Col. Paul R. Younts Papers

1940-1953. 4 1/2 boxes (140 folders), ca. 2,000 items.MSS. COLL. #95

NOTE: The numbers cited in parentheses throughout the inventory, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.


The bulk of this collection relates to either the Overseas Replacement Depot (ORD) located in Greensboro, North Carolina, during World War II or to Younts himself while he served in the armed forces of the United States. The collection will be useful to researchers interested in how the ORD functioned as a military installation as well as how it interacted with its host community. It also contains the military records of Younts and material he collected relating to his tenure as commander of the ORD. These materials reveal much about military culture and how the larger sphere of the armed forces operated in terms of protocol, performance recognition and promotion.

Arrangement: This collection is arranged into eight series, and within each series materials are arranged alphabetically (except series five, eight and the letters of appreciation to Younts from Greensboro citizens in series seven, which are compiled in a notebook in a separate box). The following are the eight series: Correspondence, 1944-1953; Legal, 1944-1945; Overseas Replacement Depot, 1946; Photographs, 1942-1946; Printed, 1944-1946; Prints & Drawings, n.d.; Scrapbook, 1944-1945; Speeches, 1944-1946; Younts, Paul, 1940-1951.

Provenance:  This collection was purchased by the Greensboro Historical Museum in June 1990 and assigned the accession number 1990.63.4.

Processing:  This collection was organized by J. Stephen Catlett in 1990; the introduction, notes and series descriptions were written by Francis D. Pitts III in April 1997.


A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Paul Reid Younts (1899-1971) enlisted in the Army at the outbreak of World War I; after the war, he served as the state commander of the American Legion of North Carolina. He is best remembered in Greensboro, though, for his stint as commander of the Overseas Replacement Depot that was located there during World War II, which he oversaw from 27 September 1944 to 27 March 1946. During Younts’ tenure the ORD processed over 100,000 men, separated from service 32,200 soldiers and reassigned 32,108 others. By all accounts, the operation under his command was considered an enormous success from both a military and a public relations standpoint.

In the years leading up to World War II, Younts was a real estate broker, then, from 1933 until 1940, the U.S. postmaster at Charlotte, North Carolina. At war’s end, he again became a businessman in Charlotte. In between these two periods of civilian life, Younts built a solid record of achievement as a soldier in the Army Air Force, first in the United States, next in the Pacific Theater, then at the ORD in Greensboro. His service records show that he received a number of letters of commendation from the military and many letters of appreciation from citizens of Greensboro.

At the outbreak of the conflict in Korea, Younts’ name was circulated in military circles for possible command of a National Guard artillery base in North Carolina. To take command of this post, it was typical for the person to hold the rank of brigadier general. It was believed that Younts, according to some of his superiors and based on his past record of achievement, would receive the promotion as a matter of course. After a review of his file, however, it was decided by the General Officer’s Board that he would have to attend advanced courses at the Artillery School in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Believing that a second appraisal of his record later would result in a more favorable outcome, Colonel Younts declined to act on the Board’s recommendation. Nevertheless, he decided to serve as commanding officer of the IV Corps Artillery in North Carolina on an interim basis. When it became apparent that the Board would hold fast to its original decision, Younts requested that he be relieved of his command. His resignation was accepted, and he was honorably discharged from the North Carolina National Guard on 31 July 1951.

According to subsequent articles published in the Charlotte News (see the first folder in the first box), reporters claimed Younts attained the rank of brigadier general; however, this information conflicts with the content of the correspondence found in association with his military service records.

On returning to civilian life, Younts became quite active in the affairs of his native city, Charlotte. Between 1951 and his death in 1971, he helped develop that city’s first shopping center, assemble the land for the Eastern Airlines complex, and headed the 1961 NC Trade Fair that drew approximately 200,000 visitors to Charlotte. In addition, he served as highway commissioner in the early 1960s, acted as president of the Chamber of Commerce, and headed the United Appeal. In 1961 Younts was named the Charlotte News’ Man of the Year. After his death, a section of the expressway that runs through the city was named in his honor.


Types of items in this collection include broadsides, correspondence, certificates, legal documents, manuals, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, photographs, military service records and various other documents relating to the armed forces of the United States.

The bulk of the material pertains to either the Overseas Replacement Depot located in Greensboro, NC, during World War II or its commander, Colonel Paul Younts. These materials shed considerable light on operations at the ORD with regard to its role as a processing station for recruits being sent overseas and soldiers being separated from service or reassigned. For information on the years before the base was an ORD (i.e. when it served as Basic Training Center #10), see the folder in Series 3 entitled “ORD — History — ‘Greensboro ORD: Its Past and Present'(1946).”

