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Hugh Elroy Best, Jr., Family Collection, 1942-1994

Manuscript Collection #894

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Hugh Elroy Best, Jr., Family Collection
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Collection (1942-1969) of photographic prints and photocopied documents relating to World War II service of Tarboro, NC natives Hugh E. Best Jr. who served in the U.S. Army Air Force in Europe, Hugh E. Best, Sr., who served in the U.S. Navy; Glanor Gay Best, who served in the Women’ s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC); Gaston Gay, who died while serving in the U.S. Merchant Marine in 1942; also relating to Vietnam War service of Hugh E. Best, III who was killed in action in 1969.
Extent: 0.02 Cubic feet, 75 items , Collection consists of photographic prints, postcards and photocopies of United States Military records, newspaper clippings and personal correspondence.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

December 19, 2002, 68 items, 0.02 cubic feet; Collection (1942-1969) of photographic prints and photocopied documents relating to World War II service of Tarboro, NC natives Hugh E. Best Jr. who served in the U.S. Army Air Force in Europe, Hugh E. Best, Sr., who served in the U.S. Navy; Glanor Gay Best, who served in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC); Gaston Gay, who died while serving in the U.S. Merchant Marine in 1942; also relating to Vietnam War service of Hugh E. Best, III who was killed in action in 1969. (13 photocopied documents and 55 photographic prints). Donor: Meade B. Horne, Director, Edgecombe County Cultural Arts Council.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Hugh Elroy Best, Jr., Family Collection (#894), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Meade B. Horne

Processing Information

  • Processed by Diana Zeltmann, April 27, 2006

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Hugh Elroy Best, Jr. was born on May 18, 1922 in Tarboro, NC. Before entering the military, Best, Jr. was an electrician by trade. From November 1942 until August 1944 he was an aviation cadet in the U.S. Army Air Forces. Upon his honorable discharge from the Air Forces, Best, Jr. became a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Corps. He served in this position from August 1944 until March 1946 where he saw action in both France and Germany. After receiving an honorable discharge from this service, Best, Jr. moved back to Tarboro and worked for the U.S. Postal Service.

Glanor Gay Best, Hugh E. Best, Jr.'s wife, served during World War II in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), beginning in 1942.

Gaston Gay was a relative of Glanor Gay Best and was a Merchant Marine serving on the USS Mariana when it was lost at sea on March 3, 1942. He received the Mariner's Medal upon his death, which was given to his sister.

Hugh Elroy Best, III, son of Hugh E. Best, Jr. and Glanor Bay Best, served as an Army Lieutenant during the Vietnam War. Born in Tarboro, North Carolina, Best III joined the Army after attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for eighteen months. Best III was killed in action in South Vietnam in January of 1969. He had been awarded the Silver Star for Valor just prior to his death.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The collection contains photographic prints and photocopied documents relating to military service of a Tarboro, NC family. The family members include Hugh E. Best, Sr., Hugh E. Best, Jr., Glanor Gay Best, Gaston Gay and Hugh E. Best III. Specifically, the collection contains photographs, discharge papers and immunization records related to service during World War II of Hugh E. Best, Jr. Also included are Glanor Gay Best's War Department card and a group photograph related to her service in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC). Material on Gaston Gay, who died while serving in the U.S. Merchant Marine in 1942, consists of photocopies of a news clipping and a Congressional letter sent to Gay's sister (Grace Gay Moore) after he was awarded the Mariner's Medal. Also present are photocopies of news clippings and photographs related to the service and death of Hugh E. Best III in the Vietnam War. Also of interest, is an emotional letter sent to the father of Best III from a man who had served with his son during the war.

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. To see what's been digitized in this collection, please click on the "View Digitized Objects" link, or look for hyperlinks in the container list
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