US Coins

CCAC recommends medal designs for WWII postal battalion

Proposed images for the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion congressional gold medal.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

Proposed designs for a congressional gold medal to recognize the morale-boosting efforts of the all-female, all-black 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion during World War II were recommended April 18 by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

The advisory panel considered five proposed obverse designs and four reverse designs.

The recommended obverse design “depicts Major Charity Adams next to a row of members from the 6888,” according to the U.S. Mint’s design narrative. “A partial exergue is created by an envelope inscribed with ‘WOMEN’S ARMY CORPS,’ ‘2/12/1945 – 3/2/1946,’ and ‘ACT OF CONGRESS 2022.’ The additional inscription is 6888th CENTRAL POSTAL DIRECTORY BATTALION.’ ”

The recommended reverse “depicts a member of the 6888th filing mail to be sent out to American soldiers. Behind her, members of her battalion are sorting and addressing mail to the troops. They work in a warehouse filled to the ceiling with unsorted mail. The additional inscriptions are ‘ENGLAND,’ ‘FRANCE,’ and ‘NO MAIL, LOW MORALE.’ ”

The medal is authorized under provisions of Public Law 117-97, signed by President Biden on March 14, 2022.

The more than 850 women in the Women’s Army Corps’ 6888th, a unit 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.

During World War II, warehouses in Birmingham, England, became filled with millions of letters and packages intended for U.S. service members moving through Europe. Troops noticed that they were not receiving mail from home, and Army officials reported that the lack of reliable mail was hurting morale. As fighting shifted, the ever-changing locations of military personnel hampered mail delivery. Army officials reported millions of pieces of undelivered mail and packages sitting in several warehouses across the region and predicted it would take six months to restore mail delivery to the troops from one warehouse. The battalion cleared one in three months and moved on to another.

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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