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Zach T Stanborough

Military

Flew 22 combat missions and 4 humanitarian missions with the 95th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force (Horham Airfield, England) -- Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters, 3 Presidential Unit Citations, European Theatre of Operations Medal with 7 battle stars, Victory Europe Medal, American Defense Medal and U.S. Air Force Reserve Medal.

Biography:
Zach was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Thomas Stanborough of Australia and Catherine Johnson Stanborough of New Orleans. The oldest of three children, he had a sister, Thelma Rita Stanborough Blalock, and a brother, Thomas William Stanborough. Zach was an active youth, playing football for his school and becoming one of the first young men in the New Orleans area to be awarded the rank Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of America. Zach was often looked to as the "man of the house" while his father was serving as a Ship's Master, frequently away at sea. The family moved to Metairie (still within the New Orleans metropolitan area) in 1924, purchasing a home on Metairie Heights. This home remained in the Stanborough family until 2006, when it was demolished after Hurricane Katrina.

Zach took his exit exams for Metairie High School early, graduating in 1932. He obtained a Seaman's Protection Certificate and began working as a "wiper" aboard international sailing ships for Lykes Brothers in October 1932. Within a few years, Zach knew that the life of a sailor was not for him, and he accepted new employment as a "materials man" with Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans. He was still working for the shipyard when war broke out. However, his time traveling the globe had definitely ignited a wanderlust!

During World War II, Zach first planned on staying home to assist his mother. His father was already serving in the Merchant Marine, his sister was already working for the Army Air Corps, and his brother was already stationed with the Navy aboard the U.S.S. Arizona prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor (see notes at the bottom of this bio). But, Zach soon realized he could not remain out of the conflict, and he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on March 28, 1942.

After graduating from training as a bomber pilot, Zach was assigned to active duty in May 1943 and sent to Horham, England (East Anglia region). He initially served as a B-17 Co-Pilot with the 95th Bomb Group, predominantly with the 336th and 412th Squadrons of the 8th Air Force. After more advanced training, Zach served as a Command Pilot. In this role, Zach was in command of the bomber group, flying in the lead plane in formation as they entered the combat zone. It was extremely unusual for a pilot of Zach's experience and rank to be appointed to Command Pilot, and this status is truly a testament to his skill and mettle.

Zach flew 22 combat missions and 4 relief missions (operating over Nazi-occupied Germany, France, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Poland and Czechoslovakia). Flying in a B-17 was extremely dangerous work. Statistically, the average life expectancy of a pilot or co-pilot in the 8th Air Force was 12-14 missions; tail gunners and ball turret gunners had an average life expectancy of only 4 missions. However, the planes that Zach piloted beat these odds significantly, with only 1 injury and 0 fatalities among his crew mates over 26 missions.

Zach was discharged from active duty in June 1945, having achieved the rank of Captain. He continued to serve his country in the U.S. Air Force Reserve for the next 30 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Zach's military awards include: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, three Presidential Unit Citations, European Theater of Operations Medal with 7 battle stars, Victory Europe Medal, American Defense Medal, and U.S. Air Force Reserve Medal.

Following the war, Zach first returned to Metairie. He tried a number of commercial ventures during his lifetime, including running a flight service, selling and installing miniblinds, operating a sandwich shop, developing real estate, and more. It was this dabbling that brought him to Shreveport, Louisiana, for a real estate venture, where he met his future bride, Juanita Harrison. Together, they returned to Metairie, where Zach started building houses in a large field on the outskirts of Metairie. This area was soon to be known as the neighborhood of Bonnabel. He selected the spot with the highest elevation, and there he built his home (1900 Feronia Street), where he lived for the remainder of his life. The home survived Hurricane Katrina, with Zach inside it because he refused to evacuate! However, it did not survive the swarms of termites that came after the storm and literally ate the home out from under him. Sadly, this home was also sold and demolished.

Zach was unable to have children due to complications from the mumps he contracted while serving in Horham. But, he and his wife Juanita led a very active life and were beloved by their nieces and nephews. They traveled frequently, both abroad and in the U.S. They made numerous trips to the Pacific regions, always stopping over to visit the memorial for Zach's brother, Tommy, who died in the Solomon Sea during World War II. Another frequent destination was Australia, to visit Stanborough relatives. They also attended several of the reunions for the 95th Bomb Group over the years. Zach was colorful and boisterous, loved or hated by all who knew him (there was no middle ground!). He was fiercely devoted to his family and eagerly served as the family historian.

