Crash, loss statistics: Army Air Forces Statistical Digest, Tables 100 and 161.

5 In the air corps, 35,946 personnel: Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II: Final Report, 7 December 1941–31 December 1946, Department of the Army, Statistical and Accounting Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, p. 7.

6 Disease kills 15,779: Preventive Medicine in World War II, vol. IV: Communicable Diseases, Office of Surgeon General, Department of Army, Washington, D.C., 1958, Table 1.

7 In the Fifteenth Air Force, 70 percent of KIA: Mae Mill Link and Hubert A. Coleman, “Medical Support of Army Air Forces in World War II,” Office of the Surgeon General, USAF, Washington, D.C., 1955, p. 516.

8 Super Man flies into storms: Louis Zamperini, diary, January 1943; Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interview, August 18, 2006.

9 Planes land together, bulldozer: Frank Rosynek, email interview, June 15, 2005.

10 “The takeoff”: Frank Rosynek, “Not Everybody Wore Wings,” unpublished memoir.

11 Foot on “off” switch: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interview, August 18, 2006.

12 Plane hits mountain: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

13 Inadvertent release of life raft: Britt, p. 13.

14 Navigation difficulties: John Weller, email interview, September 21, 2006; John Weller, “The History and Flight Log, Jeter Crew,” unpublished memoir.

15 “We just sat there”: Martin Cohn, telephone interview, August 10, 2005.

16 Half of a Zero on B-24 wing: Cleveland, p. 103.

17 Japanese range finders: Louis Zamperini, diary, March 1, 1943.

18 B-24 drops mine into another: Jesse Stay, telephone interviews, July 23, 2004, and March 16, 2005; Cleveland, pp. 130, 137, 181–82.

19 AAF combat deaths: Army Battle Casualties, p. 7.

20 Odds of dying: Jesse Stay, telephone interviews, July 23, 2004, and March 16, 2005.

21 Ditching: W. F. Craven and J. L. Cate, eds., The Army Air Forces in World War II, vol. XII: Services Around the World (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1966), p. 482.

22 Statistics on ditching: Johnsen, p. 29.

23 Death of Almond: John Henry, “Flier Wins 18-Hour Fight with Sharks,” San Antonio Light, July 13, 1943.

24 Rescue statistics: “Air Sea Rescue 1941–1952,” USAF Historical Division, Air University, August 1954, pp. 66–99; Air Force Historical Studies Office, Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.

25 Half of Catalinas crashed: Craven and Cate, p. 493.

26 September 1942 raft ordeal: Cleveland, p. 237.

27 Raft found off Christmas Island: Katharina Chase, “Unraveling a WWII Mystery,” Defence, November–December 2006.

28 Rape of Nanking: Chang, pp. 4–104; Yuki Tanaka, Hidden Horrors: Japanese War Crimes in World War II (Boulder: Westview, 1996), p. 80.

29 Rumors of Japanese killing on Kwajalein: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

30 All but one man choosing to die in crash: John Fitzgerald, POW diary, Papers of John A. Fitzgerald, Operational Archives Branch, NHC, Washington, D.C.

31 Nervous airman: John Joseph Deasy, telephone interview, April 4, 2005.

32 Louie copes: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Louis Zamperini, diary, early 1943 entries; Russell Allen Phillips, letters to Cecy Perry, spring 1943.

33 Bracelet, silver dollar: Russell Allen Phillips, letters to Cecy Perry, August 20, 1942, and March 25, 1943.

34 “When I do get”: Russell Allen Phillips, letter to Cecy Perry, March 10, 1943.

35 Tradition of drinking booze of lost men: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.





Chapter 9: Five Hundred and Ninety-four Holes


1 Exploding sharks: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

2 Makin, Tarawa missions: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Louis Zamperini, diary, February 17, 20, 1943; Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interviews, August 25, 27, 2004, March 9, 2005, August 18, 2006, January 23 and April 21, 2007.

3 Sharks circle: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interviews, August 25, 27, 2004, March 9, 2005, August 18, 2006, January 23 and April 21, 2007; Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Louis Zamperini, diary, March 5, 1943; Russell Allen Phillips, letter to Kelsey Phillips, March 5, 1943.

