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NCR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion #47 - National African American/Black History Month

February 3, 2024

NCR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Cultural Observances, Awareness Information and Events

National African American/Black History Month

 

 

Text Box: NCR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Cultural Observances, Awareness Information and Events
National African American/Black History Month

DEI News #47

 February 2024

Text Box: DEI News #47
 February 2024

February 2024

DEI NEWS #47

 

6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, nicknamed the “Six Triple Eight”, was a predominantly black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC).  The battalion had 855 women who were organized into 5 companies.  The unit was active from 1945 to 1946.  Most were assigned as postal clerks, but others were cooks, mechanics, and held other support positions, so that 6888th was a self-contained unit.  Their mission was to clear several years of backlogged mail in the European Theater of Operations. The group motto was “No Mail, Low Morale’. 

The 6888th were discouraged when they discovered warehouses crammed from floor to ceiling with an estimated backlog of 17 million items that had not been delivered for at least two years.  Rats the size of cats had broken into Christmas care packages.  The WACs set up a system of Army Postal Office (APO) carts to pitch mail that was delivered to APOs for further distribution.  For soldiers with common surnames like “Smith” the clerks used special locator cards.

Working conditions were damp, poorly-lit warehouses without heat.  They worked eight-hour rotating shifts, seven days a week.  The project was supposed to take them six months but was completed in only three months.

For the women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, World War II was truly a war of liberation.  They served their county in trying conditions, accomplished their mission, and showed what African American women could do if given the chance.

 

 

 

Text Box: 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion
6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, nicknamed the “Six Triple Eight”, was a predominantly black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC).  The battalion had 855 women who were organized into 5 companies.  The unit was active from 1945 to 1946.  Most were assigned as postal clerks, but others were cooks, mechanics, and held other support positions, so that 6888th was a self-contained unit.  Their mission was to clear several years of backlogged mail in the European Theater of Operations. The group motto was “No Mail, Low Morale’.  
The 6888th were discouraged when they discovered warehouses crammed from floor to ceiling with an estimated backlog of 17 million items that had not been delivered for at least two years.  Rats the size of cats had broken into Christmas care packages.  The WACs set up a system of Army Postal Office (APO) carts to pitch mail that was delivered to APOs for further distribution.  For soldiers with common surnames like “Smith” the clerks used special locator cards.
Working conditions were damp, poorly-lit warehouses without heat.  They worked eight-hour rotating shifts, seven days a week.  The project was supposed to take them six months but was completed in only three months. 
For the women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, World War II was truly a war of liberation.  They served their county in trying conditions, accomplished their mission, and showed what African American women could do if given the chance.

Did You Know?

  1. In February 1946, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion returned to the United States where it was disbanded at Fort Dix, NJ.

 

  1. Members of the 6888th Battalion were awarded the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the World Was II Victory Medal during their service.

 

  1. On February 25, 2009, the battalion was honored at the Women in Military Service for American Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.
  1.  On March 15, 2016, the 6888th Battalion was inducted into the U.S. Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame.

 

  1. On November 30, 2018, Fort Leavenworth dedicated a monument to the women of the 688th Central Postal Directory Battalion.
  1. On March 14, 2022, President Biden signed a bipartisan bill to award the 688th Central Postal Directory Battalion the Congressional Gold Medal.
  1. The Central Postal Directory Battalion has been the subject of several films.

Text Box: Did You Know?
1.	In February 1946, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion returned to the United States where it was disbanded at Fort Dix, NJ.

2.	Members of the 6888th Battalion were awarded the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the World Was II Victory Medal during their service.

3.	On February 25, 2009, the battalion was honored at the Women in Military Service for American Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

4.	 On March 15, 2016, the 6888th Battalion was inducted into the U.S. Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame.

5.	On November 30, 2018, Fort Leavenworth dedicated a monument to the women of the 688th Central Postal Directory Battalion.

6.	On March 14, 2022, President Biden signed a bipartisan bill to award the 688th Central Postal Directory Battalion the Congressional Gold Medal.

7.	The Central Postal Directory Battalion has been the subject of several films.

Lt Col Bonnie Braun

NCR Diversity Officer

 

 

 

Seaman Philip Bazaar

He’s the first Hispanic Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his service for the Navy, get this, during the Civil War! Seaman Bazaar was aboard the USS Santiago de Cuba, which assaulted a Confederate stronghold and was one of six men assigned to the generals ashore. He successfully maintained communication between the ship and crew on land. He was an immigrant from Chile who called Massachusetts home.

Major Marisol Chalas

Dominican Republic-born Black Hawk helicopter pilot, Maj. Chalas graduated aviation school at the top of her class and commanded Army Reserve fleet. So far, she has served nearly 26 years in the Reserves and is currently an Army Congressional Fellow as well.

Admiral David Farragut

The very first person to achieve the rank of admiral happens to be a Hispanic man. Admiral Farragut’s father was a native of Spain. He served in the American Navy from 1810-1870 – and yes, the math equals 60 years! He started his career as a midshipman at the age of nine and fought in the War of 1812 (at age 11!) and the Civil War. His legacy lives on with two Navy destroyers in his name as well as the well-known Farragut Square in Washington, D.C.