Zach was active with a number of organizations at various times, including serving with his wife as a guide for Youth Tours throughout Europe and serving as an elder with Metairie Ridge Presbyterian Church. Zach also worked with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, helping to establish the Thomas W. Stanborough Post No. 4275 in Metairie, in honor of his brother. He was a member of National Sojourners, Air Force Association, Retired Officers Association, Disabled American Veterans #33 of Metairie, and Past President of Metairie High School Alumni Association. With the Masonic Lodge, Zach was Past Master of Ideal Lodge #367 F&AM and Dual Member of Metairie Lodge #444 F&AM; Past Patron of Rob Morris Chapter No. 1, O.E.S. and Germania Chapter 190, O.E.S.; Degree Master and New Orleans Scottish Rite Bodies 32nd Degree; and Royal Order of Scotland.

Other members in Zach's family who served during World War II include his sister, Thelma Stanborough Blalock (a civilian employee with the Army Air Corps); his brother, Thomas William Stanborough (in the Navy, a survivor of the U.S.S. Arizona, later died in the Solomon Sea); his father, Thomas Stanborough (a naturalized American who served as Ship's Master for the Merchant Marine, sunk by U-158 in the Gulf of Mexico); his brother-in-law, Dennis Ferrell Blalock (an infantry commander with the Army); and numerous cousins.
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Biography researched and written by Evelyn Park Blalock

Service

Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

  • 334th Bomb Squadron
  • 335th Bomb Squadron
  • 336th Bomb Squadron
  • 412th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-30161 'Cuddle Cat'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23/4/43; Smoky Hill 28/4/43; Walla Walla 5/7/43; Smoky Hill 21/5/43; Tinker 23/5/43; Dow Fd 2/6/43; Assigned 303BG Molesworth 16/6/43; transferred 336BS/95BG [ET-B] Horham 18/6/43; 12m, Missing in Action Stuttgart 6/9/43 with John...

  • 42-30167 Destiny's Tot, Angel Pumpkin

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/4/43; Tinker 27/4/43; Smoky Hill 5/5/43; Tinker 12/5/43; Lincoln 20/5/43; Bangor 23/5/43; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-H] Framlingham; Horham 15/6/43; ...

  • 42-30226 'Spook V'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 30/4/43; Gore 14/5/43; Kearney 27/5/43; Tinker 1/6/43; Dow Fd 6/6/43; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-L] Horham 15/6/43; 36m, Missing in Action Frankfurt 29/1/44 with Jim Higgins, Navigator: Don Gallagher, Bombardier: Vern Archibald, Flight...

  • 42-30255 'Lonesome Polecat'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 4/5/43; Smoky Hill 14/5/43; Tinker 25/5/43; Smoky Hill 29/5/43; Dow Fd 31/5/43; Assigned 351BG Polebrook 10/6/43; transferred 412BS/95BG [QW-V] Horham 16/6/43; battle damage on 13/11/43 Ball turret gunner: E.J. Castona (wia),Tail...

  • 42-5918

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 7/5/43; Denver 11/5/43; Smoky Hill 19/5/43; Dow Fd 4/6/43; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-J] Horham 15/6/43; Ball turret gunner: D. Jacoby [wia] 13/12/43; 36m, Missing in Action Oschersleben 11/1/44 with Jim Foley, Co-pilot: Paul Keith,...

  • 42-97257 'Knock-Out Baby!'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 11/2/44; Dalhart 3/3/44; Grenier 26/3/44; Assigned 412BS/95BG [QW-L] Horham 28/3/44; with Horace O. Turner, 24/4/44, Bombardier/Navigator [wia]; with J.C. Bertram 11/7/44, Waist gunner: Ray Carpenter [wia]; with T.G. Bek 24/12/44,...

  • 42-97961

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 16/4/44; 1SAG Langley 5/6/44; Grenier 28/6/44; Assigned as (PFF) 336BS/95BG [ET-K] Horham 29/6/44; 31m, Missing in Action Mannheim, Ger. 21/1/45 with C. L. Savage; lost to severe weather conditions, crash landed Nancy A/fd, Fr; 9RTD;...

  • 44-8179

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 30/6/44; Langley 27/7/44; Dow Fd 22/8/44; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-L] Horham 25/8/44; 335BS [OE-T]; 344BS [BG-S] battle damaged Cologne 17/10/44 with John Miller, Bombardier: Art Scroggins, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Manuel...

  • 44-8210

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 11/7/44; Langley 8/8/44; Dow Fd 12/9/44; Assigned 332BS/94BG [XM-Z] Rougham 14/9/44; transferred 335BS/95BG [OE-J] Horham 11/44; with L.W. Jensen, Radio Operator: Paul Rupard, Waist gunner: - Olson [2wia] 24/2/45; 53m, RetUS,...

  • 44-8364

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 25/8/44; Langley 4/9/44; Grenier 10/10/44; Assigned 335BS/95BG [OE-W] Horham 12/10/44; 21m, Salvaged 9AF Germany 10/5/46.

