The Navajo Code Talkers
The Navajo code talkers took part in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. They served in all six Marine divisions, Marine Raider battalions and Marine parachute units, transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their native language -- a code that the Japanese never broke.|
MUST SEE: Pearl Harbor
|Navajo Code Talker Memorial|
On July 26, 2001, President George W. Bush presented these golden medals to honor the 29 Navajo code talkers of World War II. In a separate ceremony that fall, each Navajo who trained and qualified as a Code Talker, or a surviving family member, have been presented a silver medal.
The Navajo Code Talkers played a vital role in the World War II Allies' victory in the Pacific.
Using a code based on the complex Navajo language, the Code Talkers were able to transmit and decode in 20 seconds a message that would have taken a machine 30 minutes to decipher. The code was also impossible for the Japanese to break because it required decryption by Navajo speakers – none of whom were available to the Japanese. Many who fought in the War believe that the Allies would never have prevailed at Iwo Jima - or in other crucial battles – were it not for the Navajo code talkers.
Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary
Developed by the Original
29 Navajo Code Talkers
This audio segment is provided by Mr. Richard K. Begay, Chief Staff Assistant for the Begaye/McKenzie Administration, the Navajo Nation. Mr. Begay is a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving two tours of duty in the I Corp region. He is a liaison and an Associate member of the Navajo Code Talkers Association.
of the Treasury
at USMINT website
proposed U.S. apology
to Native Americans
(The Daily Times Jul 11, 2004)
WASHINGTON — Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., met with
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., regarding Senate Joint Resolution 37, an acknowledgement to a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the United States Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States.
Shirley praised the senator’s effort to acknowledge the resentment many tribes continue to hold regarding past policies of termination, removal, relocation and neglect of trust obligations regarding the nation’s first Americans.
“This joint resolution, I hope will start a process of review and dialogue on how future federal government policy development will further assist and support tribal self-determination efforts,” Shirley said
“Sometimes a metaphorical clean slate is needed to build a better foundation for the future of relations between Native Nations and the United States.”
The resolution was introduced by Brownback, and is currently supported by Tex Hall, Three Affiliated Tribes chairman and president of the National Congress of American Indians. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved the language on June 23 and now heads to the Senate floor. Its companion bill, H. J. 98, was introduced on June 18th.
Among the main points of S.J. Res. 37 include:
The offical site of the President & Vice President
Apology is fine but justice is better
By Mark Trahant, Seatle Post-Intelligencer columnist (Jul 31, 2004)
To acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the United States Government regarding Indian tribes and offer
an apology to all Native Peoples...
(Hyperlinks by Mario Profaca)
Senate Joint Resolution 37 Historic Apology from Congress May 2004
Who is going to apologize? It should be the president because of the past presidential apologies to the Japanese/Americans along with reparations, the Blacks and now the Iraq's people for atrocities committed against the detainees. I do not think a blanket apology would suffice for over 500 years of dishonor, genocide and purposeful destruction of our cultures and religions through military force of arms and legislation. Examples are the Dawes Act, giving infected blanket to the Indian (germ warfare), breaking over 300 treaties, manifest destiny and eminent domain. There are events that stand out like Wounded Knee where the Army issued 20 CMH for a massacre - the only massacre where the CMH was awarded. Wounded Knee deserves special mention in any apology along with other catastrophic event. If we tried to list all of the good reasons for an apology the list would be frightfully long.
Recently this country marked the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. I keep hearing that this was the worst terrorist attack to happen in this country, but while my heart goes out to the dead, their families and those who are forever scarred by these events, there have been millions of people murdered in this country by terrorists. It would be impossible for me to list all of the acts of terror our People have faced, but I want to mention a few of them because our People are also worthy of remembrance.
You won't find many monuments to these, the unquiet dead. But their bones and blood make up the soil where your shopping centers and highways now stand.
Where is their memorial? It is in the hearts of those who remember.
Today I remember:
The thousands of Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw, Iroquois, Ojibway, Potawatomi, Seminole, Sioux & Chickasaw (and many others) who suffered untold agony during the forced removal from their homelands in the 1830's. Innocent men, women and little children perished in concentration camps or froze and starved to death on the Trail Where They Cried. The 90 women and children who died in the Bear River Massacre in Southeastern Idaho. The 200 Cheyenne men, women and children who were slain at Sand Creek in eastern Colorado by the US Cavalry led by Col. John Chivington, a Methodist minister who ordered his men to "Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice."