4 Shooting sharks: Louis Zamperini, diary, April 3, 1943.

5 Nauru: Jack D. Haden, “Nauru: A Middle Ground During World War II,” Pacific Islands Report, Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawaii at Manoa, http://166.122.164.43/archive/2000/April/04-03-19.htm (accessed September 13, 2009); Jane Resture, “Nauru: A Short History,” http://www.janeresture.com/nauru_history/index.htm (accessed September 13, 2009); Britt, p. 34.

6 Nauru preparations: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interviews, August 25, 27, 2004, March 9, 2005, August 18, 2006, January 23 and April 21, 2007; Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Louis Zamperini, diary, April 17, 19, 1943.

7 “We only hope”: Louis Zamperini, diary, April 15, 1943.

8 Nauru raid: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interviews, August 25, 27, 2004, March 9, 2005, August 18, 2006, January 23 and April 21, 2007; Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Louis Zamperini, diary, April 20–22, 1943, and memoranda; Charles McMurtry, “Liberator, Hit 594 Times, Wings Home Safely,” Richmond News Leader, May 14, 1943; “Catonsville Air Gunner Has 95 Raids to Credit,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; Russell Allen Phillips, letter to Cecy Perry, May 1, 1943; “Shapleigh Youth, Injured, Credited with Downing Zero,” undated article from papers of Stanley Pillsbury, NPN; Cleveland, pp. 257, 349–50; Howard and Whitley, pp. 137–38; Charles P. Arnot, “Bombardier Zamperini Saves Lives in Shell-Riddled Plane,” Oakland Tribune, May 4, 1943; Charles P. Arnot, “Japanese Phosphate Plants Are Blown Up,” Honolulu Advertiser, May 1, 1943; “Gen. Landon, Bomber Commander, Tells the Story of Nauru Attack,” May 5, 1943, from papers of Louis Zamperini, NPN; “Two Southland Officers Classified as Heroes in South Pacific Dispatches,” Long Beach Press-Telegram, May 4, 1943; Charles P. Arnot, “Lt. Phillips on Another ‘Thriller,’ ” May 4, 1943, from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; “Brave Flying Son of Pickett Chaplain Bears Charmed Life,” May 1943, article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; “Yank Pilot, Son of Pickett Chaplain, Saves Crewmen,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; Charles P. Arnot, “Lieut. Phillips Escapes Death on Pacific Raid,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; “His Toughest Fight: Lou Zamperini, Former Track Star, Aids Five Wounded as Plane Limps Home,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; Charles P. Arnot, “Track Star in Heroic Role,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; Charles P. Arnot, “Raid on Nauru Told in Detail by Eyewitness,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; “Lou Zamperini Plays Great Role on Bombing Trip,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN; Louis Zamperini, interview by George Hodak, Hollywood, Calif., June 1988, AAFLA; Charles P. Arnot, “Zamperini, S.C. Track Star, in Epic Air Adventure,” Los Angeles Herald Express, May 4, 1943; Charles P. Arnot, “Track Star Zamperini Hero in Jap Air Fight,” Los Angeles Herald Express, May 4, 1943.

9 “a volcano-like mass”: Charles P. Arnot, “Raid on Nauru Told in Detail by Eyewitness,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN.

10 Eight hundred rounds per minute: “Pistol Packin’ Warplanes,” Popular Mechanics, April 1944, p. 2.

11 If he’d just: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interview, August 26, 2004.

12 “Ow!”: Ibid.

13 One more pass: Louis Zamperini, diary, April 1943, memoranda page.

14 I have to kill: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interview, August 26, 2004.

15 Japanese never retrieved phosphates: Jane Resture, “Nauru: A Short History,” http://www.janeresture.com/nauru_history/index.htm (accessed September 13, 2009).

16 Pillsbury’s injuries: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interview, August 26, 2004; Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Louis Zamperini, diary, April 20–22, 1943, and memoranda page.

