B24 Green Hornet After finishing this great story, I noticed that the author provided names of almost all of the people who Louie came to know in all of the stages of his story. However, she never names the Lt. who ordered the Superman crew to fly the unreliable Green Hornet B24. To me this was a key element to the story. Phil was a very skilled pilot, as evidenced by his handling of the war damaged Superman B24. The Green Hornet was known to be a problem plane, yet this Lt. ordered the crew to fly it on the search mission. Even Phil couldn't fly or control the Green Hornet. Had he been given a more reliable airplane, Louie's story may never had unfolded. Anyway Hilenbrand never names the Lt. Was she protecting him because of his bad and dangerous judgements or was his identity never revealed to her?
i'm certain she knows the guy's name. Without a doubt, Zamperini remembers the name. I'm sure she chose not to publish the name out of respect either for the surviving family members or out of concern for a lawsuit. Her portrayal of the Lt. in question is brutally unflattering.
If you recall, Zamperini originally left out the problems Mac caused on the life raft to respect his family. Mac's immediate family is likely all dead now (he apparently was not married or had any children before dying), and so publishing the details now is not an issue.
on further thought, I would bet Zampirini himself told her not to publish the guy's name, out of respect (i'd presume) for his children and grandchildren. Remember, Louis wanted to meet "The Bird" and tell him he forgave him. I doubt he'd want to embarrass the descendents of that horribly incompetent Lieutenant.
You make some very good points....I agree 100%. I wonder if the Lt. in question felt guilty for his actions? (He should have and that guilt was probably a great burden to him). It's possible that this officer was inexperienced and not in tune with the capabilities of the flight crews and their equipment and he did not know the danger he placed them in by sending them up in that airplane.