The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was the only all-black Women’s Army Corps unit to serve overseas in World War II. The unit kept mail flowing to the nearly seven million Soldiers in the European Theater of Operations.
The women of the 6888th survived two brushes with the German military. First, German U-boats forced the unit’s convoy to reroute during its voyage across the Atlantic. Then, after arriving in England, a V1 rocket, or Buzz Bomb, came roaring into the area. No one was hurt during the attacks.
When the women arrived in Birmingham, England, they found warehouses crammed from floor to ceiling with mail that hadn’t moved in about a year or two. To deal with the volume of the mail, they worked seven days a week in eight-hour rotating shifts.
They were given six months to break the logjam; the 6888th did it in three.
During the war, nearly 1,000 women from the “Six-Triple Eight” Central Postal Battalion moved mountains of mail for millions of American service members and civilians that clogged warehouses in England and France.
Their service to their country had been overlooked for years, starting with when they returned to the United States from assignments overseas.