‘Unbroken’ hero’s birthplace plans tribute

Brig. Gen. Isaiah Davics, commanding general at Midland, Tex., Army Flying School, pins a pair of silver bombardier wings Lieutenant Lou Zamperini on August 14, 1942. In 1936 Zamperini, international track star, while in Berlin for the Olympic Games as Uncle Sam’s ace miler, yanked down a Nazi swastika right in front of Hilter’s Palace. (AP Photo)

OLEAN, N.Y. (AP) — A western New York community plans to honor a native son whose story is the subject of an Angelina Jolie-directed film being released in December.

Louis Zamperini was born in January 1917 in the city of Olean . He was just two years old when his parents moved the family to Southern California, where the 97-year-old Zamperini still lives.

He was a world-class Olympian distance runner in the 1930s. During World War II, Zamperini survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed, then endured two years in Japanese POW camps.

His story was told in “Unbroken,” Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 best-seller.

A group in Olean is raising funds to place a granite marker in Zamperini’s honor in War Veterans Park in August.

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