The collection is important in that it reveals what certain aspects of life were like in Greensboro during World War II, specifically life on the base and how a military installation interacted with the community at large. For material on these subjects, researchers should see the correspondence in series 1 and items detailing operational procedures and other documents about the ORD in series 3.

An additional important aspect of the collection is the fact that it reveals the essential details of Younts’ military career. Researchers can trace his personal history during this time through service records found in series 7 and the scrapbook in series 5. The folders in the former series contain telling information on how the military operated with regard to protocol, performance recognition and promotion. In particular, the folder that relates to his proposed promotion to brigadier general is particularly revealing.

Note: The collection does not contain any material relating to Younts’ life after 1953; however, there is an editorial and other biographical material on Younts located in a folder in the first box of the collection.


1. Correspondence. 76 folders. 1944-1953.

Most of the material in the correspondence series relates to Younts’ public relations efforts as commander of the ORD. Some exceptions to this rule are items regarding problems of separation from the service through the ORD and requests for information and assistance with personal problems, e.g. getting transferred or processed. Researchers interested in relations with the African-American community and The Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina should refer to the folders containing correspondence from F.D. Bluford (president of A&T College) and Walter Clinton Jackson (chancellor of Woman’s College).

Note: Notable individuals (local, regional, and national) are filed in separate folders under their names. Other letters are filed in general alphabetical folders, A-Z.

2. Legal. 1 folder (10 items). 1944-1945.

The items in this series pertain to information on Younts’ purchase of an automobile, registration of the vehicle and his auto insurance.

3. Overseas Replacement Depot.  6 folders (ca. 20 items).  1946.

This series includes nine flow charts showing statistics with regard to men moving through the base. In addition, there are manuals for processing, separating from service (“a pictorial study”) and standard operating procedures at the ORD. Researchers also will find a pamphlet entitled “Roster of Officers” and a short history of the base.

4. Photographs.  20 folders (ca. 225 items).  1942-1946.

The photographs appear to be primarily of Younts, the ORD and other Greensboro scenes. They add an important visual component to the history of the community during this period. The bulk of the photos are from activities at the ORD, such as the presentation of medals to families who lost loved ones in the war, training, and entertainment. Of particular interest are a photo and newspaper article from the formal opening of the Negro USO in 1944 (4:1) and the dedication of the NCO club (4:5). There are also photos of Eleanor Roosevelt’s historic visit to Greensboro (4:9) and a photo of Ronald Reagan outside a theater (location unknown) in October 1961 (4:18). The photos of the Pacific Theater show native inhabitants as well as the men stationed there (4:18).

5. Printed. 7 folders. 1945-1946.

In addition to certificates awarded to Younts, a drawing of him and miscellaneous newspaper clippings, this series includes an interesting flyer listing the “house rules” of the Post Officers’ Club and Younts’ membership card to the club. There is also a pamphlet from a general committee formed to combat venereal disease; Younts was chairman of the military committee.

6. Prints and Drawings. 1 folder (1 item). n.d.

This item is a cartoonish ink and wash drawing of Paul Younts signed Ritzell.

7. Scrapbook. 4 folders. 1944-1945.

This series contains what appears to be Younts’ personal collection of newspaper clippings in which he is either pictured or mentioned. They showcase those events that Younts found to be of import in his career.

8. Speeches. 4 folders. 1944-1946.

The documents in this series are significant in that they reveal Younts’ thoughts on certain subjects. In one speech, when he relinquished command, Younts expounds on his belief that World War II could achieve what World War I had not been able to do — lay the foundation for an enduring peace among nations. In a farewell column, he displays the magnanimity for which he was noted by giving thanks to all who helped the ORD accomplish its mission.

9. Younts, Paul. 13 folders. 1940-1953.

Researchers will find that this series is the most revealing one on Younts himself. It contains a letter in which Younts relates autobiographical material (covering the years between 1917 and 1946) to his brother, who had inquired whether public-relations work would be to his liking. Another important folder in this series is the one containing correspondence regarding Younts proposed promotion to brigadier general. The event did not come to pass, prompting Younts to resign his commission in order to focus his attention on other opportunities as a civilian. Also in this series are letters of commendation, special orders, Pacific Theater records, letters of appreciation from Greensboro citizens and service records.