The 200 murdered Blackfeet women and children who died at Maries River in northern Montana and the other 140 People who were left to freeze to death in the January cold.
The 103 Cheyenne women and children who were butchered on the Washita River in western Oklahoma.
The 200 to 300 Sioux who were slaughtered under a flag of truce at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
The 500 Sauk and Fox Indians led by Black Hawk who were massacred by militia forces while trying to negotiate a surrender.
The Yuki's and other tribes of Indians in California whose populations declined from 11,000 to less than 1000 because white men wanted the land to search for gold. Organized Indian hunts were held on Sundays and our People were killed for sport.
The little children who were kidnapped from their homes and forced to attend BIA schools. Many of them died alone and lie in unmarked graves.
From the small pox, measles, typhoid, cholera, diphtheria, TB, and VD epidemics brought to us by the white invaders to the continued genocide still being waged against us, we know about terrorism.
And last but not least all the 2,000 Navajos who died during "the long walk" from Fort Sumner to where they live now, the Navajo Nation, where there are now more then one million Navajos who survived this act of terror!
Sent to My Two Beads Worth from Dorinda Moreno with thanks.
News and special features of My Two Beads Worth
Navajo in Iraq war
Army Sgt. Lee D. Todacheene
29, of Farmington, New Mexico.
Todacheene died in Balad, Iraq, when mortar fire hit his guard post. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany. Died on April 6, 2004. (Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom)
Nephew of Navajo Nation VP Killed in Iraq
(Associated Press, ABQ Journal, April 7, 2004)
Nephew of Diné VP Dayish killed in Iraq
(Gallup Independent, April 8, 2004)
Navajo Nation mourning death of Sgt. Lee Duane Todacheene in Iraq
(The Arizona Republic, Apr. 9, 2004)
Sergeant Dylan Lee Todacheene
(The Iraq Page, Apr. 12, 2004)
Navajo Code Alive in Iraq
(Science blog, Jun. 4, 2003)
Army Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa
23, of Tuba City, Arizona.
Killed in action after her convoy was ambushed in Iraq on March 23, 2003.
She was assigned to the 507th Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, Texas.
(Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom)
Video coverage of the war
(The Arizona Republic)
Lori Piestewa Profile
(The Arizona Republic, May 08, 2002)
Arizona 51 is now Piestewa Freeway
(Judy Nichols, The Arizona Republic, May. 2, 2003)
Ambushing Piestewa with Tillman
(Reach Ruelas,The Arizona Republic, May 5, 2002)
Mom, Hopi, hero: Piestewa an icon
(The Arizona Republic, April 26, 2002)
Arizona's own Lori Piestewa, an Army private killed in combat in Iraq, has become the nation's most recognizable Native American military icon.
The Arizona Republic:
Lori Piestewa Tribute Song - "Now That You Are Home"
by Bob Shepherd and Jan Gargan (MP3 Format, 4.24 Mb)
'Dancing to an Entirely Different Song'
(Tulsa Native American Times, Jul. 27, 2004)
Pfc. Lori Piestewa, the first Native American Indian woman killed in military service to the United States, in a March 23, 2003, ambush in Iraq. In honor of of slain Hopi servicewoman Lori Piestewa the name of an Arizona Mountain was changed from “Squaw Peak” to “Piestewa Peak”
Piestewa went to war for Lynch, book says
(The Arizona Republic, Nov. 12, 2003)
Taking the sting out of place names
(Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jul. 21, 2004)
Code Talkers memorial is law
(Kevin Pang, The Arizona Republic, Apr. 25, 2003)
Navajo Code Talker president wants troops out of Iraq
(Associated Press, Shiprock, 10/05/2003)
In his 1991 Senate resolution advocating a National Code Talkers Day, now celebrated every August 14, Senator Dennis DeConcini praised the Code Talkers' importance, saying,
"Many Marines believe that Iwo Jima would never have been taken by American forces had it not been for the Navajo Code Talkers."
According to an August 1981 headline in the Japanese newspaper the Fuji Evening News, "Japanese Military Forces Defeated by Indians, The Navajo Code Talkers, Revealed After 36 Years." Although the Code Talkers alone certainly could not have won the war, they provided Allied forces with an advantage unmatched.
