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In his WWII exploits, Louis Zamperini's resilience took the form of mental and psychological resilience more than physical resilience. Trapped on the raft after their plane crash without food or water, surviving only on what fish and rainwater they can catch, Louis, having remembered from another plane crash story that exposure, starvation, dehydration, and stress were greater enemies than hunger, "began peppering the other two with questions on every conceivable subject." They shared their histories, "the best dates they'd ever had," and practical jokes, taught each other songs, and shared trivia to keep their minds active and sharp.

An example of physical perseverance is shown by a William Harris, a marine who meets Louis at Ofuna. Harris had, with another American, "been captured in the surrender of Corregidor in May 1942." They escaped, swimming across Manila Bay in 8.5 hours, coming ashore on the Bataan Peninsula. He had "begun a run for China, hiking through jungles and over mountains, navigating the coast in boats donated by sympathetic Filipinos, hitching rides on burros, and surviving in part by eating ants." He was safe with Filipinos, but when Americans landed at Guadalcanal, he went to join his unit and was recaptured by the Japanese (201-2).

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