Summary and Analysis
Part II Chapter 7: “This Is It, Boys”
Life in the barracks on Oahu Island is messy but generally calm. Sixteen officers, including Louie, share a dormitory. They plaster the bathroom with girlie photos, a “Sistine Chapel of pornography.” They roughhouse with water fights, drink lots of beer, play poker, and go to movies. And they train for bombing runs in Japanese territory. Finally, on December 23, 1942, Louie, Phil, and the Super Man crew take part in the bombing of Japanese forces on Wake Atoll. The raid is successful, but Super Man almost runs out of fuel before getting home—the first of many close calls for Louie.
Louie’s second redemption includes becoming a model military man. Given a new purpose in his life and surrounded by people who respect and encourage him, he returns to heights of success similar to what he achieved while running track. His B-24 bomber crew proves to be the best aerial gunners in their squadron, while Louie proves to be a better version of himself.
Yet again, food is an important factor in Louie’s happiness and self-confidence. One of his favorite memories of Hawaii’s Oahu Island is of a steakhouse that serves a steak “nearly as fat as a man’s arm.” When Louie has an abundance of food, he is happy—an emotional need that will tragically come into play in the near future.