What You Need to Know:

The House voted Monday to award the only all-female, Black unit to serve in Europe during World War II with the Congressional Gold Medal. The 422-0 vote follows a long-running campaign to recognize the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. The Senate passed the legislation last year.

The unit known as the Six Triple Eight was sent overseas in 1945 as a result of growing pressure from Black organizations to join their White counterparts overseas. The Unit braved treacherous waters on its way to England, dodged rocket fire, and was deployed in a rat-infested airplane hangar in Birmingham, England. Their mission was to sort the millions of pieces of undelivered mail for troops, government workers, and Red Cross workers. They cleared out 17 million pieces of mail in three short months, and like so many other Black units during the war, their efforts were never celebrated.  

The House also voted Monday night to rename the Central Park Post Office in Buffalo as the Indiana Hunt-Martin Post Office Building, after veteran Indiana Hunt-Martin, a member of 6888th. Hunt-Martin died in 2020 at the age of 98.

A monument was erected in 2018 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to honor them, and the 6888th was given the Meritorious Unit Commendation in 2019. A documentary, “The Six Triple Eight,” was made about them and there is also talk of a movie.

Why You Need to Know:
These women did their duty with distinction, boosted the morale of all the soldiers in the war, and did so in the face of all the adversity a Black woman could possibly face. I’m not the biggest fan of war movies, but I think this would be a good opportunity to explore what happens off the front lines. It’s always a pleasure to do some research and learn more about my Black history. I hope you all are enjoying these as well.