2. Bomber - "Unbroken" an unreal story of Louie Zamperini

  • 2014.12.23 Tuesday
  • 23:36

So, Zamperini and friends survive and then what happens?
Quote; With all three of them in one raft, it was cramped; the raft was only about six feet long inside and a little more than two feet wide.. Unquote.

Quote; Most worrisome was the water situation. A few half-pints wouldn’t last them long. The men were surrounded by water, but they couldn’t drink it. The salt content in seawater is so high that it is considered a poison. When a person drinks seawater, the kidneys must generate urine to flush the salt away, but to do so, they need more water than is contained in the seawater itself, so the body pulls water from its cells. Bereft of water, the cells begin to fail. Paradoxically, a drink of seawater causes potentially fatal dehydration.. Unquote.
Quote; Louie came up with ground rules. Each man would eat one square of chocolate in the morning, one in the evening. Louie allotted one water tin per man, with each man allowed two or three sips a day.. Unquote.
Quote; Louie decided to divvy up breakfast, a single square of chocolate. He untied the raft pocket and looked in. All of the chocolate was gone. He looked around the rafts. No chocolate, no wrappers. His gaze paused on Mac. The sergeant looked back at him with wide, guilty eyes.. Unquote.
Quote; The men’s bodies slowly wasted away. Each day, Louie noticed incremental differences in his weight, and the weight of his raftmates, from the day before: the pants looser, the faces narrower. As they passed the fortnight mark, they began to look grotesque. Their flesh had evaporated. Their cheeks, now bearded, had sunken into concavity. Their bodies were digesting themselves.. Unquote.

So, let us remember that they are extremely exhausted, hungry and weakened.

Then, what happens next? "Japs" come. See how it goes.

Quote; As the castaways slumped in the rafts, trying to accept another lost chance, over the western horizon there was a glimmer, tracing a wide curve, then banking toward the rafts. The bomber was coming back. Weeping with joy, Louie, Phil, and Mac tugged their shirts over their heads and snapped them back and forth in the air, calling out. The bomber leveled off, skimming over the water. Louie squinted at the cockpit. He made out two silhouettes, a pilot and copilot. He thought of Palmyra, food, solid ground underfoot.
And then, all at once, the ocean erupted. There was a deafening noise, and the rafts began hopping and shuddering under the castaways. The gunners were firing at them. Unquote
This is the 1st round
Quote; Louie, Phil, and Mac clawed for the raft walls and threw themselves overboard. They swam under the rafts and huddled there, watching bullets tear through the rafts and cut bright slits in the water around them. Then the firing stopped.
The men surfaced. The bomber had overshot them and was now to the east, moving away. Two sharks were nosing around. The men had to get out of the water immediately.
In the distance, the bomber swung around and began flying at the rafts again. Louie hoped that the crew had realized the mistake and was returning to help them. Flying about two hundred feet over the water, the bomber raced at them, following a path slightly parallel to the rafts, so that its side passed into view. All three men saw it at once. Behind the wing, painted over the waist, was a red circle. The bomber was Japanese. Unquote
Quote; Louie saw the gunners taking aim and knew he had to go back in the water. Phil and Mac didn’t move. They were both exhausted. They knew that if they went overboard again, they wouldn’t be strong enough to get back in, and the sharks would take them. If they stayed on the raft, it seemed impossible that the gunners could miss them.
As the bomber flew toward them, they lay down. Phil pulled his knees to his chest and covered his head in his hands. Mac balled himself up beside him. Louie took a last glance at them, then dropped into the water and swam back under the rafts.
The bullets showered the ocean in a glittering downpour. Looking up, Louie saw them popping through the canvas, shooting beams of intensely bright tropical sunlight through the raft’s shadow. But after a few feet, the bullets spent their force and fluttered down, fizzing. Louie straightened his arms over his head and pushed against the bottom of one of the rafts, trying to get far enough down to be outside the bullets’ lethal range. Above him, he could see the depressions formed by Mac and Phil’s bodies. Neither man was moving. Unquote

