Louis Zamperini

Zamperini in 1943 Louis Silvie Zamperini (January 26, 1917 – July 2, 2014) was an American World War II veteran, an Olympic distance runner and a Christian Evangelist. He took up running in high school and qualified for the United States in the 5,000 m race for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, finishing 8th while setting a new lap record in the process.

Zamperini was commissioned in the United States Army Air Forces as a lieutenant. He served as a bombardier on B-24 Liberators in the Pacific. On a search and rescue mission, his plane experienced mechanical difficulties and crashed into the ocean. After drifting at sea on a life raft for 47 days, with two other crewmates, Zamperini landed on the then Japanese Marshall Islands and was captured.

He was taken to a total of four different prisoner-of-war camps in Japan, where he was tortured and beaten by Japanese military personnel—specifically including Mutsuhiro Watanabe—because of Zamperini's status as a famous Olympic runner. He was later taken to a new prison camp at a coal factory, and after much hardship, he was finally released. Following the war he initially struggled to overcome his ordeal, afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder.

He later became a Christian evangelist with a strong belief in forgiveness. From 1952 onwards, he devoted himself to at-risk youth. Zamperini is the subject of three biographical films: ''Unbroken'' (2014), its sequel ''Unbroken: Path to Redemption'' (2018), and ''Captured by Grace'' (2015). Provided by Wikipedia
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