US Coins

Biden signs bill for WWII battalion gold medal

Catherine Romay Johnson Davis, 102 years old, served on the all-female, all-black 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion during World War II. She is shown both as she appeared during her service and as she appeared more recently.

Courtesy of 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion Facebook page.

Legislation signed into law March 14 by President Joe Biden authorizes the production and presentation of a congressional gold medal recognizing the morale-boosting efforts of the all-female, all-black 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion during World War II.

The more than 850 women in the Women’s Army Corps’ 6888th, known as the “Six Triple Eight,” worked tirelessly routing postal mail to soldiers and civilians in combat areas to keep their spirits uplifted with messages and packages from home.

Public Law 117-97 was introduced Feb. 12, 2021, in the Senate as S. 321 by Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.

Of the surviving six members of the 6888th, the oldest is 102-year-old Catherine Romay Johnson Davis from Montgomery, Alabama.

In November 1944, the War Department approved sending African-American women to serve in Europe. A battalion of all African-American women drawn from the WAC, the Army Service Forces, and the Army Air Forces was created and designated the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. The women processed an average of 65,000 pieces of mail per shift and cleared a six-month backlog of warehoused mail within three months.

Following official presentation of the gold medal from congressional leaders recognizing the 6888th, the U.S. Mint will produce and offer for sale 1.5-inch and 3-inch bronze duplicates of the gold medal.

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