11Correspondence-- A (1944-1946)
2-- Arnold, A.S. (1944)
3-- American Airlines, Inc. (1944)
4Correspondence-- American Legion (1945)
5-- Anderson, Maj. General Samuel E. (1945)
6-- Atkisson, L. Carroll (1945)
7Correspondence-- B (1944)
8-- B (1946)
9-- B (1945)
10Correspondence-- B (1945)
11-- Biddle, Francis (1944)
12-- Bluford, Dr. F.D. (1945)
13Correspondence-- Boren, W.C. III (1946)
14-- Boyce, William M. (1945)
15-- Brooks, Aubrey L. (1945)
16-- Bryan, Joseph M. (1945)
17Correspondence-- C (1944)
18-- C (1945)
19-- C (1945)
20Correspondence-- C (1946)
21-- Carolina Steel and Iron Co. (1945)
22-- Cherry, Governor R. Gregg (1945)
23Correspondence-- Choate, Herman C. (1945)
24-- Cone, Ceasar II (1945)
25-- Cone, Mrs. Julius W. (1945)
26Correspondence-- D (1944)
27-- D (1945)
28-- D (1946)
29Correspondence-- E (1944-1945)
30-- Exchange Club of Greensboro (1944-1945)
31Correspondence-- F (1944-1945)
32-- First Moravian Church (1945)
33Correspondence-- Fox, J.C. (1945)
34-- Fraser, Peter (Prime Minister, New Zealand; 1946)
35-- Fry, Fielding L. (1945)
36Correspondence-- G (1944)
37-- G (1945)
38-- G (1945)
39-- G (1946)
40Correspondence-- Gobbel, L.L. (Luther; 1945)
41-- Greensboro Fair (1945)
42-- Greensboro News Co. (1945)
45-- Greensboro Tuberculosis Assoc. (1944)
46Correspondence-- H (1944)
47-- H (1945)
48-- H (1945)
49Correspondence-- H (1945)
50-- H (1946)
51-- Halsey, Admiral (1944)
52Correspondence-- Halsey, Admiral (1944)
53-- Hoey, Senator Clyde R. (1945)
54-- Holderness, W.H. (1945)
55Correspondence-- J (1945-1946)
56-- Jackson, Walter Clinton (1945)
57-- Joyner, Andrew Jr. (1944)
58Correspondence-- K (1945) 
59-- K (1945)
60-- Keefer, Louis B. (1945)
61Correspondence-- L (1944)
62-- L (1945)
63-- Lindley, J. Van (1945)
64Correspondence-- M  (1944)
65-- M  (1945)
66-- M  (1945)
67Correspondence-- M  (1945)
68-- M  (1946)
69-- Martin, Joseph T. (1945)
70Correspondence-- N (1945)
71-- ORD Separation Problems (1945-1946)
72-- ORD Separation Problems (1945-1946)
73Correspondence-- Prause, John J. (1953)
74-- Sedgefield Inn (1945)
75-- Sullivan, W.H. (Greensboro mayor; 1944)
76-- Vick Chemical Co. (1945)
21Legal-- Insurance Policies -- Automobile (1944-1945)
31ORD-- Broadsides -- Flow Charts (March 1946)
2-- History -- "Greensboro ORD: Its Past and Present" (1946)
3-- Pamphlets -- "Army Air Forces Overseas Replacement ..." (1946)
4ORD -- Pamphlets -- "AAF Separation Processing ..."
5-- Pamphlets -- "Processing Manual" (1946)
6-- Pamphlets -- "Roster of Officers" (1946)
17Photographs-- Last discharge ceremony
18Photographs-- Pacific Theater
19Photographs-- Prime Minister Peter Fraser (New Zealand)
20Photographs-- Younts, Paul
51Printed-- Awards
2Printed-- Certificates -- Army Service
3Printed-- Clippings -- Miscellaneous
4Printed-- Clippings -- Younts' Congressional Campaign
5Printed-- Flyer -- House Rules of the Post Officers Club
6Printed-- Membership Card -- ORD Post Officers Club
7Printed-- Pamphlets -- Venereal Disease Control (1945)
61Prints and Drawings-- Paul R. Younts (prints & drawings, small boxes)
71Scrapbooks-- #1 (1944-1945)
2Scrapbooks-- #2 (1944-1945)
3Scrapbooks-- #3 (1944-1945)
4Scrapbooks-- #4 (1944-1945)
81Speeches-- Armistice Day (1944)
2Speeches-- Col. Younts Relinquishes Command
3Speeches-- Farewell Column (1946)  
4Speeches-- Separation Ceremony
91Younts, Paul-- Biographical
2Younts, Paul-- “Letters of Appreciation to Col. Paul R. Younts for Outstanding Service to Greensboro, N.C.” (1946)
3Younts, Paul-- Letters re: Brigadier General Promotion (1945-1953)
4Younts, Paul-- Letters to Civilians upon departure (March 1946)
5Younts, Paul-- Letters of Commendation and Special Orders (1943-1945)
6Younts, Paul-- Letters of Commendation and Special Orders (1945-1946)
7Younts, Paul-- Military File (201)
8Younts, Paul-- ORD assignment orders (1945)
9Younts, Paul-- Pacific Theater Records (1942-1944)
10Younts, Paul-- Pacific Theater Records (1942-1944)
11Younts, Paul-- Pacific Theater Records (1942-1944)
12Younts, Paul-- Service Records (1940-1951)

Index to the Col. Paul R. Younts Papers

NOTE: The numbers following the name/subject entry — e.g. 1:1 — indicate in which Series#:Folder# (or, if no “:”, Series only) that name/topic can be found.

