The 6888th Central Postal Battalion, Six Triple Eight. “No mail, no morale.”

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion comprised entirely of African American women, faced discrimination and adversity head-on while delivering an essential service to WWII troops overseas.

In the early 1940s, as the world was engulfed in war, the need for efficient communication between soldiers and their loved ones back home was paramount. Yet, the volume of mail became overwhelming, leading to massive backlogs in postal facilities. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the U.S. Army formed the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion in 1944 with the mission to clear the backlog and ensure timely delivery of mail to the troops serving in Europe.

Led by Major Charity Adams, the 6888th was composed of African American women who were breaking barriers and records. These trailblazing women hailed from diverse backgrounds, united by their commitment to duty and service. With precision and determination, they embarked on their monumental task.

Stationed in Birmingham, England, the 6888th faced daunting challenges from the outset. The sheer volume of undelivered mail was staggering, with warehouses filled to the brim with letters and packages awaiting distribution. Undeterred, these courageous women rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

Their first order of business was to establish an efficient system for sorting through the backlog. Dividing into teams, they meticulously sifted through mountains of mail, sorting, categorizing, and redirecting each item with remarkable speed and accuracy. Their dedication and tireless efforts soon yielded results as the backlog gradually diminished, and the mail flow resumed.

Their mission was not without its obstacles. Operating in a segregated military, the women of the 6888th faced discrimination and prejudice at every turn. Despite these challenges, they remained steadfast in their resolve, proving their capabilities time and time again. Their exceptional performance not only earned them the respect of their fellow soldiers but also shattered stereotypes and paved the way for future generations of African American women in the military.

By February 1946, the remaining women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion returned to the United States, and the unit was disbanded at Fort Dix, New Jersey. By the end of their mission, the battalion had sorted through approximately 17 million pieces of mail. They ensured that millions of soldiers received a precious link to home during a time of war.

Through their unwavering dedication and spirit, they delivered more than just mail—they offered hope, comfort, and a reminder of the power of perseverance in the face of adversity. And for that, they will forever hold a place of honor in the annals of American history.

Reference: Black Past

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