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

Bell, Martha L.

(born: May 17, 1915  -  died: April 28, 1998) 

Military Branch

Women's Army Corp (WAC)

Active Duty Entered

September 28, 1943

Active Duty Exit

December 22, 1945

Exit Rank



Martha L. Bell was born in Daviess County, KY. She entered the Women's Army Corps in Cincinnati, OH in 1943. Her enlistment record has the incorrect birth year of 1918: the Kentucky Birth Index gives her birth year as 1915. She was the daughter of Alberta Vick and Lenard Bell; the family lived with Mattie Vick in Whitesville, KY, according to the 1920 U.S. Census.

Martha L. Bell was a graduate of a four-year college and later worked as a school teacher at the segregated Western School in Owensboro, KY. She had been teaching vocational home economics since at least 1939. In 1940, she attended summer school at Columbia University in New York. After her military service, she returned to Owensboro and later moved to Louisville, KY, where she died in 1998. She is buried in the Lebanon National Cemetery.

Sources: WWII Army Enlistment Record (Ancestry); Kentucky Birth Index (Ancestry); "Assignment to teachers made," The Messenger, 8/20/1939, p. 13; "Owensboro Public School Statement," The Messenger, 10/26/1940, pp. 8-9 and 6/20/1942, pp. 7-8; "City teachers are reelected," The Messenger, 5/29/1940, p. 10; "Owensboro teachers to attend summer school," The Messenger, 6/9/1940, p. 2; U.S. Public Records Index (Ancestry); Kentucky Death Index (Ancestry); and U.S. Veterans Gravesites (Ancestry).

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Daviess County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Marion County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Owensboro, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Whitesville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lebanon, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)
NKAA Source: The Owensboro messenger (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Bell, Martha L.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 17, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-05-12 16:23:08