Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum will celebrate Women’s History Month with a virtual screening of the documentary “The Six Triple Eight: No Mail, Low Morale” at 1:30 p.m. on March 24.
The film, a Lincoln Penny Films production, focuses on the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the only all-black female battalion to serve in Europe during World War II. The screening, as well as a brief question-and-answer period with the film’s producers, will be available through Zoom. Those wishing to participate are asked to respond to Montgomery Campus Vice Chancellor Ray White via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In February 1945, the U.S. Army sent the 855-member battalion to England and France to clear the backlog of mail in the European Theater of Operations. Despite being confronted by racism and sexism from their own leadership and the troops, the battalion completed their mission in six months.
By the end of the war, the SixTripleEight, as the battalion came to be known, had cleared mover than 17 million pieces of backlogged mail, ensuring the troops stayed in touch with their loved ones back home. The last of the women returned home in March 1946.
Members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion were awarded the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal during their service.
In 2009, the battalion was honored at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery and former battalion members Alyce Dixon and Mary Ragland were honored by President Barack Obama and first lady, Michelle Obama.
In 2016, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was inducted into the U.S. Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame, and in 2018, Fort Leavenworth dedicated a monument to the women of the battalion.
In 2019, Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas introduced a bill to recognize the members of the battalion with the Congressional Gold Medal. The bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent in 2020 and was introduced in the House of Representatives in February of this year.
The film is the third documentary from James William Theres, an executive writer for the Department of Veterans Affairs and an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker. The film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 9th Annual Charlotte Black Film Festival.
“The Rosa Parks Museum is honored to share the story of these remarkable women, who played an important role in boosting the declining morale of U.S. troops fighting in Europe in World War II,” said Donna Beisel, Assistant Director and K-12 Education Coordinator at the Rosa Parks Museum. “Even while experiencing widespread racism and sexism, their sense of duty and commitment to service never wavered, and we are pleased to recognize them in this way during Women’s History Month.”