LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A memorial for one of the last surviving members of an all-female, all-Black World War II Battalion was held Friday in Las Vegas at Desert Springs United Methodist Church in Summerlin. Lena King served not only during a time of racial segregation, but also when women in the service were not treated as equals. King was a trailblazer and many who she helped paved the way for came to pay tribute.

The Army Veteran was one of 800 women responsible for getting mail to soldiers across Europe during the war. Her battalion was known as the 6888 (Six Triple Eight). The all-Black, all-women group who was called upon to deploy when military leaders found themselves in a desperate situation, a backlog of 17 million pieces of mail. King spoke about it in 2019 with the other surviving members at a conference is Washington DC.

“When we got there the mail was piled up, it was rat infested,” King recounted. The women built a post office working three shifts, seven days a week to get mail to service members.

“Our motto was no mail, no morale,” King recalled. For their hard work in an active warzone, their quarters even bombed out, the woman were never recognized.

“We never had a parade. We just came out and went home,” King revealed.

A parade of female service members came to celebrate her life as did 16-year-old Olivia Halunen from Minnesota. Halunen connected with King for a 6th grade history project.

“We started just talking a couple times a month and that turned into every weekend. My family even arranged for us to come here and meet her a couple times at her home,” Halunen shared. King settled in Las Vegas after retiring as a nurse in California, completing a lifetime of service to others. King died last month at 100 years old.

“I think she would like to be remembered as someone who is always looking for the good in people… There are these women out there who making such an impact on others that their story needs to be more widely shared,” Halunen contended.

A Netflix movie on the 6888 is being filmed right now. It’s being made by Tyler Perry and according to variety will star Orpah Winfrey, Kerry Washington, and Susan Sarandon. No release date has been announced yet.

Here is a link to King’s 2019 discussion:


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