6888TH CENTRAL POSTAL DIRECTORY BATTALION (1945–1946

6888TH CENTRAL POSTAL DIRECTORY BATTALION (1945–1946

AUGUST 31, 2016 CONTRIBUTED BY: SAMUEL MOMODU

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was an all-black battalion of the Woman’s Army Corps (WAC). The 6888th had 855 enlisted African American women and officers. The battalion was commanded by Major Charity Edna Adams Early, who became the highest-ranking African American woman in the military at the end of the war. It was the only all-black, all-female battalion overseas during World War II. The group was nicknamed “Six Triple Eight” and their motto was “No mail, no morale.” The battalion was organizing into five companies—Headquarters Company, Company A, Company B, Company C, and Company D. Most of the 6888th worked as postal clerks, cooks, mechanics, and in other support positions.

The Women’s Army Corps (WAC) of the U.S. Army was created by a law that was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 1, 1943. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and civil rights leader Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune called for African American women to serve as enlisted personnel and officers in the WAC. With several units of white woman sent to serve the European theater of the war, African American organizations pressed the War Department to extend the opportunity to serve overseas to African American WAC.

This article appears in its entirety at the Black Past website. It can be read here.

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