From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (African American Women Veterans in and from Kentucky)

Carter, Bernice May Coleman Smith

(born: December 25, 1905  -  died: March 25, 1989) 

Military Branch

Women's Army Corps

Active Duty Entered

January 16, 1943

Active Duty Exit

August 23, 1943


Bernice May Coleman was born in Taylor Mines (Ohio County), KY, the daughter of Benjamin and Laura Coleman. The family was living in Beaver Dam when they were enumerated in the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Censuses. Bernice Smith is listed in the 1935 Owensboro city directory as the widow of Edward Smith. In the 1940 U.S. Census, she was living in Owensboro, KY caring for several children.

In 1943, she enlisted in the Army in Cincinnati, OH, according to her record in the National Archives, Access to Archival Databases. After her military service, she returned to Owensboro and married Rolland Carter. Bernice May Coleman Smith Carter died in Huntingburg, IN and is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in Owensboro.

Sources: Bernice S. Coleman Carter at Find A Grave; Indiana Death Certificate #89-008209 in Ancestry; "Our men and women in service," The Messenger, 3/28/1943, p. 4; and Polk's Owensboro (Daviess County, KY.) City Directory, 1935, p. 199.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Ohio County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Daviess County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Taylor Mines, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Beaver Dam, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Owensboro, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: National Archives, Access to Archival Databases (online)
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)
NKAA Source: The Owensboro messenger (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Polk's Owensboro (Daviess County, KY.) city directory

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Carter, Bernice May Coleman Smith,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed February 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-05-12 16:50:21