Tyler Perry has announced plans to make “Six Triple Eight,” a movie about the only all-Black, all-female battalion to serve during World War II. Perry wrote the screenplay and will direct the picture for Netflix.
In February 1945, the 6888th Central Postal Battalion was given the seemingly impossible task of sorting through and delivering a three-year backlog of mail. There were millions of pieces sitting in warehouses in Birmingham, England, addressed to soldiers serving in Europe, and many of them had hard-to-decipher addresses like “Buster, U.S. Army, Europe.”
The 855 women in the 6888th were Black soldiers and officers drawn from the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, the Army Service Forces, and the Army Air Forces. The brass didn’t really expect them to finish the task, but they surprised everyone by sorting out the problems in half the time they were given.
The Six Triple Eight battalion has been in the news this year. In March, President Joe Biden signed a bill that awarded the 6888th the Congressional Gold Medal.
The women created a motto to motivate themselves as they faced the task: “No Mail, Low Morale.” The 17 million pieces of mail they routed for successful delivery most definitely raised morale for Army troops in the waning days of the war.
Perry’s screenplay is based on an article by military historian Kevin M. Hymel that was published in WWII History Magazine. This will be the actor-writer-producer-director’s fourth movie for Netflix. He previously starred in and directed “A Madea Homecoming” and wrote and directed the dramas “A Fall From Grace” and “A Jazzman’s Blues.”
We’ll have word on casting plus production and release dates as they become available.