Navajo Code Talkers
By Yvette Lopez
The People who were brutally forced off their homelands by the white man to take "the long walk" to Fort Sumner in 1864 were the very same ones whose descendents chose to fight for the United States of America during World War II. These people were of the Navajo Nation and on June 3, 1940, the Navajo Tribal Council passed a resolution stating "that the Navajo Indians stand ready as they did in 1918, to aid and defend [the U.S.] Government..." (Paul 3). These people had every reason to hate the white-eyed, but when their country was once again endangered of being invaded and conquered, they united with their old enemies as allies to defeat the new adversaries of Germany and, particularly, of Japan. They served as communicators and fought from the Aleutian Islands to North Africa, in Sicily and in Italy, and, most of all, in the Central and South Pacific.
Paul, Doris A. The Navajo Code Talkers
Philadelphia, Dorrance & Company, 1973.
Navajo Code Talkers|
by Colleen Brechting, Flora Gonzalez, MTH 380 A, April 10, 1998
The Navajo Indians also found problems in the war itself. They were sometimes mistaken for Japanese and taken prisoner. They would then have to prove that they were Navajo. Some Navajo’s had to have an escort so those mistakes like these were not made.
After using the code in battle, they found a need for a larger vocabulary. They found that there were more words that they needed to use because of how frequently they found themselves spelling these words. They also had to make the alphabet larger, because if the Japanese figured how frequently each word was used they might figure out what letter was associated with it. So they contacted the Code Talker school and told them about their concerns. The school then made the vocabulary from 200 word to 400 words. They also made the alphabet much more difficult to decipher but adding more word to be associated with each letter. The more popular letters were given 3 word and less popular letters were given 2 words. This meant the code talkers had more memorizing to do.
The Navajo code talkers were eventually used more frequently. They proved themselves on various occasions. One time the Americans had thought that the Japanese were in a certain area. The Japanese moved from that area and the one American group moved in. The other Americans started firing because they thought it was the Japanese and the American group being shot at used the radio to tell them to stop shooting. The American that were shooting only thought that it was the Japanese trying to trick them so they continued. Finally they got a Navajo code talker on the radio and he told them to stop shooting and then realized that they were shooting at their own men.
The Navajo code talkers are know to have sent over 800 messages in a 2 day interval and all of the 800 messages that were sent in those two days not one had an error.
V. After the War
After the war when the Navajos returned home it seemed as though there was not as much harm done mentally to the code talkers as there had been to others that had served in the war. This is not because the Navajos didn’t fight because they were right in the middle of battle with the other soldiers. Also many of the code talkers were not used as code talkers when this program was first used, they just performed the duties of normal soldiers.
At the end of World War II it was said that around 400 Navajos served the nation in this capacity. That is why it is surprising that it took the Government so long to recognize these soldiers, which turned out to be a very important part of the “Battle of the Islands.” Perhaps this is because the code was classified information until the late 1960’s.
It was many years after the end of World War II before the Navajo code talkers were recognized for their contribution to the war effort. This happened because of the value that the code still had. This code was finally declassified in 1968. It was only declassified then because electronic equipment was being developed that would be sufficient.
The Navajo Code Talkers were also used in Korea in the 1950’s and in Vietnam in the 1960’s. This is how secure this code was it still was not broken during these wars. It also shows how much confidence that the military had in this system of coding. These code talkers were not nationally recognized until there was a reunion of the Fourth Marine Division Association in 1969. Then in 1971 President Nixon awarded a special certificate to the code talkers to thank them for their “patriotism, resourcefulness, and courage.”
In early 1982, August 14,1982 was declared National Code Talkers Day, in honor of all the men who served in this capacity during the war. On September 17, 1992 the Navajo code talkers of World War II were honored for their contributions. This was done at the Pentagon, Washington D.C. where an exhibit in their honor was dedicated.
The Navajo Code Talkers made a major contribution to WWII. There is lesson that we can all learn from them. They kept their culture though out all the hardships. It is for this fact that the Navajo Code Talkers were such an asset to the U.S during WWII. If they would have given in to the white man, they wouldn’t have still had their language and the United States wouldn’t have an unbreakable code to look back on.
Source: Navajo Code Talkers, page 9-1, Colleen Brechting, Flora Gonzalez, MTH 380 A, April 10, 1998, Other pages: The outline and pages 1 - 3 pages 3 - 6 pages 6 - 9|
Aaseng, Nathan. Navajo Code Talkers. Canada: Thomas Allen & Son, 1992.