American Airlines, Inc. (1944): 1:3
American Legion (1945): 1:4
Anderson, Maj. Gen. Samuel E.: 1:5
Arnold, Albert S.: 1:2
Atkisson, L. Carroll: 1:6, 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, American Red Cross)

Biddle, Francis: 1:11
Blue Bell, Inc.: 1:33 (J.C. Fox)
Bluford, Dr. Ferdinand D.: 1:12
Boone, Hoyt W.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Rotary)
Boren, W.C.: 1:13
Boyce, William M.: 1:14
Brooks, Aubrey L.: 1:15
Bryan, Joseph M.: 1:16
Byrd, Robert D.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, American Legion)

Carolina Steel and Iron Co.: 1:21
Cherry, Gov. R. Gregg: 1:22, 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)
Choate, Herman C.: 1:23
Civitan Club of Greensboro: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)
Cone, Ceasar II: 1:24
Cone, Mrs. Julius W.: 1:25
Co-Operative Club: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)
Cub Scouts, Greensboro (1945): 1:32 (First Moravian)

Exchange Club of Greensboro: 1:30, 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)

First Moravian Church: 1:32
First Presbyterian Church, Greensboro: 1:14 (Boyce, William M.)
Fox, J. C.: 1:33
Fraser, Peter, Prime Minister, New Zealand: 1:34
Fry, Fielding L.: 1:35

Gate City Savings & Loan Association: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)
Gobbel, Luther. L.: 1:40
Greater Greensboro Open Golf Tournament: 1:13 (Boren, W.C.)
Greensboro Chamber of Commerce: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)
Greensboro College: 1:40 (Gobbel)
Greensboro Fair (1945): 1:41
Greensboro Junior Chamber of Commerce: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)
Greensboro Merchant’s Association: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)
Greensboro News Co.: 1:42, 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)
Greensboro Tuberculosis Association: 1:45

Hadaway, Norris: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)
Haley, Alvin T.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Civitan Club)
Halsey, Admiral William F., Jr: 1:51
Harmon, Maj. Gen. Hubert R.: 1:52
Hayes, N.P.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Kiwanis)
Hendley, Floyd F.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Greensboro News Co.)
Hill, Montgomery S.:9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, N.C. Theatres)
Hines, P.T.: 1:42 (Greensboro News Co.)
Hoey, Sen. Clyde R.: 1:53
Holderness, W. Howard: 1:54

Jackson, Walter Clinton: 1:56
James, Allison: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Treasury Dept.)
Jessup, J.I., Jr.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Greensboro Jr. Chamber)
Joyner, Andrew, Jr.: 1:57

Kendall, H.W.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, USO)
Kerchner, Charles E.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Lions Club)
Kiser, Mose: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Greensboro Chamber)
Kiwanis Club: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)

Lindley, J. Van: 1:63
Lions Club: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)

Martin, Joseph T.: 1:69, 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Greensboro Community Plan)
McIver, C.T.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Co-Op)
Merrimon Insurance Agency: 2:1
Michaels, E. G.: 1:76 (Vick Chemical)
Moore, J. Tracy: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, U.S. Post Office)
Morton, Joseph R.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Morton Chemical Co.)
Mosher, H.F.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Exchange Club)

Overseas Replacement Depot (O.R.D.), Greensboro, N.C.:
Broadsides (flowcharts): 3:2
History/photos: 3:2
History (Choate, H.C.): 1:23
Post Officer’s Club 4:1
Overstreet, L.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)

Petty, G. Sterling: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)
Prause, John J.: 1:73

Ridge, Edney: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, Dept. of Justice)
Roosevelt, Eleanor: 4:9

Sedgefield Inn: 1:74
Stapleton, Erle: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation, USO)
Stevens, J.T.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)
Sullivan, William H.: 1:75, 5:7 (Pamphlet-V.D.)

Textile Specialty Co., Inc.: 1:6 (Atkisson)

United Service Organizations, Inc.: 9:2 (Letters of Appreciation)

Vanstory, C.M., Jr.:
Vick Chemical Co.: 1:76

Woman’s College: 1:56 (Jackson, W.C.)

Younts, Paul R.: 9:1-12
Correspondence: 1:1-76
Legal: 2:1
Photos: 4:20
Printed: 5:1-4, 5:6
Prints & Drawings: 6:1
Scrapbooks: 7:1-4
Speeches: 8:1-4