17 Manual alternatives to flaps, gear: Flight Manual: B-24D, pp. 71–75.

18 standard landing speed: Charlie Tilghman, B-24 pilot, Commemorative Air Force, telephone interview, February 14, 2007; B-24 Liberator Pilot Training Manual.

19 B-24 without brakes needed 10,000 feet: Charlie Tilghman, B-24 pilot, Commemorative Air Force, telephone interview, February 14, 2007.

20 “all torn to pieces” Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interview, August 26, 2004.

21 Parachute idea: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interview, August 26, 2004; Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Louis Zamperini, diary, April 1943, memoranda page.

22 Belle of Texas: Cleveland, pp. 183, 464; 11th Bomb Group (H), The Gray Geese (Paducah, Ky.: Turner Publishing, 1996), p. 73.

23 594 holes: Charles McMurtry, “Liberator, Hit 594 Times, Wings Home Safely,” Richmond News Leader, May 14, 1943.

24 “He didn’t make it”: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interview, March 9, 2005.

25 Brooks family informed: “Sergt. H. V. Brooks Served in Pacific,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN.





Chapter 10: The Stinking Six


1 Funafuti bombing: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interviews, August 25, 27, 2004, March 9, 2005, August 18, 2006, January 23 and April 21, 2007; Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Louis Zamperini, diary, April 21–23, 1943; John Joseph Deasy, telephone interview, April 4, 2005; Lester Herman Scearce, Jr., telephone interview, March 11, 2005; Jesse Stay, telephone interviews, July 23, 2004, and March 16, 2005; Frank Rosynek, “Not Everybody Wore Wings,” unpublished memoir; Frank Rosynek, email interview, June 15, 2005; Russell Allen Phillips, letter to Cecy Perry, May 1, 1943; Cleveland, p. 346; Britt, pp. 36–37; Howard and Whitley, pp. 138–44; Jesse Stay, “Twenty-nine Months in the Pacific,” unpublished memoir; Louis Zamperini, interview by George Hodak, Hollywood, Calif., June 1988, AAFLA.

2 “I looked around”: John Joseph Deasy, telephone interview, April 4, 2005.

3 Man runs into ocean: Howard and Whitley, p. 140.

4 Ladd saves natives: Howard and Whitley, p. 139; Philip Scearce, email interview, July 11, 2008.

5 “This feels like it, boys”: Howard and Whitley, p. 140.

6 “like animals crying”: Ibid., p. 143.

7 “I wasn’t only scared”: Cleveland, p. 258.

8 Phil’s fear: Russell Allen Phillips, letter to Reverend Russell Phillips, May 2, 1943.

9 “seemed like a railroad carload”: Frank Rosynek, “Not Everybody Wore Wings,” unpublished memoir.

10 “like the whole island”: Cleveland, p. 346.

11 Fourteen Japanese bombers: Britt, pp. 36–37.

12 “the Stinking Six”: Frank Rosynek, email interview, June 15, 2005.

13 Doctor works on Pillsbury: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interviews, August 25, 27, 2004, March 9, 2005, August 18, 2006, January 23 and April 21, 2007.

14 “hamburgered”: Stanley Pillsbury, telephone interviews, August 25, 27, 2004, March 9, 2005, August 18, 2006, January 23 and April 21, 2007.

15 Lambert’s ninety-five missions: “Catonsville Air Gunner Has 95 Raids to Credit,” undated article from Phillips scrapbook, NPN.

16 Palmyra, depression, Kualoa: Louis Zamperini, diary, April–May 1943.

17 Francis McNamara: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Russell Allen Phillips, television interview, CBS, La Porte, Ind., January 1997.

18 Green Hornet: Cleveland, p. 159; Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Russell Allen Phillips, television interview, CBS, La Porte, Ind., January 1997.

19 Phil meets Smith: George Smith, letter to Cecy Perry, June 19, 1943.

20 Corpening’s plane: Missing Air Crew Report 4945, May 26, 1943 (National Archives Microfiche Publication M13801, Fiche 1767); Missing Air Crew Reports of the U.S. Army Air Forces, 1942–1947; Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, RG 92; NACP.





