Thursday, April 30, 2015

Unbroken, a book

's review
Apr 06, 15  ·  edit

Read from March 27 to April 01, 2015

Better late then never.

This book touched me in a way no other book has. After Pearl Harbor occurs, and Louis joins the Army Air Corps, the story revolves around the life of air crews of the B-24 (Liberator), I was nearly in tears the entire portion of this book. This part of the story brought forth how much my father must have seen and felt during WWII, as he was a navigator in B-24's in the Pacific, during the latter part of the war. As most men who fought during that time, he pretty much never spoke of what he experienced or saw during that time, how many friends and fellow fliers he must have seen go down in their planes. The only things I ever recall him discussing was he absolute dislike of canned fruit and "green" powdered eggs, and all the lizards they had in their tents in the Philippines to keep the bugs down.

How Louis survived "The Bird" in 2 POW camps, is truly a marvel of pure determination, emotionally, physically and intellectually. The Bird was possibly one of the most atrocious guards of any POW camp in the history of WWII. The Japanese had an "All Kill" order as the Americans and the Allies moved ever closer to the interior of Japan, the numbers of all Allied POW forces killed by the Japanese was greater then what the Germans and Italians killed in their POW camps. The military and the government could have prevented the loss of so many lives had they let the civilian population flee when the Americans dropped leaflets that they were planning to drop bombs of "mass destruction" (of course, they weren't called that at that time) the Atomic bombs, the military and government told the public it was just propaganda!

Life changed considerably for Louis, and all the returning veterans of WWII, so many suffered unseen traumas, now known as PTSD, but after WWII these heroes were expected to return to normal just shortly after coming back home. So much has changed for returning Vets now, thankfully. Louis was no exception, alcohol became a very large part of his life, until his wife "dragged" him to a Billy Graham crusade, not right off, but eventually Louis saw "the light."

However, this book was a very "easy" read, albeit the difficult subject, and very hard to put down. Laura's style of writing is amazing, one feels the despair of being torn apart from one's family, the camaraderie of the crews, the fight for survival, and the joy of seeing the end of the war.

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