On January 8, 1943, George Moznette, the Super Man's former copilot, dies in a plane crash.
It's only been two months, and Louie already knows men who have died.
Seventy percent of men killed between November 1, 1942 and May 25, 1945 die in "operational aircraft accidents" (2.8.9)—in other words, these planes crash more than an Xbox 360.
If just flying the plane isn't dangerous enough, there are the Japanese fighter planes, "the swift, agile Zero" (2.8.19) to contend with.
Evasive action is impossible when the bombsight is controlling the plane, making a bomber a very dangerous place to be.
Also, bombers collide with each other a lot.
When a plane goes down, the men have to hope that their air vests, called "Mae Wests" after the busty movie star, inflate.
Then they have to hope they're found. Locating a plane in the 1940s is harder than locating a missing Malaysian Air jet today—only thirteen percent of men are rescued, and search planes go down more often than they find the men they're searching for.
If they're captured, they have to worry about being taken to the atoll of Kwajalein, which Americans call "Execution Island."
Although there are tons of statistics, the men aren't statistics to Louie (remember him? We've barely heard about him this chapter)—they're roommates and drinking buddies.
Speaking of drinking, Louie drinks a lot, unwinds by listening to music, and just hopes he won't die.