10. Lewis Bush - "Unbroken" an unreal story of Louie Zamperini

  • 2014.12.24 Wednesday
  • 09:42

We have another person POW Lewis Bush who appears in the book "Unbroken" in relation to the bastard (actually, he was), Mutsuhiro Watanabe. There is an interesting fact about the relationship between Lewis Bush and Zamperini. But, before that, let us see "Unbroken" first.

Here are some quotes.

Quote; On a Sunday morning, Watanabe approached some POWs crowded in a barracks doorway. A POW named Derek Clarke piped up, “Gangway!” to clear a path. That one word sent Watanabe into an explosion. He lunged at Clarke, beat him until he fell down, then kicked him. As Bush tried to explain that Clarke had meant no harm, Watanabe drew his sword and began screaming that he was going to behead Clarke. A Japanese officer stopped the attack, but that evening Watanabe turned on Bush, hurling him onto a scalding stove, then pummeling and kicking him. After Bush went to bed, Watanabe returned and forced him to his knees. For three hours, Watanabe besieged Bush, kicking him and hacking off his hair with his sword. He left for two hours, then returned again. Bush expected to be murdered. Instead, Watanabe took him to his office, hugged him, and gave him beer and handfuls of candy and cigarettes. Through tears, he apologized and promised never to mistreat another POW. His resolution didn’t last. Later that night, he picked up a kendo stick—a long, heavy training sword —and ran shrieking into a barracks, clubbing every man he saw. Unquote

Lewis Bush wrote a book "Clutch of Circumstance" on his experience during the war and life as POW in Hong Kong and Japan (Omori and Yokohama). The book is unfortunately not in print today. But, luckily, we were able to locate a website on which the whole book can be read (Link).

Interestingly, the narrative of the whole events is almost equivalent to the narrative on Bush's book. Only difference is, on Bush's book, Watanabe is called "Brown" instead of "The Bird".

"Gangway!".. Brown explodes.. Coming to Bush in the evening.. Brown punching Bush and hurling him to the stove.. Letting Bush go back to his room.. Brown coming back to Bush again in the midnight, kicking Bush and cutting his hair by the sword.. Leaving Bush for some time and again coming back.. Now Brown taking Bush to his room, weeping and apologizing, offering snacks and beer..

Reading "Unbroken" on this part, it looks as though Zamperini is now standing beside Bush and observing the whole event.

Hey, what is the problem? Bush was there and Zamperini was there, too.. 

OK, not so fast.

Here is another part.

Quote; After Christmas, the Bird abruptly stopped attacking the POWS, even Louie. He paced about camp, brooding. The men watched him and wondered what was going on.
Several times that year, a dignitary named Prince Yoshitomo ; had come to camp. A prominent and influential man, reportedly a descendant of the first shogun, Tokugawa was touring camps for the Japanese Red Cross. At Omori, he met with POW Lewis Bush, who told him about the Bird’s cruelty.
The Bird was suspicious. After Tokugawa first visited, the Bird forbade Bush from speaking to him again. When the prince returned, Bush defied the Bird, who beat him savagely as soon as the prince left. Tokugawa kept coming, and Bush kept meeting with him. The Bird slugged and kicked Bush, but Bush refused to be cowed. Deeply troubled by what he heard, Tokugawa went to the war office and the Red Cross and pushed to have something done about Watanabe.  Unquote

In the Bush's book, the narrative is the same; Tokugawa, the representative of Japan Red Cross comes.. Meeting with Bush.. Brown beats him, saying not to meet with Tokugawa again.. Bush ignores the order and meets with Tokugawa again and again.. Brown beats him every time after the meeting..

There are some other events on "Unbroken" that are somewhat similar to the Bush's book;

One of them is stealing at Mitsubishi Warehouse.

Quote; What the POWS couldn’t sabotage, they stole. They broke into shipping boxes, tapped bottles, lifted storage room doors off their hinges, raided ships’ galleys, and crawled up factory chutes. Scottish POWs who worked in the Mitsubishi food warehouse ran the most sophisticated operation. When the Japanese took their shoe sizes for work boots, the men asked for boots several sizes too big. They knitted special socks, some four feet long, and hoarded hollow bamboo reeds. Once at the sites, they leaned casually against sugar sacks, stabbed the reeds in, then ran the reeds into the socks, allowing sugar to pour through the reeds until the socks were full. Others tied up their pant cuffs, stuck the reeds in their waistbands, and filled their pants with sugar. Each load was deposited in a secret compartment in the latrine, to be retrieved at day’s end.  Unquote

In the Bush's book; A Scottish Corporal runs a stealing business at Mitsubishi.. Wearing a special bag, 4 feet, inside the shirt.. Shouldering a sugar sack.. Stabbing it.. Letting the sugar flow into the bag inside the shirt..

And another one;

Quote; As Christmas neared, Louie faltered. Starvation was consuming him. The occasional gifts from the thieves helped, but not enough. What was most maddening was that ample food was so near. Twice that fall, Red Cross relief packages had been delivered for the POWS, but instead of distributing them, camp officials had hauled them into storage and begun taking what they wanted from them.“ They made no effort to hide the stealing. “We could see them throwing away unmistakable wrappers, carrying bowls of bulk cocoa and sugar between huts and even trying to Wash clothes with cakes of American cheese,” Wrote Toni Wade. The Bird was the worst offender, smoking Lucky Strike cigarettes and openly keeping Red Cross food in his room. From one delivery of 240 Red Cross boxes, the Bird stole forty-eight, more than five hundred pounds of goods. Unquote

In his book, Bush described how Japanese stole Red Cross goods. Brown did that, too, and at one time Bush spotted him smoking "Lucky Strike".

And another one;

Quote; Each evening, Louie saw the slaves tramping back in, their clothes packed with booty. The critical moment came when inspection was called. Men would deftly pass contraband, or the men hearing it, around during the searches, while the guards’ backs were turned. McMullen would hide fish in his sleeves; when patted down, he’d hold his arms up and grip the fish tails so they wouldn’t slide out. The biggest trick was hiding the POWs who arrived fall-down drunk after chugging down any alcohol that they couldn’t smuggle. The drunken men were shuffled into the center of the lineup, their shoulders pinched between the shoulders of sober men, so that they wouldn’t pitch face forward into the guards. Unquote

In the Bush's book, there is a scene where men came back after covertly drinking wine which was to be shipped to the German Embassy in Bangkok. Some were drunk completely and having hard time just for standing. Other men shuffled him into the center and walked towards the camp.

The story is quite similar up to this point. But, the difference is, in Bush's book, a Master Sergeant finds it, scolds them, and orders two guards to punch the guy who gets stoned.

The two guards tries to punch him. A punch flies. The fists miss the target, as the stoned POW cannot stand still. He gets back to his feet. Another blow. The fists gets nowhere, as the man collapses again, looking like swimming in the air.

Watching this whole show, the Master Sergeant as well as guards burst out laughing, finally saying "Get out of here!". 

This comical scene was apparently opted out by Hillenbrand.

So, why am I presenting all of them?

Here is a timeline of each man's imprisonment.

Link to the Bush Report on mansell.com (Word File)

As you see, Zamperini and Bush never spent the time together.

Upon reading "Unbroken", readers would assume those two men were in the camp together, and that each man's experience was shared by the other. Actually, not.

This writing method of Laura Hillenbrand is called "Plagiarizing".

Why did Laura Hillenbrand do this?


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 the whole story of "Unbroken" true?

A photo from "Clutch of Circumstance" Japanese edition. (paraphrasing back to English)

To be continued.

Special thanks to @hinatanococo



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