Olean unveiling monument to ‘Unbroken’ hero

In a Friday May 9, 2014 file photo, Louis Zamperini gestures during a news conference, in Pasadena, Calif. Zamperini, a U.S. Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran who survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed, then endured two years in Japanese prison camps, died Wednesday, July 2, 2014, according to Universal Pictures studio spokesman Michael Moses. He was 97. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

OLEAN, N.Y. (AP) — A western New York community is unveiling its tribute to Louis Zamperini, the local native whose story of survival during World War II is the subject of a best-selling book and a Hollywood movie.

Zamperini was born in 1917 in Olean. He was two years old when his Italian immigrant parents moved the family to Torrance, California.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)

During the war, Zamperini survived 47 days on a raft after his bomber crashed in the Pacific. He spent more than two years as a prisoner of the Japanese. He died July 3 at age 97.

His story was told in the 2010 best-seller “Unbroken.” The Angelina Jolie-directed film is being released in December.

Zamperini’s monument is being unveiled Saturday afternoon in Olean’s War Veterans Park.



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