Private First Class Juan Sebastian Restrepo

The soldiers that served alongside PFC Restrepo revered him because of his bravery and care for his own. The beloved Colombian-born American combat medic gave the ultimate sacrifice, while deployed in Afghanistan and an Outpost was named in his honor along with an eye-opening documentary Restrepo. His actions awarded him the Bronze Star.

Lt Col Bonnie Braun

NCR Diversity Officer

bbraun@ncr.cap.gov

man Philip Bazaar

He’s the first Hispanic Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his service for the Navy, get this, during the Civil War! Seaman Bazaar was aboard the USS Santiago de Cuba, which assaulted a Confederate stronghold and was one of six men assigned to the generals ashore. He successfully maintained communication between the ship and crew on land. He was an immigrant from Chile who called Massachusetts home.

Major Marisol Chalas

Dominican Republic-born Black Hawk helicopter pilot, Maj. Chalas graduated aviation school at the top of her class and commanded Army Reserve fleet. So far, she has served nearly 26 years in the Reserves and is currently an Army Congressional Fellow as well.

Admiral David Farragut

The very first person to achieve the rank of admiral happens to be a Hispanic man. Admiral Farragut’s father was a native of Spain. He served in the American Navy from 1810-1870 – and yes, the math equals 60 years! He started his career as a midshipman at the age of nine and fought in the War of 1812 (at age 11!) and the Civil War. His legacy lives on with two Navy destroyers in his name as well as the well-known Farragut Square in Washington, D.C.

Private First Class Juan Sebastian Restrepo

The soldiers that served alongside PFC Restrepo revered him because of his bravery and care for his own. The beloved Colombian-born American combat medic gave the ultimate sacrifice, while deployed in Afghanistan and an Outpost was named in his honor along with an eye-opening documentary Restrepo. His actions awarded him the Bronze Star.

 

 

Lt Col Bonnie Braun

NCR Diversity Officer

bbraun@ncr.cap.gov

 

 

 

Text Box: Lt Col Bonnie Braun
NCR Diversity Officer


 
Seaman Philip Bazaar
He’s the first Hispanic Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his service for the Navy, get this, during the Civil War! Seaman Bazaar was aboard the USS Santiago de Cuba, which assaulted a Confederate stronghold and was one of six men assigned to the generals ashore. He successfully maintained communication between the ship and crew on land. He was an immigrant from Chile who called Massachusetts home.
Major Marisol Chalas
Dominican Republic-born Black Hawk helicopter pilot, Maj. Chalas graduated aviation school at the top of her class and commanded Army Reserve fleet. So far, she has served nearly 26 years in the Reserves and is currently an Army Congressional Fellow as well.
Admiral David Farragut
The very first person to achieve the rank of admiral happens to be a Hispanic man. Admiral Farragut’s father was a native of Spain. He served in the American Navy from 1810-1870 – and yes, the math equals 60 years! He started his career as a midshipman at the age of nine and fought in the War of 1812 (at age 11!) and the Civil War. His legacy lives on with two Navy destroyers in his name as well as the well-known Farragut Square in Washington, D.C.
Private First Class Juan Sebastian Restrepo
The soldiers that served alongside PFC Restrepo revered him because of his bravery and care for his own. The beloved Colombian-born American combat medic gave the ultimate sacrifice, while deployed in Afghanistan and an Outpost was named in his honor along with an eye-opening documentary Restrepo. His actions awarded him the Bronze Star.


Lt Col Bonnie Braun
NCR Diversity Officer
bbraun@ncr.cap.gov
man Philip Bazaar
He’s the first Hispanic Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his service for the Navy, get this, during the Civil War! Seaman Bazaar was aboard the USS Santiago de Cuba, which assaulted a Confederate stronghold and was one of six men assigned to the generals ashore. He successfully maintained communication between the ship and crew on land. He was an immigrant from Chile who called Massachusetts home.
Major Marisol Chalas
Dominican Republic-born Black Hawk helicopter pilot, Maj. Chalas graduated aviation school at the top of her class and commanded Army Reserve fleet. So far, she has served nearly 26 years in the Reserves and is currently an Army Congressional Fellow as well.
Admiral David Farragut
The very first person to achieve the rank of admiral happens to be a Hispanic man. Admiral Farragut’s father was a native of Spain. He served in the American Navy from 1810-1870 – and yes, the math equals 60 years! He started his career as a midshipman at the age of nine and fought in the War of 1812 (at age 11!) and the Civil War. His legacy lives on with two Navy destroyers in his name as well as the well-known Farragut Square in Washington, D.C.
Private First Class Juan Sebastian Restrepo
The soldiers that served alongside PFC Restrepo revered him because of his bravery and care for his own. The beloved Colombian-born American combat medic gave the ultimate sacrifice, while deployed in Afghanistan and an Outpost was named in his honor along with an eye-opening documentary Restrepo. His actions awarded him the Bronze Star.


Lt Col Bonnie Braun
NCR Diversity Officer
bbraun@ncr.cap.gov

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