Zamperini生活的下一章几乎结束了它。他于1941年入伍陆军航空兵团，并被分配到一名绰号为“超人”的B-24解放者轰炸机。在对瑙鲁太平洋环礁的一次轰炸中，Zamperini的飞机遭到一个日本零点中队的攻击。机组人员设法让轰炸机返回其原基地，机械师在那里计算了594个弹孔。他们唯一的紧急食物是一个巧克力棒，麦克纳马拉惊慌失措地吃了。他们漂流了47天，幸存在落在筏子上的海鸟，偶尔的鱼和他们收集的雨水中。麦克纳马拉死于饥饿。另外两名男子在马绍尔群岛附近被一艘日本巡逻艇接走时，体重减轻了一半。 Zamperini，飞行员罗素艾伦菲利普斯和尾炮手弗朗西斯麦克纳马拉是另一架B-24的机组人员之一，绿色大黄蜂于1943年5月27日开始执行救援任务，寻找一名被击落的飞行员。绿色大黄蜂上的两个端口引擎都失败了，它撞向了海洋。在11名船员中，只有Zamperini，Phillips和McNamara幸免于难。 Zamperini在一系列战俘营中穿梭，直到他降落在东京湾的大森。正是在那里，一个虐待守卫，下尉Mutsuhiro Watanabe，绰号“鸟”，选择了Zamperini进行特别折磨。鸟每天都无情地击败Zamperini，经常使用带有重型黄铜扣的皮带。只有Zamperini的奥运名声和宣传价值让守卫无法杀死他。但是日本正在输掉战争，盟军正在关闭。渡边每天都变得更加残忍，而Zamperini想知道他是否能够坚持到解放前。突然，鸟被转移了出去。随着美国轰炸的加剧，1945年3月，Zamperini和其他囚犯被送往日本西海岸Naoetsu村的4B营地。 Zamperini惊恐地发现Watanabe在同一个营地。第二次世界大战结束于1945年8月美国在广岛和长崎投下原子弹。当Naoetsu战俘营解放时，The Bird已经消失。
The next chapter in Zamperini’s life nearly ended it. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 and was assigned to a B-24 Liberator bomber nicknamed “Super Man.” During a bombing raid on the Pacific atoll of Nauru, Zamperini’s plane was attacked by a squadron of Japanese Zeros. The crew managed to get the bomber back to its home base, where mechanics counted 594 bullet holes in the craft. Their only emergency food was one chocolate bar, which McNamara panicked and ate. For 47 days they drifted, surviving on sea birds that landed on their rafts, an occasional fish, and whatever rain water they collected. McNamara died of starvation. The other two men lost half their body weight by the time they were picked up by a Japanese patrol boat near the Marshall Islands. Zamperini, pilot Russell Allen Phillips, and tail gunner Francis McNamara were among the crew on a different B-24, the Green Hornet, which took off on a rescue mission May 27, 1943, searching for a downed pilot. Both port engines on the Green Hornet failed, and it crashed into the ocean. Of the 11 crew members, only Zamperini, Phillips, and McNamara survived. Zamperini was shuttled among a series of POW camps until he landed at Omori, in Tokyo Bay. It was there that a sadistic guard, Corporal Mutsuhiro Watanabe, nicknamed “The Bird,” chose Zamperini for special torture. The Bird beat Zamperini mercilessly every day, often using a leather belt with a heavy brass buckle. Only Zamperini’s Olympic fame and propaganda value kept the guard from killing him. But Japan was losing the war and the Allies were closing in. Watanabe grew more cruel every day, and Zamperini wondered whether he would be able to hold out until liberation. Suddenly The Bird was transferred out. With U.S. bombing intensifying, in March 1945 Zamperini and other prisoners were sent to Camp 4B at Naoetsu, a village on the west coast of Japan. Zamperini was horrified to discover Watanabe was in the same camp. World War II ended when America dropped atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. By the time the Naoetsu POW camp was liberated, The Bird had disappeared.