Can you attend the funeral of this trailblazing unaccompanied WWII veteran?

Elizabeth Howe
March 08, 2019 - 11:58 am

Bertha Dupre recently passed away at a nursing home in Concord, N.C. — but not before accomplishing some pretty amazing things in her 97 years of life. 

Dupre was part of the only all-black, all-female WWII unit, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. Often referred to as the “Six-Triple-Eight,” the unit was made of up 824 enlisted and 31 officer women, who were originally from the Women’s Army Corps, Army Service Forces and Army Air Forces.

RELATED: U.S. Army’s only all-female, African American WWII unit honored with monument

By dividing their work in shifts that ran 365 days a week, the women processed an average of 65,000 pieces of mail per shift, clearing the previous six-month backlog of letters in just three months. Legislation was recently introduced recommending that the unit be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. 

“These brave women and their service to our country deserve to hold a special spot in history and I will continue working with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to make certain the Senate does our part in honoring their service and sacrifice,” Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said in a statement. 

RELATED: U.S. Army’s all-black, all-female WWII battalion may receive a Congressional Gold Medal

Dupre rose to the rank of master sergeant within the battalion before returning stateside to work for VA. She also served in the Korean War and spent years working as an Amtrak quartermaster. At 87 she returned to school, enrolling in UNCC's art program. 

Despite the richness of her life, Dupre died alone — no family members could be located. Now, close friends have worked to ensure she is not buried alone. 

At 11 a.m. on March 22, there will be a ceremony for Dupre at the Salisbury National Cemetery in North Carolina, including a sheriff escort, the Patriot Guard riders, patriotism-themed vehicles provided by Freightliner, and military rites performed by the N.C. National Guard. 

The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

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