Unbroken

Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips Character Analysis

Louie’s pilot and dependable best friend during the war. One of the survivors of the plane crash, he remains confident and good-spirited on the raft. Despite not bearing any responsibility for the crash, Phil’s strong moral conscience makes him feel guilt for the dead crewmen. A quiet man, Phil’s deep religious convictions and his love for his fiancé Cecy Perry help him bear and survive the experiences of war with graceful fortitude.

Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips Quotes in Unbroken

The Unbroken quotes below are all either spoken by Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips or refer to Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Unbroken published in 2010.
Chapter 6 Quotes

From this day forward, until victory or defeat, transfer, discharge, capture, or death took them from it, the vast Pacific would be beneath and around them. Its bottom was already littered with downed warplanes and the ghosts of lost airmen. Every day of this long and ferocious war, more would join them.

Related Characters: Louis “Louie” Zamperini, Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes

In World War II, 35,933 AAF planes were lost in combat and accidents. The surprise of the attrition rate is that only a fraction of the ill-fated planes were lost in combat. In 1943 in the Pacific Ocean Areas theater in which Phil’s crew served, for every plane lost in combat, some six planes were lost in accidents. Over time, combat took a greater toll, but combat losses never overtook noncombat losses.

Related Characters: Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

And like everyone else, Louie and Phil drank. After a few beers, Louie said, it was possible to briefly forget dead friends.

Related Characters: Louis “Louie” Zamperini, Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 9 Quotes

When they arrived at the crash site, the men were astonished by what they saw. Two life rafts, holding the entire five-man B-25 crew, floated amid plane debris. Around them, the ocean was churning with hundreds of sharks, some of which looked twenty feet long. Knifing agitated circles in the water, the creatures seemed on the verge of overturning the rafts.

Related Characters: Louis “Louie” Zamperini, Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips
Related Symbols: Sharks
Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 14 Quotes

For Louie and Phil, the conversations were healing, pulling them out of their suffering and setting the future before them as a concrete thing. As they imagined themselves back in the world again, they willed a happy ending onto their ordeal and made it their expectation. With these talks, they created something to live for.

Related Characters: Louis “Louie” Zamperini, Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips
Page Number: 153
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt m

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

They bowed their heads together as Louie prayed. If God would quench their thirst, he vowed, he’d dedicate his life to him. The next day, by divine intervention or the fickle humors of the tropics, the sky broke open and rain poured down. Twice more the water ran out, twice more they prayed, and twice more the rain came.

Related Characters: Louis “Louie” Zamperini, Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident

Chapter 18 Quotes

This self-respect and sense of self-worth, the innermost armament of the soul, lies at the heart of humanness; to be deprived of it is to be dehumanized, to be cleaved from, and cast below, mankind. Men subjected to dehumanizing treatment experience profound wretchedness and loneliness and find that hope is almost impossible to retain.

Related Characters: Louis “Louie” Zamperini, Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips
Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man’s soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it. The loss of it can carry a man off as surely as thirst, hunger, exposure, and asphyxiation, and with greater cruelty. In places like Kwajalein, degradation could be as lethal as a bullet.

Related Characters: Louis “Louie” Zamperini, Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips
Page Number: 189
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 35 Quotes

For these men, the central struggle of postwar life was to restore their dignity and find a way to see the world as something other than menacing blackness. There was no one right way to peace; every man had to find his own path, according to his own history. Some succeeded. For others, the war would never really end.

Related Characters: Louis “Louie” Zamperini, Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips, Fred Garret
Page Number: 357
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud

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Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips Character Timeline in Unbroken

