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

Manuscript Collection #894

  • Descriptive Summary
     
    Title: Hugh Elroy Best, Jr., Family Collection
    Creator:
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: 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.
  • Description
     

    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.

  • Biographical / Historical Note
     

    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.

  • Administrative Information
     
    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.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Meade B. Horne

    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.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Diana Zeltmann, April 27, 2006

    Encoded by Apex Data Services

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