American World War II prisoner of war survivor, inspirational speaker, and Olympic distance runner Louis Zamperini, who died yesterday (2nd July) at the age of 97.
Zamperinihad had a brush with the Nazis at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, when he tried to steal a Nazi flag as a souvenir (in some accounts it was Hitler’s personal flag), but it was the Japanese who captured him, and he suffered beatings and emotional torture, in part because he was a famous world class athlete.
This photo is from August 14, 1942, and Louis is receiving his silver bombardier wings from Brigadier General Isaiah Davis, the commanding officer of the Army Flying School at Midland, Texas.
Louis was shot down the following April, and captured after being adrift in a life raft for several weeks.
Original B&W photo.