Sammie Mae Rice (1913-2006) was among the first African American nurses to serve in an overseas theater during World War II.
Sammie Mae Rice (1913-2006) of Laurens, South Carolina, enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps on 24 July 1942. At the time of her induction Lt Rice was assistant superintendent of Gillespie hospital in Cordele Georgia She was sent to Fort Bragg, NC, and Camp Kilmer, NJ, until February 1943, when she left for the African theatre with the 25th Station Hospital. When her shipped docked in Morocco in mid-March 1943, she became one of the first African Americans to serve overseas, and certainly the first African American nurse from South Carolina sent to that theatre during WWII. After stops in Dakar and Freetown, Rice arrived in Liberia, where she working as a nurse in the Officers ward of the Army hospital. By November of 1943, she was in Northern Africa, and by January 1944 Lieutenant Rice had returned to the United States, where she was stationed at Camp Livingston, Louisiana. Rice was discharged on 1 March 1946.