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"I didn’t believe we were going to be able to process [all of the mail], but we did." (Video interview, 11:09)

   Evelyn Clarisse Martin Johnson
Collection image
Evelyn Johnson [detail from video]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: WAC (Women's Army Corps)
Unit: 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion
Service Location: European Theater; England; France
Rank: Staff Sergeant
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A nurse by training, Evelyn Johnson volunteered for the Women’s Army Corps in 1942. Despite her background in the medical field, she wound up serving in an altogether different role, as part of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the first and only all-female, all-African-American unit to be deployed overseas during World War II. Stationed in England and France, the 6888th was responsible for sorting and processing an enormous backlog of mail, numbering millions of individual letters. Though she served in a support role, she still witnessed the “heartbreaking devastation” wrought by the war, and her service experiences remain unforgettable.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
» Part 1 
Download: video (31 min.)
More like this
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Service with the 6888th; mail backlog of multiple years; succeeding in their task. (00:36) Lessons learned during her military service. (01:10) Lingering memories of war, influence of service on her thoughts on war and military service, how people treat her when they find out she’s a veteran. (01:32)
Experience as an African American in the service; no discrimination abroad; incidents in which she experienced racism while in uniform. (05:46)  

Home » Evelyn Clarisse Martin Johnson
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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