Show more

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 72

    10 July 1943
    German airfields at Caen, Abbeville, and Le Bourget at Paris, France are the primary targets for this mission. 112 B-17s form a combined force from 91BG; 92BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG and 381BG to bomb the German airfield (Carpiquet) at Caen, France. Cloud...

  • VIII Bomber Command 73

    14 July 1943
    The German air depot at Villacoublay, France and the German airfields Amiens/Glisy and Le Bourget at Paris, France are the primary targets for this mission. These attacks are made by three separate elements: 116 B-17s are despatched from 92BG (15);...

  • VIII Bomber Command 75

    24 July 1943
    Three targets in Norway are the primary targets for this first mission flown by 8th AIr Force to Norway. They are the nitrate works at Heroya and the port areas at Trondheim and Bergen. The first element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from: 91BG (22)...

  • VIII Bomber Command 76

    25 July 1943
    This mission was composed of three elements. The primary targets were the diesel engine works at Hamburg, Germany; the shipyards at Kiel, Germany and the aircraft industries at Warnemude, Germany, but weather frustrated the effort. The first element...

  • VIII Bomber Command 81

    12 August 1943
    This mission is separated into two elements. The first element is a combined force of 183 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division: 91BG (22); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (20); 306BG (20); 351BG (21); 379BG (21); 381BG (20); and 384BG (20) are dispatched to bomb...

  • VIII Bomber Command 95

    15 September 1943
    This mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a formation of 93 B-17s from: (1BG (19); 305BG (18); 306BG (18); 351BG (19); and 381BG (19) despatched to bomb the German air deport at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. 87 aircraft are...

  • VIII Bomber Command 108

    4 October 1943
    This mission is composed of five elements. The first element is a combined force of 104 B-17s from: 306BG (16); 92BG (17); 395BG (17); 303BG (19); 379BG (18) and 384BG (17) despatched to bomb the industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany. 77 aircraft are...

  • VIII Bomber Command 111

    8 October 1943
    The shipyards and industrial areas of Bremen, Germany are the primary targets for this mission, but cloud cover causes some formations to bomb targets of opportunity. The attacking elements have been summarized below: ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 113

    9 October 1943
    This mission is composed of 6 elements. The first element is a combined force of 115 B-17s from: 303BG (20); 379BG (20); 384BG (21); 351BG (21); 91BG 16; and 381BG (16) dispatched to bomb the industrial areas of Anklam, Germany. 106 aircraft are...

  • 691

    28 October 1944

Show more

Associated Place

  • Horham

    Military site : airfield
    Horham airfield was planned and built for RAF use, but handed over to the Eighth Air Force and used initially by the 47th Bomb Group. When they joined the Twelfth Air Force in January 1943, it became home to the B-26 Marauders of the 323rd Bomb Group....

  • St Mary, Horham, Suffolk

    Other location

  • Red Feather Club Museum

    Other location

Events

Event Location Date

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2019 20:49:56 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2019 08:19:05 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2019 07:18:58 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2019 07:13:50 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2019 07:05:46 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. National Archives; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2019 06:50:29 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. National Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2019 06:39:48 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2019 06:24:25 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal files of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2019 04:44:13 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal files of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Squad Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2019 04:30:38 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal files of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. Archives Database, 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 20:22:56 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal files of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. Archives Database, 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 19:36:21 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal files of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. Archives Database, 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 19:32:54 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal files of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 19:26:19 EveyBl Changes to place associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; Fold3.com.

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:40:12 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal notes of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:38:34 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal notes of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:37:18 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal notes of the family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. Archives; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:32:46 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough.

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:25:31 EveyBl Changes to biography
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough.

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:23:27 EveyBl Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:22:34 EveyBl Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:20:10 EveyBl Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:18:13 EveyBl Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:15:30 EveyBl Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:13:59 EveyBl Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:11:34 EveyBl Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:10:15 EveyBl Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:06:35 EveyBl Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:05:02 EveyBl Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:03:53 EveyBl Changes to mission associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 07:01:20 EveyBl Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 06:55:21 EveyBl Changes to service number, highest rank and role
Sources

Personal records of the family of Zach T. Stanborough, U.S. National Archives, 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives Database; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 06:53:30 EveyBl Changes to media associations
Sources

Zach T. Stanborough was assigned to active duty in May 1943, serving as a B-17 pilot with the 95th Bomb Group, 336th and 412th squadrons of the 8th Air Force, flying out of Horham, England. Zach's entire family was in service; his brother served in the Navy, his father served in the Merchant Marines, and his sister served as a civilian employee with the Army Air Corps.

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2019 06:52:31 EveyBl Changes to unit associations
Sources

Personal documents, family of Zach T. Stanborough; U.S. National Archives Database; 95th Bomb Group Archives; 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation Database

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:29:02 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / http://95thbg.org/95th_db_pages/left_formation_code/gethonoroll.php

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