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In The News-Media

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An all-black Women's Army Corps unit from WWII is still fighting for recognition

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-an-all-black-womens-army-corps-unit-still-fighting-for-recognition/

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CSPAN 3: (34 mins) The following event aired Monday (Nov 11).  African American Women's Army Corps Battalion

https://www.c-span.org/video/?465763-2/african-american-women-army-corps-battalion

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Seven minute clip with news anchor Tom Brokaw, actor Terry Crews (narrating) and Rob Riggle introducing six members of the Six Triple Eight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhbGozpdaH4&list=PLaz8anrWIM4__C8A6OPFXmj76fkol3gqZ&index=2&t=0s 

WWII Veteran and member of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion MSGT Bertha Durpe died on December 19, 2018 and no family member claimed her body? 

March 11, 2019

WWII Veteran and member of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion MSGT Bertha Durpe died on December 19, 2018 and no family member claimed her body?  If you recognize her and/or a family member please contact 6888th Monument Committee at atf96ff1081@gmail.com.

On March 22, an 11 a.m. procession led by Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten and including Patriot Riders on motorcycles and patriotically wrapped Freightliner military rigs will travel with Bertha’s ashes from Rockwell to the Salisbury National Cemetery.

There, Dupre will be given a service with full military rites. The Rowan County Veterans Honor Guard will fire volleys of salute, and the North Carolina Army National Guard will take part in the ceremony before Bertha’s urn finds its resting place in the National Cemetery’s columbarium.

Sen. Moran Introduces Legislation to Award Congressional Gold Medal to Members of 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

March 05, 2019

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U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced bipartisan legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the members of the Women’s Army Corps who were assigned to the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion – the “Six-Triple-Eight” – during World War II. The unit served at home and in Europe where they sorted and routed mail for millions of American service members and civilians.

A pioneering WWII vet died alone. But she’ll get a hero’s farewell.

February 28, 2019

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Bertha Dupre died alone in December, with no family left to claim her body. That gnawed at a growing number of volunteers she never knew in life but who will take her to a final rest.

In honor of Women's History Month and African American History Month, we celebrate the contributions of female noncommissioned officers who volunteered to serve the nation. Some of these women were the first of their race and gender to fulfill senior leadership positions and set the foundation for others to follow.

World War II

"No mail, low morale."1

-6888th unit motto

During World War II, the Army had more than 17 million backlogged letters, packages, and posters stored in air hangars. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme allied commander, directed the 6888th Central Directory Postal Battalion, the only African American World War II Women's Army Corps2 unit to deploy overseas, to process the mail in six months to boost troop morale.3 The unit completed the assignment in half the allotted time.

February 28, 2018

By Parker Philpot, Special to the Las Vegas Tribune

Black History Unites the U.S.
Southern Nevada is a multicultural, vastly diverse place, and February is a designated time to spotlight Black culture by recognizing the unique, far-too-often unheralded history of Black Americans and others of African descent. Black History Month is for everyone to uphold as a time to learn about and celebrate the abundant contributions of Black people locally, nationally and globally. When we understand and honor the historic and present-day sacrifices of members of any community, we grow stronger, together, understanding how irrefutably connected all our communities are.

This is first in a series of articles honoring U.S. military heroes

As we leave Black History Month and enter Women’s History Month, the story of a duty-bound group of women during World War II is the Las Vegas Tribune’s 2018 contribution to highlighting unheralded Black heroes in the armed forces. There is a monument-building campaign underway to honor the 800-plus veteran Black women of the 6888th. Fundraising has started with local companies and supporters engaged in a creative way, and more military history with Blacks and women in the forefront is being brought to light.

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was a unique unit in the history of the U.S. Army. It had the distinction of being the only all-African American, all-female unit sent overseas during World War II. The women kept mail flowing to nearly seven million soldiers in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).


Almost immediately after leaving the United States in early 1945, the women who would eventually make up the 6888th were introduced to the rigors of war. During the trip across the Atlantic Ocean, German U-boats forced the convoy of troop ships to change course. The event had a chilling effect on the women. “Darn tootin’ I got scared,” recalled Mary Ragland. “Especially when you can’t see land all around,” she added. Once the women arrived in England on 14 February 1945, they had another scare. As they disembarked from their ship, a German V1 rocket, also known as a “Buzz Bomb” for the sound of its engine, dove into the area. As the noise of the engine filled the air, the women ran for cover. No one was killed, but the event served as a harsh reminder that, even behind the lines, soldiers were at risk at all times.

Years’ worth of backlog mail was stacked from floor to ceiling in warehouses throughout Birmingham, England in February 1945. The letters and packages were sent from loved ones to soldiers in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) of World War II.

Organized to tackle the problem, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, an all-Black, all female military unit was formed, but not without conflict. Also nicknamed, “The Six-Triple Eight,” the unit’s determination to overcome strife and complete their mission resonated with Edna Cummings, a retired Colonel of the United States Army.

“It was more than just standing up to the officers and the Red Cross in Europe . . . this started back in the United States when Black women were fighting for equality,” Cummings told the AFRO, referring to the concerns that led to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Fort Leavenworth, a U.S. Army base in Kansas, has special connection to black history — it was the home of the first black regiments formed during a time of peace.

These regiments later fought Native Americans during the wars of westward expansion, and became known as the Buffalo Soldiers.

A monument stands honoring them today, and that marker is about to be joined by another honoring historic black soldiers, the Leavenworth Times reports.

This new monument will be a tribute to the 6888th Central Directory Postal Battalion, which was the first and only black Women’s Army Corps (WAC) unit deployed overseas during World War II.

“In the earliest days of our nation, African-Americans answered the call to arms in defense of America. Whenever that call came, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, black men and women on the battlefield retreat over victory. Beginning with the Buffalo Soldiers in 1866, African-Americans would henceforth always be in uniform, challenging the conscience of the nation,” Powell said at the dedication ceremony. “Thousands of other brave black Americans have gone in harm’s way for their country since the days of the Buffalo Soldiers, always moving forward and upward, step by step, sacrifice by sacrifice.”

Three years later, the Buffalo Soldier Commemorative Area was expanded to include the Circle of Firsts and the Walkway of Units south of Smith Lake and near the Buffalo Soldier Monument.

The Buffalo Soldier Commemorative Area was established “to mark the achievements and aspirations of America’s minority citizens,” said historian Quentin Schillare in his book “The People Behind the Names,” which tells the story of the places, names and people who have left their mark on Fort Leavenworth.

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