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where did the Zamperinis live?
Torrance, California
why did they move there in 1919?
because 2 year old Louie had pnemonia
what happens in the first scene of the story?
it starts with Louie seeing the "Graf Zepplin" fly over Torrance before circumnavigating the world
what was Louie known for in his early years?
being a thief and a trouble maker
why did Louie start fights in his early years?
because he learned that people would throw them quarters to stop fighting
Louie was tormented by bullies until what happened?
until his father taught him how to box and work out
what was a big scare for delinquents in California in the 1930s?
the disposal of "undesirables" through chemical castration and incarceration
what was Louies first scam in high school?
he learned that any key had a 1/50 chance of fitting in any lock, so he found a key that worked in his high school gym, and started letting students into basketball games for free
what was his brother, Pete's, way of setting Louie straight?
making him train for track and field
how did his brother make Louie train at first?
he would ride behind him on a bike and hit him with a stick every time he started slacking
what did Louie do when he had a fight with his dad soon after the all-city track finals?
he jumped on a train with his friend, ran away from home, and soon returned home, hungry and beat up
when did Louie start running against college students?
in 1933, at the age of 16, winning the UCLA meets at both the mile and two-mile distances
what had running do to Louie at age 16?
it had improved his social life. he got elected class president and began attending many parties
what had Louie done at the Southern California Track and Field Championship in 1934?
Louie surpassed expectations and set a new record for high school milers, running the race in 4:21.3
what was Louies nickname as a runner?
"The Torrance Tornado"
what was his mind set on after setting the high school mile record?
competing in the Olympics in Berlin
what distance did Louie audition for for the Olympics
the 5000m race
in 1936, where was the audition and how did Louie spend the trip there?
it was in New York and he passed the time by flirting with every young woman he saw
what famous runner was Louie competing against in New York?
Don Lash, 3 time NCAA champion at the 5000m dash
what place did Louie come in in New York?
it was a photo finish with Lash, Louie was an olympian
how were the olympians transported to Berlin?
they were loaded onto the "Manhattan", a luxury steamer
what was the problem with the "Manhattan"
there was a lot of food, too many athletes, and very little room for training
what mischief took place on the "Manhattan"
there was a lot of stealing of towels, ash trays, and almost anything that wasn't bolted down
how much weight did Louie gain on the 9-day trip to Berlin?
12 pounds
what signs of war were present in Berlin?
machine gun turrets on tops of busses, air force displays, swastikas on every building
what was Louies most mischievous act in Berlin?
after a few drinks, he got caught stealing a swastika flag from a government building
what country was the dominant force in the 5000m race going into the competition?
Finland
who was the champ of the Finnish team?
Gunner Hockert
what was Louies final lap time?
0:56—over ten seconds better than the pace set by Lehtinen when he posted the record time in the 1932 Olympics.
what was Louie known as in those Olympics?
"the boy with the fast finish"
as the world was descending into war, what was Louie up to?
he was a track star at USC, determined to make a four minute mile, at the 1938 NCAA championships Louis was convinced he was ready to break that mark but runners had been instructed to stop Zamperini. Louie was boxed in and severely injured by the other runners. Running across the tape in first place, Louie had been badly cut and a rib had been cracked, but his time of 4:08.3 would stand as the NCAA record for the next fifteen years.
what did Louie do to avoid being drafted into the Army?
he joined the Air Corp
why did louie drop out of the Air Corp and then rejoin?
he dropped out because he didn't like flying, and he rejoined when he was drafted by the government.He began training at Ellington Field as a bombardier and became one of the best in his squadron
where was Louie when the war abruptly began?
he was at his base in Texas, in the theater when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor
after the attack, what did the government do to try to calm the people?
Fiorella La Guardia, the Civil Defence Minister, drove through the streets of Washington D.C. with sirens blaring, yelling "calm" into a loudspeaker.
what was the air base that the Japanese first destroyed during the war?
Wake Atoll, a tiny piece of coral in the mid-pacific that was home to one airstrip and about 500 American servicemen, was one of the strategic targets the Japanese claimed in this period
what was the last day Louie spent in Torrance before the war?
On August 19, 1942, Louie is in Torrance for one last visit before he heads off to war. His brother Pete is now a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy and both men are stationed in the Pacific Theatre.
what squadron was Louie assigned to and where was his training?
he was in the 372nd squadron and was shipped to Ephrata, Washington
who was Louies pilot and best friend?
Russel Allen Phillips
who was Phillips high school sweetheart?
Cecile Perry
what plane did the squadron get assigned to and what were its nicknames?
assigned to a B-24 bomber, they called it "superman" and "the flying coffin"
where did the squadron go in November 1942?
Hickam Air Field in Oahu, where they received more lectures and training
what new crew mate joined in Oahu?
co-pilot Charleton Hugh Cuppernell
what as the air mans work load?
one day off, one day on
what did Louie do on his days off in Oahu?
hung out at the officers club, P.Y's steakhouse, and ran the airstrip to keep his olympic dreams alive
what was the first action the "superman" saw?
in the raid on Wake