[Congressional Bills 117th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 321 Enrolled Bill (ENR)]


                    One Hundred Seventeenth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America

                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
          the third day of January, two thousand and twenty two

                                 An Act

 To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the members of the Women's Army 
     Corps who were assigned to the 6888th Central Postal Directory 
              Battalion, known as the ``Six Triple Eight''.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
    This Act may be cited as the ```Six Triple Eight' Congressional 
Gold Medal Act of 2021''.
    Congress finds the following:
        (1) On July 1, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed 
    into law legislation that established the Women's Army Corps 
    (referred to in this section as the ``WAC'') as a component in the 
    Army. The WAC was converted from the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps 
    (referred to in this section as the ``WAAC''), which had been 
    created in 1942 without official military status. First Lady 
    Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune, the founder of the 
    National Council of Negro Women, advocated for the admittance of 
    African-American women into the newly formed WAC to serve as 
    officers and enlisted personnel.
        (2) Dubbed ``10 percenters'', the recruitment of African-
    American women to the WAAC was limited to 10 percent of the 
    population of the WAAC to match the proportion of African-Americans 
    in the national population. Despite an Executive order issued by 
    President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 banning racial 
    discrimination in civilian defense industries, the Armed Forces 
    remained segregated. Enlisted women served in segregated units, 
    participated in segregated training, lived in separate quarters, 
    ate at separate tables in mess halls, and used segregated 
    recreational facilities. Officers received their officer candidate 
    training in integrated units but lived under segregated conditions. 
    Specialist and technical training schools were integrated in 1943. 
    During World War II, a total of 6,520 African-American women served 
    in the WAAC and the WAC.
        (3) After several units of White women were sent to serve in 
    the European Theater of Operations (referred to in this section as 
    the ``ETO'') during World War II, African-American organizations 
    advocated for the War Department to extend the opportunity to serve 
    overseas to African-American WAC units.
        (4) In November 1944, the War Department approved sending 
    African-American women to serve in Europe. A battalion of all 
    African-American women drawn from the WAC, the Army Service Forces, 
    and the Army Air Forces was created and designated as the 6888th 
    Central Postal Directory Battalion (referred to in this section as 
    the ``6888th''), which was nicknamed the ``Six Triple Eight''.
        (5) Army officials reported a shortage of qualified postal 
    officers within the ETO, which resulted in a backlog of undelivered 
    mail. As Allied forces drove across Europe, the ever-changing 
    locations of servicemembers hampered the delivery of mail to those 
    servicemembers. Because 7,000,000 civilians and military personnel 
    from the United States served in the ETO, many of those individuals 
    had identical names. For example, 7,500 such individuals were named 
    Robert Smith. One general predicted that the backlog in Birmingham, 
    England, would take 6 months to process and the lack of reliable 
    mail service was hurting morale.
        (6) In February 1945, the 6888th arrived in Birmingham. Upon 
    their arrival, the 6888th found warehouses filled with millions of 
    pieces of mail intended for members of the Armed Forces, United 
    States Government personnel, and Red Cross workers serving in the 
        (7) The 6888th created effective processes and filing systems 
    to track individual servicemembers, organize ``undeliverable'' 
    mail, determine the intended recipient for insufficiently addressed 
    mail, and handle mail addressed to servicemembers 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 6-month backlog of mail within 3 months.
        (8) The 6888th traveled to Rouen, France, in May 1945 and 
    worked through a separate backlog of undelivered mail dating back 
    as far as 3 years.
        (9) At the completion of their mission, the unit returned to 
    the United States. The 6888th was discontinued on March 9, 1946, at 
    Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.
        (10) The accomplishments of the 6888th in Europe encouraged the 
    General Board, United States Forces, European Theater of Operations 
    to adopt the following premise in their study of the WAC issued in 
    December 1945: ``[T]he national security program is the joint 
    responsibility of all Americans irrespective of color or sex'' and 
    ``the continued use of colored, along with white, female military 
    personnel is required in such strength as is proportionately 
    appropriate to the relative population distribution between colored 
    and white races''.
        (11) With the exception of smaller units of African-American 
    nurses who served in Africa, Australia, and England, the 6888th was 
    the only African-American Women's Army Corps unit to serve overseas 
    during World War II.
        (12) The members of the ``Six Triple Eight'' received the 
    European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Women's Army 
    Corps Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal for their 
        (13) In 2019, the Army awarded the 6888th the Meritorious Unit 
    (a) Award Authorized.--The Speaker of the House of Representatives 
and the President pro tempore of the Senate shall make appropriate 
arrangements for the award, on behalf of Congress, of a single gold 
medal of appropriate design in honor of the women of the 6888th Central 
Postal Directory Battalion (commonly known as the ``Six Triple Eight'') 
in recognition of--
        (1) the pioneering military service of those women;
        (2) the devotion to duty of those women; and
        (3) the contributions made by those women to increase the 
    morale of all United States personnel stationed in the European 
    Theater of Operations during World War II.
    (b) Design and Striking.--For the purposes of the award described 
in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury (referred to in this 
Act as the ``Secretary'') shall strike the gold medal with suitable 
emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary.
    (c) Smithsonian Institution.--
        (1) In general.--After the award of the gold medal under 
    subsection (a), the medal shall be given to the Smithsonian 
    Institution, where the medal shall be available for display, as 
    appropriate, and made available for research.
        (2) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
    Smithsonian Institution should make the gold medal received under 
    paragraph (1) available elsewhere, particularly at--
            (A) appropriate locations associated with the 6888th 
        Central Postal Directory Battalion;
            (B) the Women in Military Service for America Memorial;
            (C) the United States Army Women's Museum;
            (D) the National World War II Museum and Memorial;
            (E) the National Museum of the United States Army; and
            (F) any other location determined appropriate by the 
        Smithsonian Institution.
    Under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, the 
Secretary may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold medal 
struck under section 3 at a price sufficient to cover the costs of the 
medals, including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and 
overhead expenses.
    (a) National Medals.--Medals struck under this Act are national 
medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.
    (b) Numismatic Items.--For purposes of section 5134 of title 31, 
United States Code, all medals struck under this Act shall be 
considered to be numismatic items.
    (a) Authority To Use Fund Amounts.--There is authorized to be 
charged against the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund such 
amounts as may be necessary to pay for the costs of the medals struck 
under this Act.
    (b) Proceeds of Sale.--Amounts received from the sale of duplicate 
bronze medals authorized under section 4 shall be deposited into the 
United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund.

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.