The 6888th

The 6888th

Written on 07/21/2022

In November 1944, the War Department acquiesced. Despite slow recruitment of volunteers, a battalion of 817 (later 824) enlisted personnel and 31 officers, all African-American women drawn from the WAC, the Army Service Forces, and the Army Air Forces, was created and eventually designated as the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, nicknamed “Six Triple Eight.”

The 6888th included a Headquarters Company for administrative and service support and Companies A, B, C, and D, each commanded by a captain or first lieutenant. Major (later Lieutenant Colonel) Charity Edna Adams (who took the surname Earley upon her marriage in 1949) was selected to command the battalion. The battalion was trained for their overseas mission at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia: “They crawled under logs wearing gas masks and jumped over trenches”. The women learned to identify enemy aircraft, ships, and weapons; to climb ropes; to board and evacuate ships; and to do long marches with rucksacks.

They were sent to England, becoming the only battalion of black women to serve overseas during WW II. The battalion was formed after civil rights organizations and black newspapers accused the military of denying black women meaningful jobs.

"The group was nicknamed "Six Triple Eight" and their motto was "No mail, no morale."

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