The timeline below shows where the character Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips appears in Unbroken. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: The Flying Coffin
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
War and Identity Theme Icon
At an airbase in Ephrata, Washington, Louie, now an officer, meets his pilot Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips. A quiet man, Phil is always cool under pressure and deeply in love with... (full context)
Chapter 7: “This Is It, Boys”
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
...home. With the airbase in sight, one of the engines runs out of gas. As Phil touches the plane down on the airstrip, the engines sputter and die. If they had... (full context)
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
War and Identity Theme Icon
...of the men think the war will be won in a matter of months. Doubtful, Phil writes a letter to his mother, saying that all the talk of victory is too... (full context)
Chapter 9: Five-hundred and Ninety-four Holes
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
War and Identity Theme Icon
...plans to throw them out of the window to slow the plane on landing, but Phil safely lands the plane without the need of the parachutes. (full context)
Chapter 10: The Stinking Six
War and Identity Theme Icon
Eventually, the army assigns Louie, Phil, and Cuppernell to another crew. The only person of note is Francis “Mac” McNamara, who... (full context)
Chapter 11: “Nobody’s Going to Live Through This”
War and Identity Theme Icon
...the engine, causing a second engine to blow out. With nothing else he can do, Phil tells the crew to prepare for the crash. (full context)
Chapter 12: Downed
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
On the surface, Phil and Mac stay afloat by holding on to some of the plane’s debris. Phil has... (full context)
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
...temperature drops and the sharks rub their backs along the bottom of the raft. While Phil and Louie sleep, Mac stays wide awake, terrified at what may come. (full context)
Chapter 14: Thirst
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
...the meat as bait to catch a small fish. Eating the fish revives Louie’s and Phil’s spirit, but Mac remains unchanged. Phil worries that killing a friendly albatross will bring them... (full context)
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
...that the lack of mental stimulation will cause them to lose their minds, Louie and Phil spend their days quizzing each other on trivia, telling stories, and recounting all the good... (full context)
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
Dignity Theme Icon
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
Having overcome challenges in the past, Phil and Louie remain confident in their ability to survive the ordeal. But Mac, a new... (full context)
Chapter 15: Sharks and Bullets
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
...climb back on the raft but the plane turns around and prepares to shoot again. Phil and Mac are too weak to jump into the ocean so they take their chances... (full context)
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
...snout. After the plane passes, Louie climbs back onto the raft and finds Mac and Phil unharmed. Four more times the plane tries to kill them and each time Louie jumps... (full context)
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
Dignity Theme Icon
Redemption and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...in the other one is making it sink fast. As Louie patches up the raft, Phil pumps in air. With a renewed sense of life, Mac uses an oar to hit... (full context)
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
...of the Japanese plane must mean that they are close to Japanese territory. Louie and Phil predict that they’ll arrive at land in three weeks. Not saying anything, Mac’s burst of... (full context)
Chapter 16: Singing in the Clouds
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
One morning, Louie and Phil awake to a total stillness. They have arrived in a calm, windless part of the... (full context)
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
...the sky. When he looks up, he sees twenty-one human figures in the clouds. Asleep, Phil hears and sees nothing. Louie feels confident that this is no hallucination or vision, but... (full context)
Chapter 17: Typhoon
War and Identity Theme Icon
...men aboard at gunpoint and tie them to the mast. The sailors threaten Louie and Phil, but the ship’s captain tells them to treat the Americans more humanely. As per the... (full context)
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
Dignity Theme Icon
War and Identity Theme Icon
On the boat to Execution Island, the ship’s captain provides Phil and Louie with bountiful portions of food. But their fortunes change at the island where... (full context)
Chapter 18: A Dead Body Breathing
Dignity Theme Icon
War and Identity Theme Icon
Three weeks after arriving on the island, Japanese doctors experiment on Louie and Phil. They inject them with a murky solution that gives them a rash and made them... (full context)
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
After spending forty-two days on Execution Island, Louie and Phil board a Japanese ship on its way to what they hope will be an official... (full context)
Chapter 19: Two Hundred Silent Men
War and Identity Theme Icon
After a three-week journey full of beatings, Louie and Phil arrive in Yokohama, Japan. The Japanese blindfold Louie, separate him from Phil, and bring him... (full context)
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
Dignity Theme Icon
War and Identity Theme Icon
...with barbed wire. Two hundred skinny Allied soldiers stand quietly in the compound. Louie sees Phil far away sitting alone. A captive approaches Louie and explains that this place is an... (full context)
Chapter 20: Farting for Hirohito
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
In March 1944, the Japanese transfer Phil to a forced labor camp north of Tokyo. At the camp, Phil works in the... (full context)
Chapter 21: Belief
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
...transported to a camp in Japan. Although this information gives the army reason to believe Phil and Louie are still alive, the army never informs their families because of a lack... (full context)
Belief and Faith Theme Icon
The army officially declares Phil and Louie dead in May 1944, but their families don’t stop believing that they are... (full context)
Chapter 29: Two Hundred and Twenty Punches
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
Dignity Theme Icon
War and Identity Theme Icon
At Phil’s camp, officials announce that they are transferring the American POWs to a more pleasant camp.... (full context)
Chapter 32: Cascades of Pink Peaches
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
Dignity Theme Icon
At Phil’s prison camp on August 22nd, a Japanese commander tells them the war is over. The... (full context)
Chapter 35: Coming Undone
Survival and Resilience Theme Icon
War and Identity Theme Icon
In the later half of 1946, Louie and Cynthia have dinner with Phil and his wife, Cecy, as well as another war buddy Fred Garret. Everything is going... (full context)