Howard Zacher in his plane “Margie”

Source: Hugh Elroy Best, Jr. Family Collection, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #894

Staff Person: Dale Sauter

This week’s pick comes from a collection that contains photographic prints and photocopied documents relating to military service of three generations 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.

All we know about Hugh E. Best, Sr. is that he served in the U.S. Navy. Hugh E. Best, Jr. served from 1942 until 1946 in both the U.S. Army Air Forces and the U.S. Air Corps. 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 U.S.S. Mariana when it was lost at sea on March 3, 1942. He received the Mariner’s Medal posthumously. Hugh Elroy Best, III, son of Hugh E. Best, Jr. and Glanor Gay Best, served as an Army Lieutenant during the Vietnam War. He 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.

The image below is apparently of a pilot who served with Best, Jr. in the U.S. Air Corps. The inscription on the back reads “Howard L. Zacher, Pilot, Airstrip 72 — France, Ship: B-26- No. 462 ‘Margie’, July 4, 1945.”

Howard L. Zacher in his plane Margie.

Howard L. Zacher in his plane Margie.