Louis Zaris World War II Papers

Title: Louis Zaris World War II Papers
Date: 1944-1962 (bulk 1944-1945)
Collection Number: H115
Accession Number: 2012.007

Extent: 1.25 cubic feet

Repository: Atlantic City Heritage Collections, Atlantic City Free Public Library, 1 North Tennessee Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, (609) 345-2269

Preferred Citation: Louis Zaris World War II Papers, Atlantic City Heritage Collections, Atlantic City Free Public Library.

Creator: Zaris, Louis (1917-1990)

Scope and Content:
The Louis Zaris World War II Papers include certificates, photographs, newspaper clippings, an autobiography, a World War II Army Air Corps uniform and cap, and medals relating to military service.

The items in the collection were loaned to the Atlantic City Historical Museum in 1989. Some were selected for display in the Museum’s permanent exhibit and were transferred to the Atlantic City Free Public Library in 2012 when the library acquired the museum’s collections. In 2016 additional items that had not been selected for exhibition were acquired and added to the collection.

Biographical/Historical Note:
Louis Zaris served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II as a 1st Lieutenant bombardier. Before the war, he was an aide to Mayor Thomas Taggart and an Atlantic City police officer.

He took his love of Atlantic City with him to war, dubbing one of the airplanes the “Boardwalk Flyer.” While on a mission over Austria in April 1944, his plane was shot down and Lt. Zaris was captured by German forces. He spent 11 months in Prisoner of War camps in Sagen and Nuremberg, Germany.

After returning to Atlantic City, he owned Zaris Construction Company and Zaris Realty Company. He was involved with various veterans’ groups in the area. He built the Chelsea Towers housing development, one of the first cooperative Federal Housing Authority-sponsored projects in Atlantic City.

Zaris married Evelyn “Babe” and had 4 daughters. He died in 1990 at the age of 72.

Zaris, Louis. Autobiography of Louis Zaris: Written at the end of 1945 of his experiences in the Air War over Nazi Europe in WWII from February 1944 to June 1945.
“Zaris, Louis [obituary].” Press of Atlantic City. 18 August 1990.

System of Arrangement:
The collection is arranged by item type. The paper items are housed in one folder, which is arranged chronologically. Artifacts are housed together in one box.


Box 1: Louis Zaris Papers (one folder)
Newspaper clippings, certificates, photographs, Prisoner of War identification card. Also, brochure for Zaris Construction Company’s Chelsea Towers project from 1962.

Artifact Box 8:
• World War II-era army uniform belonging to Louis Zaris. Tan pants (A), jacket (B), and shirt (C), belt (D), green necktie (E), and awards: 3 bars (F, G, H), 3 medals with ribbons (I, J, K), two maple leaf pins, one on each shoulder (L, M), and two circle pins, one on each shoulder (N, O)
• Burgundy colored, rectangular, garrison cap (a) with white piping and yellow embroidery lettering and American Ex - Prisoners of War patch. Hat has leather band and labels inside for care. Brass colored 7 pointed oak leaf identifying wearer as Major.

Access Points:
Boardwalk Flyer (airplane)
Chelsea Towers (Atlantic City)
Prisoners of War
United States. Army Air Force.
World War II
Zaris, Louis

Related Materials:
Local History Biography Files – Zaris, Louis
World War II Memorabilia Collection
Atlantic City Reporter newspaper collection
Women in War and Peace exhibit collection (HEx003)
Atlantic City Remembers World War II exhibit collection (HEx005)
Mayor Thomas Taggart Papers (H036)

Processing Note: The collection is processed and cataloged. Finding aid written by Heather Perez, archivist, June 2017.

Copyright Notice: While the Atlantic City Free Public Library owns the collection, the Library may not own the copyright for all of the items. Researchers wishing to reproduce materials are responsible for obtaining the proper permissions.
Updated 27 June 2017