KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new monument will soon be dedicated at Ft. Leavenworth to honor women who helped sort mail for armed forces in Europe from February 1945 to January 1946.
"These ladies are definitely pioneers," said Carlton Philpot, chairman and project manager for the memorial committee.
The women were known as the 6888th Central Directory Postal Battalion. They were the first and only African-American Women's Army Corps to deploy overseas during WWII.
"Not just men fought," said Philpot. "It's all history and it needs to be told."
According to Philpot, mail in Europe stored in a large aircraft hanger and was backed up for two years. It took all 855 women in the unit to sort almost seven million pieces of mail in three months.
"The mail was in a big, old aircraft hanger. [It was] cold, dark, dingy and rat-infested," Philpot said. "They worked 24 hours a day in three shifts of eight hours, each."
The monument will feature a 22-inch bust of Lt. Col Charity Adams, who commanded the unit. Additionally, it will feature a brief history of the unit, pictures and names of the 855 members listed by state.
The goal is to enhance public awareness of the 6888th and celebrate the deeds, contributions and sacrifices these women made.
"It's all history and it needs to be told," said Philpot. "This is a connection of the historical train from the Buffalo Soldiers in 1866 to now."
The monument is expected to cost $70,000. It will be located on the Walkway of Patriots on Fort Leavenworth. A dedication is planned for sometime this fall.
You can find more information on the monument and way to donate here.