Our Military Life Blog

Unbroken – Week 2

Louis and his crew have been tasked for the mission of finding a downed plane. But they are given a plane that has been used to repair other planes, as well as not being in the best of conditions to begin with. As they prepare for their flight, neither Phil or Louis are excited about it, but they must do as they are ordered, and neither of them want to leave Americans in the water if they can be rescued.

The flight starts off well enough, but the plane flies true to form, and they are fighting the plane the entire way, but soon, there are problems to be had. One of the engines goes out, and they are hoping to feather it out so that they can at least land safely, and then worry about getting back to where they need to be. But that is not meant to be. As they realize that there is nothing that they are going to be able to do to save the plane, they think about survival. They are told to prepare for a crash landing, which of course will be in the middle of the ocean. As Louie prepares for the landing, he can only think that they might not survive the ordeal. As the plane hits the water, there is an immediate reaction to the crash. Phil is able to get out of the plane, as well as one of the other crew members, but Louie is stuck in wires and not sure that he will get free. He passes out and then when he regains consciousness he realizes where he is, and that he can get out. Filling his life vest with air, he pushes toward the surface to see who else might have survived the crash. There are only two more on the surface. As they huddle together and try to remain alive, they know that they are going to be tested as they have never been tested before. Phil and Louie begin to work on keeping their brains active, while their other raft-mate, Mac, has pretty much given up. While Phil and Louie sleep that first night, Mac eats all of the food aboard the raft. They are reduced to a little bit of water, and whatever fish they might catch through their meager supplies aboard the raft. While they work toward trying to figure out exactly where they are and what might become of them, they only think of the scenarios that have a happy ending. None of them want to consider what might happen if they end up in enemy hands.

As they battle sharks and the basic need of staying alive in the middle of the ocean, Mac seems to rouse himself occassionally, but he is sinking fast. Phil and Louie are doing their best to remain strong. They work through all of their memories, songs, favorite foods, and more just to keep their minds active and their bodies working. Trapping rain water helps to keep their meager water supplies going, and while they do not have enough water, they at least have a little to drink. The days slowly tick by, five, ten, twenty, then to thirty and beyond. While Mac slowly gives up and eventually passes, the men do their best to remain as positive as they can through the entire ordeal. But when Phil and Louie wash up on shore, they are beginning to wonder if they were safer in the raft. First given aid by their Japanese captors, they are fed, given medical aid, and allowed rest, they are soon turned over to a POW camp, and this is a camp that not many, if any, survive. But the worst may yet be to come…

This week we are reading Chapters 11-20


  1. Do you think that Phil and Louie were right not to punish Mac for eating all of their supplies?
  2. As the days move forward and no planes have spotted them, how long do you think their resolve could hold?
  3. Pushing the limits and remaining positive seem to be the best thing that Phil and Louie have going for them. How long could they have survived out on the ocean?
  4. What do you think of the tactics used by the Japanese on their prisoners?