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.