Black History Month Memo:
Nicknamed the “Six Triple Eight,” the 6888 Central Postal Directory was an all-black battalion of the Women’s Army Corp (WAC), made up of 855 black women, led by Major Charity Adams. The 6888 was the only all-black, all-female battalion overseas during WWII. There was a shortage of male soldiers to handle the backlog within the postal service for the US army overseas during the war. So In 1944, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt gave her support for a role for black women in the war overseas.
It became the Six Triple Eight’s task to organize and disperse the extensive backlog of mail intended for soldiers. The black women of the 6888 worked in three 8-hour shifts, 7 days a week to complete their herculean task of dispersing an estimated 17 million pieces of mail. They did this in a little over 3 months… half the time anticipated to do so. Their motto? “No mail, low morale.” In 2021 the Senate proposed a bill that would give the 6888 a Congressional gold medal; next week they will vote on this bill. Sadly there are only 6 surviving members of the 6888. Lena King, 99, is one of these survivors and was recently interviewed by Al Roker on the Today Show. When asked why she had wanted to serve, she mentioned several reasons, the most poignant being, “To show we loved our country, even if they didn’t love us back.”