Photo: USC Will Honor War Hero, Olympian Louis Zamperini With Commemorative Decal On The Trojans Helmets

The Southern California football team will honor Louis Zamperini this season with a commemorative decal on the back of its helmets. 

Zamperini, a World War II veteran, Olympian, and former Trojan track star, died July 2 at the age of 97. Zamperini was featured as a character in the 2012 novel Flight from Berlin, which has been adapted into a movie, Unbroken, that will be released in December.

Zamperini is as decorated an American as there is, appearing in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin and winning a Purple Heart and Prisoner of War Medal, among other accomplishments.

During World War II, his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean. After 47 days surviving at sea, Zamperini and pilot Russel Allen “Phil” Phillips were captured by the Japanese Navy. Zamperini spent nearly two years in a Japanese POW camp before returning to America with a hero’s welcome. 

USC opens the 2014 season Saturday against Fresno State. 


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Andrew Holleran is an editor at College Spun.