National Affairs: The Endurance of Lou Zamperini

A year ago the War Department announced the death of Louis Zamperini, onetime University of Southern California track star and 1936 Olympics miler—an announcement which his mother, in Torranee, Calif., refused to believe. Last week Lou Zamperini turned up. From Yokohama, Correspondent Robert Trumbull cabled the New York Times the story of what Zamperini had endured.

In May 1943, 200 miles from Palmyra Island, the B-24 in which Zamperini was a bombardier dived into the Pacific and exploded.

Zamperini, tangled in the wreckage of the cabin, some 40 feet (he estimated) under the sea,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!