On Tuesday, Romay Davis, 102, was recognized for her service at an event at Montgomery City Hall. It comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s March decision to sign a bill authorizing the Congressional Gold Medal for the unit, which is referred to as the “Six Triple Eight.”
At the end of World War II, packages and letters sent to U.S. troops had built up in European warehouses by the time Allied troops were moving toward the heart of Hitler’s Germany. However, this mail was vital as it served as the primary connection between home and the front in the days before modern communication.
Organizing and monitoring this large backlog in a military that was racially segregated was a job left to the largest Black women group to serve in the war, known as the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. Davis, who is the oldest living member of the unit, was finally honored for her work.
In June 1945, only a month after the end of the war in Europe, Davis’ group sailed to France to begin working on mounds of mail there. They worked through deplorable conditions, cutting down a six-month backlog to just three months.
The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalio are credited with ensuring aid got to the frontlines, easing the worries of mothers, and saving marriages, according to a press release. For their contributions, the 6888th received a monument that was dedicated in 2018 at Buffalo Soldier Military Park at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
After her service with the group, Davis worked in New York in the fashion industry, received her black belt when she was 80, and worked at a Winn Dixie in Montgomery until after she turned 100.
“The congressional medal is for all of us,” said Davis during the ceremony. “For all of us. Those who’ve gone and those who remain.”