6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion Parade Ceremony To Honour Joan d'Arc at the marketplace where she was burned at the stake CREDIT USA National Archives and Records Administration
6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion parade during a ceremony to honour Joan d'Arc at the marketplace where she was burned at the stake (Picture: USA National Archives and Records Administration).
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Six Triple Eight: Netflix film to tell the story of WWII's only all-black, all-female unit

6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion Parade Ceremony To Honour Joan d'Arc at the marketplace where she was burned at the stake CREDIT USA National Archives and Records Administration
6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion parade during a ceremony to honour Joan d'Arc at the marketplace where she was burned at the stake (Picture: USA National Archives and Records Administration).

Filmmaker Tyler Perry is to bring the inspirational story of the Women's Army Corps' 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the only all-black, all-female unit serving overseas during the Second World War, to Netflix. 

The American actor and filmmaker's new film, Six Triple Eight, starring Oprah Winfrey, Kerry Washington, Moriah Brown and Susan Sarandon, among others, will celebrate the 855 women's hard work in bringing much-needed morale to US service personnel fighting overseas. 

Nicknamed Six Triple Eight, the unit's work was a crucial part of the overseas effort at a time when morale among US troops had hit a low ebb.

Their hard work was honoured in March 2022 by President Joe Biden when he presented the 6888th Battalion with the Congressional Gold Medal – the US Congress' "highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions".

In the face of discrimination and finding themselves living and working in an unfamiliar country suffering from a global conflict, the women were solely responsible for managing US Army post overseas in 1945, some of which had not been delivered in two years.

The 6888th Battalion efficiently dealt with millions of letters intended for members of the US Armed Forces, US Government personnel and Red Cross workers serving in Europe.  

Image ID W6ME34 Pte Ruth L James 6888th Battalion 26 May 1945 CREDIT Alpha Stock Alamy Stock Photo EXP 161223
Pte Ruth L James of the 6888th Battalion pictured on 26 May 1945 (Picture: Alpha Stock / Alamy Stock Photo).

When the bill to award the women with the Congressional Gold Medal was introduced in 2021, it explained what they did, saying: "The 6888th created effective processes and filing systems to track individual service members, organise 'undeliverable' mail, determine the intended recipient for insufficiently addressed mail, and handle mail addressed to service members who had died. 

"Adhering to their motto of 'No mail, low morale', the women processed an average of 65,000 pieces of mail per shift and cleared the six-month backlog of mail within three months." 

More than three-quarters of a century after the end of the Second World War, communication from loved ones is still a vital part of boosting the mood of service personnel. 

According to the late Millie Dunn Veasey, a former member of 6888th Battalion, the all-female, all-black unit was somewhat of a culture shock for the people of Scotland when they arrived in Glasgow in 1945, and its later assignment in Birmingham, England.

Speaking to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service in February 2018, shortly before her death a month later, she said: "My reason I guess to go? If others could sign up and go why not me? 

"I'm just so proud of the women in the Army today. 

"All our women can do anything they want to do. I think that's good." 

Millie Dunn Veasey The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion Credit Women Of The 6888th Website
Millie Dunn Veasey, former member of The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion (Picture: womenofthe6888th.org).

Tyler Perry's script will be based on a Warfare History Network article about the 6888th Battalion by journalist Kevin M Hymel. 

The actor, who is godfather to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's daughter Lilibet, has worked with Netflix before on Don't Look Up, A Madea Homecoming, A Fall From Grace and A Jazzman's Blues. 

In a tweet announcing his involvement with Six Triple Eight, Perry said: "Did you know that there was a battalion of 855 black women who were sent to Europe during World War II?

"I'm so excited to be able to honor and tell this incredible story."

The cast for the film is yet to be announced.