All-black World War II women’s battalion to be honored at Memorial Day parade

Surviving members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, an all-black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II, will be honored on Memorial Day.

The Women’s Army Corps, created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 1, 1943, included a little known battalion of African American women.

Nicknamed “Six Triple Eight,” the unit of 824 women traveled overseas to England and France where they were tasked with handling, sorting and delivering an immense backlog of mail destined for and sent by U.S. forces.

Women of the Six Triple Eight ran their own mess hall, hair salon, refreshment bar and other recreational facilities.

When the unit’s military police were denied firearms, they instead trained in jujitsu, an effective alternative in keeping intruders out of their compound.

After World War II drew to a close in late 1945, the Six Triple Eight was significantly reduced in size by several hundred personnel.

The remainder of the unit returned to the U.S. a year later, and were officially disbanded in New Jersey without a formal ceremony, parade or any official recognition of their achievements.

One of the first black women to serve abroad in the U.S. Army, 97-year-old Indiana Hunt-Martin, will join other members of the battalion at the National Memorial Day Parade on Monday, WTOP’s news partner NBC Washington reported.

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