WWII Film Retells All-Black Female Battalion’s Story

WWII
WWII
Courtesy of U.S. Dept of Defense – PDM

A new WWII movie will tell the story of an all-Black, all-female battalion: “Six Triple Eight.” Tyler Perry will produce and direct the historical drama about the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. The film will memorialize these women’s significant contributions during the darkest time of the war.

Perry, known for “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” 2005, wrote the “Six Triple Eight” screenplay, the unit’s unofficial nickname. Military.com’s James Barber reported the script is based on an article in WWII History Magzine by military historian Kevin M. Hymel.

The 855 women of the 6888th were Black soldiers and officers from the Army’s Service Forces, Air Forces, and Women’s Auxiliary Corps. During WWII, their unique battalion was the only all-female, all-Black Army unit to serve in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).

Despite predictions, they surprised Army officials by handling their assignment in half the allotted time. Major Charity Adams led their seemingly impossible task. These women were not merely a part of history. Their drive to sort through and deliver a massive backlog of mail played a role in American troop morale.

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Courtesy of U.S. Army – PDM

Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) sponsored legislation to award the Congressional Gold Metal, the Six Triple Eight’s heroism. When President Joe Biden signed the bill granting the WWII battalion the highest expression of national appreciation, the Senator said: “The women of the Six Triple Eight have earned a special place in history for their service to our nation.”

He added: “Though the odds were set against them, the women of the Six Triple Eight processed millions of letters and packages during their deployment in Europe, helping connect WWII soldiers with their loved ones back home – like my father and mother.”

Historically Accurate WWII Movies

Perry told Variety that his next project would spotlight “some incredible people that were overlooked for years” months before announcing the WWII movie. “Based on past Tyler Perry Studios films, “Six Triple Eight” will likely retell the story of this historical drama accurately.

The story of the women of the 6888th Battalion will join other WWII movies featuring war’s terror and its heroes. Accounts of these ordinary people remind audiences of the successes and losses during the “war to end all wars.” The following small sampling of historically correct WWII movies reminds viewers to stand against fascism:

  • “Dunkirk” (2017)
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” (2016)
  • “Unbroken” (2014)
  • “The Great Raid” (2005)
  • “Conspiracy” (2001)
  • “Saving Private Ryan” (1998)
  • “Schindler’s List” (1993)

About Tyler Perry and ‘Six Triple Eight’

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Courtesy of AMFM Studios LLC (Wikimedia CC0)

Perry and “Till” director Chinonye Chukwu spoke with Variety Magazine about the necessity of telling stories vital to preserving Black history accurately.

The story of the all-Black, all-female battalion and their great patriotism during WWII has not been told. Perry’s film will show these women in a way not seen before.

Aside from U.S. Military historians and archives, little has been documented about the 6668. Nine YouTube videos discuss the battalion’s WWII effort; however, only two were not military-produced.

Women tend to be mentioned in other WWII movies, but they are not the focus. “Six Triple Eight” by Perry changes that statistic by spotlighting the heroines whose diligence helped thousands of soldiers feel a bit closer to home.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

History.net: The 10 Most Accurate WWII Battle Movies; by Mark DePue
Variety: Tyler PerryNetflix’st’Netflix’s ‘Six Triple Eight,’ WWII Epic About Black Female Battalion; by Rebecca Rubi
Variety: ‘This History Is B’ing Erased’: Tyler Perry and Chinonye’Chuk’u on ‘Till’ and Why Black Directors Keep Telling Stories From the Past; by Angelique Jackson
Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours: Remembering the 6888th
WWII History Magazine: 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion; by Kevin M. Hymel
US Senator Jerry Moran: Legislation to Award 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion the Congressional Gold Medal Becomes Law

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Defense – Public Domain License
First Inset Image Courtesy of U.S. Army – Public Domain License
Second Inset Image by AMFM Studios LLC Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License

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