The women developed the motto “No mail, low morale,” as they linked service members with their loved ones back home.
But when the all-female battalion was transferred home and disbanded at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in 1946, there was no ceremony, no parades, no public appreciation, and no official recognition for all their accomplishments.
More than 70 years later, on the last day of National Veterans and Military Families Month 2018, five surviving members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion attended the dedication of a monument at the Buffalo Soldier Commemorative Area on Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
With the names of five hundred battalion members and a 25-inch bronze bust of its leader, the monument is unique.
Speaking at the event on November 30, 2018, Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran said, “When we unveil this monument, what we are really saying is this: Thank you for your service. We respect you and we love you.”
The archive photo shows Battalion commander Maj. Charity Adams and executive officer Capt. Abbie Noel Campbell inspecting the first soldiers of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion to arrive in England on Feb. 15, 1945. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of the National Archives).
Made in the likeness of battalion commander Lt. Col. Charity Adams Earley, the bust honors the all-female, all-African-American battalion, which included the five veterans: Pvt. Maybelle Rutland Tanner Campbell, Pfc. Elizabeth Barker Johnson, Cpl. Lena Derriecott Bell King, Pvt. Anna Mae Wilson Robertson, and Pfc. Deloris Ruddock.
“My mother was always enormously proud of the Six Triple Eight. This monument is a statement of the responsibility, determination, and honor, and it is a gift from the recent past addressed to the future,” said Earley’s son, Stanley.
Retired Master Sgt. Elizabeth Helm-Frazier said she knows how important mail is to service members, and she joined the project team to help get the monument funded, so those future generations will know that women in uniform also helped guarantee freedom. (Photo Credit: Prudence Siebert, Fort Leavenworth Lamp)
The monument joins others dedicated to Gen. Colin Powell, 2nd Lt. Henry Flipper, the 555th Parachute Infantry Division, the Buffalo Soldier, and others in the Circle of Firsts and the Walkway of Units at the Buffalo Soldier Commemorative Area.
Click here to read more about the new monument that honors this unique all-female, African-American battalion.