Did you know that after their service had ended in 1945, the Black women in World War II were disbanded unceremoniously without any official recognition?
The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion
Very little is known about these 845 Black women who had served during World War II. All these members were known very prominently in the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. These women made sure the soldiers who were stationed in Europe received their much-awaited letters for that vital boost in morale.
In addition to distributing mail in England and France’s warehouses, these women had been tasked to clear a backlog of at least 2 years worth of mail that was awaited by 7 million people. These letters were forwarded to uniformed civilian specialists, the Red Cross, the Air Force, Navy, and, of course, the Army.
The National Memorial Day Parade
Since these women never received any formal recognition and people never knew about their efforts, but recently, NBC made an announcement that was much awaited by their families. The surviving members of the Six Triple Eight battalion were set to be featured as an integral part of the National Memorial Day Parade.
The NBC tweet read, “The Women’s Army Corps 6888, known as the Six Triple Eight, were the only all-female battalion deployed overseas during WWII. Over 800 African-American women served their country with distinction in Europe. We celebrate them.”
Things We Didn’t Know About the Six Triple Eight Battalion
After comprehensive researches and interviews, many surprising traits of the battalion reached the masses. It was found that these women had run their own mess hall, recreational facility, refreshment bars, and a hair salon. When this unit of the military police had been denied the right to hold firearms, they had resorted to training in effective alternate methods of keeping intruders off their compound. One of these methods was jujitsu!
“No Mail, Low Morale.”
Another very beautiful find about the 6888, which was part of the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) was that they had a motto. This motto read, “No mail, low morale.” As strong as this motto was, these women did a lot more than just distribute packages and letters.
As they were the largest contingent of Black women to have served overseas in history, they had even represented a change in gender and racial roles in the Army. They had actually dispelled stereotypes as the war came to an end in 1945 but this was when the battalion had been significantly reduced to just a few personnel.
Thanks to the National Memorial Day Parade, we got the chance to remember their sacrifices and efforts. Even a 97-year-old woman named Indiana Hunt-Martin had joined others in the Parade to remember the time they served abroad for the US!