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Remembering the 6888th Battalion, the only all-female Black unit to serve overseas in WWII

Members of the 6888th battalion stand in formation in Birmingham, England, in 1945. (U.S. Army Women's Museum via AP, File)
Members of the 6888th battalion stand in formation in Birmingham, England, in 1945. (U.S. Army Women's Museum via AP, File)

In 1945, American forces had an unexpected problem: Amidst the chaos of World War II, more than two years of letters had piled up in a tremendous backlog of approximately 17 million pieces of mail.

The U.S. government deployed a group of women to solve the problem in six months. They did it in half that time.

Known as the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the group of 855 Black women became the first and only all-female Black U.S. Army Corps unit to serve overseas during World War II. This year, Congress awarded the group the Congressional Gold Medal.

We learn more about their history from professor Brenda L. Moore, author of “To Serve My Country, To Serve My Race,” a book about the battalion.

Watch on YouTube.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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