Chapter 11: “Nobody’s Going to Live Through This”


1 Louie on May 27, 1943: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

2 “There was only one ship”: Louis Zamperini, diary, May 27, 1943.

3 If we’re not back in a week: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

4 Search preparations: John Joseph Deasy, telephone interview, April 4, 2005; Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Missing Aircraft Report 4945, Missing Air Crew Reports of the U.S. Army Air Forces, 1942–1947; Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, RG 92; NACP; “42nd Bombardment Squadron: Addendum to Squadron History,” September 11, 1945, AFHRA, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

5 Preparing for takeoff: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Russell Allen Phillips, television interview, CBS, La Porte, Ind., January 1997.

6 Planes side by side: Lester Herman Scearce, Jr., telephone interview, March 11, 2005.

7 Phil tells Deasy to go ahead: Kelsey Phillips, “A Life Story,” unpublished memoir.

8 Searching: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Russell Allen Phillips, television interview, CBS, La Porte, Ind., January 1997.

9 Phil and Cuppernell switch seats: Kelsey Phillips, “A Life Story,” unpublished memoir; Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

10 Engine dies, wrong engine feathered: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

11 “Prepare to crash”: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Russell Allen Phillips, television interview, CBS, La Porte, Ind., January 1997.

12 Plane falls: Ibid.

13 Nobody’s going to live through this: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

14 Louie and Phil’s experiences in crash: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Russell Allen Phillips, television interview, CBS, La Porte, Ind., January 1997; “42nd Bombardment Squadron: Addendum to Squadron History,” September 11, 1945, AFHRA, Maxwell AFB, Ala.; Robert Trumbull, “Zamperini, Olympic Miler, Is Safe After Epic Ordeal,” NYT, September 9, 1945; Kelsey Phillips, “A Life Story,” unpublished memoir; Louis Zamperini, interview by George Hodak, Hollywood, Calif., June 1988, AAFLA; Sandra Provan, “LP Man’s Part of Olympics,” La Porte Herald-Argus, February 18, 1988.





PART III


Chapter 12: Downed


1 Crash aftermath: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; Russell Allen Phillips, television interview, CBS, La Porte, Ind., January 1997; “42nd Bombardment Squadron: Addendum to Squadron History,” September 11, 1945, AFHRA, Maxwell AFB, Ala.; Robert Trumbull, “Zamperini, Olympic Miler, Is Safe After Epic Ordeal,” NYT, September 9, 1945; Kelsey Phillips, “A Life Story,” unpublished memoir; Louis Zamperini, interview by George Hodak, Hollywood, Calif., June 1988, AAFLA; Sandra Provan, “LP Man’s Part of Olympics,” La Porte Herald-Argus, February 18, 1988.

2 “I’m glad it was you”: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

3 Phil didn’t have bracelet, silver dollar: Ibid.

4 Contents of rafts: Ibid.

5 Contents of 1944 rafts: Emergency Procedure: B-24, pp. 26–27.

6 “Gibson Girl,” Delano Sunstill: Louis Meulstee, “Gibson Girl,” Wireless for the Warrior, http://home.hccnet.nl/l.meulstee/gibsongirl/gibsongirl.html (accessed August 8, 2005); Craven and Cate, pp. 486, 491.

7 “We’re going to die!”: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview.

8 Hours after crash: Louis Zamperini, telephone interview; “42nd Bombardment Squadron: Addendum to Squadron History,” September 11, 1945, AFHRA, Maxwell AFB, Ala.; “Mr. Phillips on CBS, Our Hero, Mr. Phillips,” undated article from papers of Karen Loomis, NPN; Gene Stowe, “He Shared Raft with Olympian,” South Bend Herald Tribune, March 2, 1998.

9 Phil shaking, sharks rubbing against rafts: Russell Allen Phillips, television interview, CBS, La Porte, Ind., January 1997.





Chapter 13: Missing at Sea


1 Events on Palmyra: John Joseph Deasy, telephone interview, April 4, 2005;