Black Women In WW2

It is Sunday and what better time to offer up some history?

There have been stories about black units in WW2…..movies and TV shows that celebrate the heroics of these units at the time of war.

But have you ever heard or seen any thing on the black women that served during those dark days?

If not then you are in for a lesson from the Old Professor.

The unit is the 6888th Central Postage Directory Battalion……

In 1927, an unlikely friendship arose between educator and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune and future First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, based on a shared belief in the power of education. When Franklin D. Roosevelt became president in 1933, Bethune served as an advisor on minority issues, and eventually was named Director of Negro Affairs in 1939. Her work with the administration led to the creation of the Black Cabinet, an informal group of advisors who worked on issues facing Black communities across the United States. The Black Cabinet helped the Roosevelt administration draft executive orders that ended the exclusion of Black Americans in the Army during World War II. In 1944, with the support of the First Lady, Bethune pushed for the admittance of Black women in the military, through inclusion in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), a branch of the Army created in 1942. Though there was a backlash against having women in uniform from conservative elements in military leadership, tens of thousands of women were trained in a variety of non-combat specialties that were thought appropriate for women at the time: switchboard operation, baking, mechanics, stenography, postal work, and more.

All were critical to the operation of the Army during wartime. Sending and receiving mail, for example, was a lifeline for soldiers, and the only way to stay connected to the friends and families they left behind. In 1945 alone, more than 3.3 billion pieces of mail went through the military postal service. Around 8 million Americans were stationed in Europe that year. The task of organizing and delivering all that mail was daunting, and a shortage of qualified postal workers led to a massive backlog. Army officers reported that the undelivered mail was hurting morale. Something had to be done, and a unique WAC battalion answered the call.

The task of sifting through this growing stack of letters and packages—some of which had been mailed years before—was given to the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the only all-Black, all-female battalion to serve overseas during World War II. The 6888th—nicknamed “Six Triple Eight” and led by Major Charity Adams Earley—was originally expected to sort through 7 million pieces of mail and packages in Birmingham, England, over the course of six months. They did the job in three.

These women should be celebrated for their service….not pushed aside for the more glamorous units.

I salute all women that served their country with pride and honor.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


4 thoughts on “Black Women In WW2

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