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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Sammie M. Rice to Estelle Rice, 2 September 1942

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Object ID: WV0257.4.010

Description: Rice believes she will be sent overseas soon. She writes of her hopes to get to Florence, SC, before leaving; writing her will, taking out Army Insurance; and her friend’s promotion. She will be among the first African American nurses sent overseas, so she is excited to be a part of history.

Creator: Sammie Rice

Biographical Info: Sammie Mae Rice (1913-2006) was among the first African American nurses to serve in an overseas theater during World War II.

Collection: Sammie M. Rice Papers

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Full Text: Dear Hun,

This is to you that I may be leaving for overseas soon. There will be 13 from Fort Bragg if all go whose names went to headquarters. I am not sure who is going us they haven't told us but some say everybody's whose name was on the list is going. Don't ask when or where because I don't know. I may go to Florence on the 12th if they let me or if I am still here. I must have my radio repaired because that is one of the articles I will have to carry with me.

I have already made my will and am going to take out Army Insurance.

I am hoping that I won't have to go on this trip. Petty has been made 1st Lt. and will leave Sat. for Ft. Huchuco, Ariz. She will be chief nurse. I wish I could go with her. She may go overseas with the second group, that is why I don't want to go with the first group. Would like to wait and go with her. Had a card from Mrs. Johnson. Her mother is dead. Was quite surprised.

Don't worry-- as we will be convoyed all the way there. We will be 28 days on the sea. We are planning on the fun we will have on the ship. We will be the first group of Negro nurses to go overseas during war. That's History, you know. Everybody is excited.

You owe me a letter. Write soon.

Love, Hun