Montgomery woman, 102, honored with Congressional Gold Medal

A 102-year-old WWII veteran, Romay Davis, from a segregated mail unit was honored for her service at an event in Alabama. (Source: WSFA)
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 12:47 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Catherine Romay Johnson Davis got the Congressional Gold Medal Tuesday, the highest civilian honor presented by the United States Congress.

Davis was presented the honor at Montgomery City Hall.

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was deployed to Europe in 1945 to sort through the backlog of mail whose delayed delivery was affecting the morale of the frontlines. The group worked through horrid conditions, cutting down a six-month backlog to just three months. They are credited with ensuring aid got to the frontlines, comforting mothers, and saving marriages, according to a release.

“I never would have thought that anything like this would happen to me. I’ve never seen my uniform before I lost mine on my way home,” Davis said.

Only six members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion are still living. Davis, 102, is the oldest.

After her service with the 6888th, Davis became a leader in the fashion industry in New York, got her black belt when she was 80, and continued to work until at a Winn Dixie in Montgomery after she turned 100.

“In Montgomery, Ms. Davis shared her talents as a master landscaper, an artist, a real estate agent,” said Col. Eries Mentzer, commander of Maxwell Air Force Base.

“Governor Ivey is very fond of saying, ‘Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman,’” said Alabama National Guard Maj. General Sheryl Gordon.

Those are only a couple of the thoughts shared about Davis at her congressional gold medal ceremony.

Davis and 854 other African American women in the battalion had the motto “No mail no morale.” The mail was for those fighting on the frontlines, but the women fought their own battles, against sexism, racism, and poor conditions.

“I hope we’ll never be forgotten,” said Davis.

She decided to serve because her five brothers were also in the military and that it was important to serve her country, even if it didn’t serve her back.

“We were taught what to do, trained about military behavior and all the good things and bad things that could possibly happen,” she said. “So we were ready.”

After their mission was complete, the battalion received no accolades, but years later the armed forces were desegregated, this ceremony marking the 74th anniversary of the day.

“The congressional medal is for all of us,” said Davis “For all of us. Those who’ve gone and those who remain.”

You can send a message of thanks and congratulations to Davis here.

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