Edna Cummings, Ret. Col., Interviewed in Smithsonian Magazine on the 6888th | Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours

Edna Cummings, Ret. Col., Interviewed in Smithsonian Magazine on the 6888th

Edna Cummings with Smithsonian MagazineWe are thrilled to see Edna Cummings, Ret. Col. U.S. Army, featured in the March 2023 issue of the Smithsonian Magazine. Col. Cummings, who is the historian leading our 6888th Legacy Tour, was interviewed for the article, “How an All-Black Female WWII Unit Saved Morale on the Battlefield.”

Since 2018, Col. Cummings has worked to bring recognition to the WWII Women’s Army Corps unit, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. The 6888th was the only African American WAC unit to serve overseas.

During WWII, mail between troops and loved ones in the U.S. was sent overseas to Europe for processing. By 1945, warehouses in Birmingham, England, contained millions of pieces of undelivered mail and packages. Morale was low, communication between families and friends was lost, and WWII was not over. In three months, the 6888th broke records and processed millions of pieces of mail in austere wartime conditions to restore reliable mail service and troop morale.

As noted in the article, “Cummings helped lead an effort for a monument to the Six Triple Eight at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Back in the 1990s, General Colin Powell had championed a memorial there for the Buffalo Soldiers, the first African American regiments formed after the Civil War. Commander Carlton G. Philpot, an African American Navy historian who’d led the fundraising for that project, was enthusiastic about adding a statue to honor the first battalion of African American women.”

Read How an All-Black Female WWII Unit Saved Morale on the Battlefield >

Travel with Col. Cummings on the 6888th Legacy Tour

Travel with Col. Cummings on our 6888th Legacy Tour June 20 – 30. You will follow the path of this remarkable unit from Scotland to Birmingham, England, London, Normandy, Rouen and Paris, while also visiting major Allied sites to show the bigger picture of WWII in the U.K. and France.

Learn more >

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