BAYONNE, N.J., Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Louis Zamperini, a runner in the 1936 Olympics, served in the U.S. Air Force as a bombardier in the South Pacific during World War II. When his aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean in April 1942 he and another crew member survived in a life raft for 47 days, drifting 2000 miles until they reached land, only to be captured by the Japanese Navy. He was held in captivity and tortured in a series of prison camps, and for three years the sadistic prison guards tried to break his spirit with verbal and physical cruelty.
When the war ended in August 1945 Zamperini decided to become a missionary to Japan, preaching the gospel of forgiveness to the very guards who tormented him. His remarkable power of example inspired Anthony Imperato, President and owner of Henry Repeating Arms to create a Henry Golden Boy Military Service Tribute Edition rifle featuring a custom serial number combing his initials and date of birth LSZ012617. The rifle was presented in a display case with a brass plaque engraved "Presented to Mr. Louis Zamperini – October 29th 2013 – Thank you for your service to our Country and for teaching us about courage, survival and the power of forgiveness".
During the presentation Imperato stated, "We salute and thank Mr. Zamperini for bravely serving our country with dignity and perseverance. His incredible courage and ability to forgive those who tortured him during the War are an inspiration to all." Henry Repeating Arms will manufacture a limited edition series of rifles in tribute to Mr. Zamperini, the proceeds of which will be donated to the POW MIA Foundation, a not for profit organization ran solely by volunteers and veterans dedicated to giving closure and assistance to the families of missing or imprisoned soldiers, as well as attend to the needs of wounded soldiers returning from more current wars.
A biography of Zamperini's life was written by Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit: An American Legend. The book, titled Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, was published by Random House in 2010 and became a #1 The New York Times bestseller. It's been adapted into a movie written by Joel and Ethan Coen and directed by Angelina Jolie. Unbroken is expected to be released by Universal Pictures this Christmas.
For more information visit www.henryrifles.com or call 201-858-4400.
About Henry Repeating Arms
Henry Repeating Arms is one of the country's leading rifle manufacturers. Their legendary name dates back to 1860 when Benjamin Tyler Henry invented and patented the first practical repeating rifle during the Civil War. Henry rifles went on to play a significant role in the frontier days of the American West and soon became one of the most legendary, respected and sought after rifles in the history of firearms.
SOURCE Henry Repeating Arms