This is the 2nd round.
Quote; As the bullets raked overhead, Louie struggled to stay under the rafts. The current clutched at him, rotating his body horizontally and dragging him away. He kicked against it, but it was no use. He was being sucked away, and he knew that if he lost touch with the rafts, he wouldn’t be able to swim hard enough against the current to get back. As he was pulled loose, he saw the long cord that strayed off the end of one of the rafts. He grabbed it and tied it around his waist.
As he lay underwater, his legs tugged in front of him by the current, Louie looked down at his feet. His left sock was pulled up on his shin; his right had slipped halfway off. He watched it flap in the current. Then, in the murky blur beyond it, he saw the huge, gaping mouth of a shark emerge out of the darkness and rush straight at his legs.
Louie recoiled, pulling his legs toward his body. The current was too strong for him to get his legs beneath him, but he was able to swing them to the side, away from the shark’s mouth. The shark kept coming, directly at Louie’s head. Louie remembered the advice of the old man in Honolulu: Make a threatening expression, then stiff-arm the shark’s snout. As the shark lunged for his head, Louie bared his teeth, widened his eyes, and rammed his palm into the tip of the shark’s nose. The shark flinched, circled away, then swam back for a second pass. Louie waited until the shark was inches from him, then struck it in the nose again. Again, the shark peeled away.
Above, the bullets had stopped coming. As quickly as he could, Louie pulled himself along the cord until he reached the raft. He grabbed its wall and lifted himself clear of the shark.
Mac and Phil were lying together in the fetal position. They were absolutely still, and bullet holes dappled the raft around them. Louie shook Mac. Mac made a sound. Louie asked if he’d been hit. Mac said no. Louie spoke to Phil. Phil said he was okay.
The bomber circled back for another go. Phil and Mac played dead, and Louie tipped back into the ocean. As bullets knifed the water around him, the shark came at him, and again Louie bumped its snout and repelled it. Then a second shark charged at him. Louie hung there, gyrating in the water and flailing his arms and legs, as the sharks snapped at him and the bullets came down. The moment the bomber sped out of firing range, he clambered onto the raft again. Phil and Mac were still unhit. Unquote

That's the 3rd round.
Four more times the Japanese strafed them, sending Louie into the water to kick and punch at the sharks until the bomber had passed. Though he fought them to the point of exhaustion, he was not bitten. Every time he emerged from the water, he was certain that Phil and Mac would be dead. Impossibly, though there were bullet holes all the way around the men, even in the tiny spaces between them, not one bullet had hit either man. Unquote
The first 3 rounds plus this 4 rounds means we have got 7 rounds by now.

Quote; The bomber crew made a last gesture of sadism. The plane circled back, and Louie ducked into the water again. The plane’s bomb bay doors rolled open, and a depth charge tumbled out, splashing down some fifty feet from the rafts. The men braced themselves for an explosion, but none came. Either the charge was a dud or the bombardier had forgotten to arm it. If the Japanese are this inept, Phil thought, America will win this war.
Louie rolled back onto the raft and collapsed. When the bomber came back, he was too tired to go overboard. As the plane passed a final time, Louie, Mac, and Phil lay still. The gunners didn’t fire. The bomber flew west and disappeared. Unquote

In short, the Japanese bomber flies over them 8 times and machine-guns those desperately hungry and frail men. And yet, they survives without getting a single bullet. Zamperini, while being attacked by the bullets, chase off those two sharks.

Here are some questions;
  1. Why would a bomber fly at such a low altitude (two hundred feet over the water) in the first place, risking himself from enemy attack?
  2. Why would a bomber waste his time, bullets, bomb and fuel (scarce resources for the Japanese military) for those who have lost power to wage an attack?
  3. How does he recognize the "depth charge" looking up 200 feet above from the ocean?
  4. Why does the bomber dropped "depth charge" from 200 feet above instead of 100 feet above (normal release altitude of depth charge)?
  5. Why does this bomb carrying aircraft fly solo? Bombers with a bombing mission fly in group.

Laura Hillenbrand says "Unbroken" is a "biography" of Zamperini and a product of her thorough research. So, I am sure she has candid answers to the questions.

Here is a tip for those who testify
1.Refresh Your Memory
2.Tell the Truth
3.Do Not Exaggerate

Otherwise, you will lose credibility and everything you say will ring untrue..

So, dear readers, you are the judge.
  • Is this story true?
  • Is the whole story of "Unbroken" true?

To be continued.

P.S. Special thanks to 日本軍は本当に「残虐」だったのか 丸谷元人



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