Certainly the name doesn't ring as familiar as Bush, Franklin, Craddick or Scharbauer -- unless you've read the compelling, nonfiction masterpiece, "Unbroken," Laura Hillenbrand's New York Times Bestseller about the former itinerant youth turned distance-running Olympian and World War II veteran.
Louie Zamperini spent about a year here, training at the famed bombardier school at Midland Air Field. His year here followed the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and ended in the Fall of 1942 when he was transferred to another base stateside.
While in Texas, Zamperini, according to the book, learned just how much women preferred a man in uniform
The book tells of how the cadet, who had a built-in fear of flying, earned superb test scores at the Midland Army Air School, and didn't mind the flying as much since over the deserts of West Texas it was "mostly straight and level."
"Best of all," the book reads, though not specific about whether the incident occurred here or in Houston, "women found the flyboy uniform irresistible. As he was walking down a street, a convertible fringed with blondes stopped and he was scooped into the car and sped off to a party. When it happened a second time, he sensed a positive trend."
Midland gains only brief mention at the outset of Chapter 6 of "Unbrooken," but it serves as yet another example of how the West Texas outpost was home, for at least a short time, to a person of high character and achievement, something for which it has a seemingly endless supply.
Photo: Louie Zamperini, www.louiezamperini.com