Bixler, Margaret. Winds of Freedom: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers of World
War II. Darien: Two Bytes Publishing Company, 1992.
Shepherdson, Nancy. America’s Secret Weapon. Boy’s Life. November 1997. P.45.
Wilson, William. Code Talkers. American History. February 1997.pp.16(7).
An Ungrateful Nation|
By Beorge McColm, February 1997
While working as an agricultural expert for the Bureau of Indian Affairs after WW II, the author co-wrote a report that revealed the desperate plight of the Navajo people who lived on the brink of starvation in the American Southwest.
"Inanition," a word unfamiliar to most people, was listed as the cause of death on many of the death certificates completed in 1947 by Navajo Service doctors who tended the residents of the Navajo Indian reservation in the Southwest United States. The word sounded better than its more descriptive meaning--"slow death by starvation"--to the federal agencies that since the Treaty of 1868 had been responsible for the care of the Navajo Nation. The euphemism's use helped to mask the sorry state of affairs that existed on the reservation at the end of World War II, a conflict in which many Navajos gallantly served the Allied cause. (full text)
A Short History
of Native American Codetalkers
in WWI and WWII
Navajo Country Map
(A big one, 1Mb )
This live image courtesy of www.sfpeaks.org
Current View From Yavapai Point
Grand Canyon National Park (Visual range is 75 miles)
This live image courtesy of http://www2.nature.nps.gov/air/WebCams/index.htm
If Indians don't like it, send in troops,|
GOP delegate says
The Washington state Republican Party has passed a resolution calling for the abolition of tribal governments. "We do not recognize them as sovereign nations, as governments," said John Fleming, the Skagit County delegate who was a main author of the resolution.
It calls on the federal government to "immediately take whatever steps necessary to terminate all such non-republican forms of government on Indian reservations." "We think it can be done peacefully," Fleming said. But if tribes were to fight the effort, "then the U.S. Army and the Air Force and the Marines and the National Guard are going to have to battle back."
Originally Published in the Spokane.net on July 3, 2000
A letter by James R. Burnes Cherokee,|
Marina, California (NETTIME-L)
to John Flemming, Delegate Skagit County,
To Delegate John Fleming,
Regards the resolution you authored calling on the american government to abolish tribal governments, by whatever steps necessary to terminate all such non-republican forms of government on indian reservations. A news story has you stating... "then the US Army and the Air Force and the Marines and the National Guard are going to have to battle back."
What you have said and what you intend to do is going to be reported around the world. You clearly have plans for the native people of Washington state and those plans are for the destruction of even more human beings. You are a Republican party delegate and so you speak for that party in this matter. It appears plain to me and to many others who have read the news story concerning this concept that you would try to unleash american military force upon the citizens of Washington state.
John Fleming, you underestimate the american indian. You can not threaten humans with extinction without having it exposed to the world. Are you prepared to order in the military? I bet you are. You willing to set americans against americans? You clearly are. Why is that ? How can a person holding such a position in the Republican party have such a racist mindset? How did you come to have that position? This attempt by you to tear down the indian nations will just stir up a big mess for you. That is the certain result. I will do everything in my power to assure your comments about using the american military against american indians is broadcast around the world.
James R. Burnes Cherokee,
Whispers In The Wind:
Reflections of Traditionalists and Elders
Navajo Code Talkers
America's Secret Weapon in Defeating the Japanese in WWII.
By Gerald Knowles
Read Full text at
Passages West, Mounument Valley web site.
The war in the Pacific had just begun and the American forces were experiencing great difficulty in preventing the Japanese from anticipating their every move. The tenacity of the Japanese and the natural obstacles faced by the marines posed almost insurmountable problems to the retaking of those islands. It was critical to allied victory. Every communications code set up by the marines was eventually broken by the Japanese. It was only a matter of time. Most of the radio communications, essential to the direction of critical combat operations were being intercepted by the Japanese, many of whom could both understand English and sound like an American marine.
When the frustration and concern of the American command was reaching its most critical point, in walked a Navajo named Philip Johnston. As a boy, Philip had gone to Washington as a translator with a of Navajo and Hopi group to petition President Theodore Roosevelt for better resources for their tribes. In early 1942 Philip Johnston met with high ranking Marines at Camp Eliot in San Diego and presented the idea of using the Navajo language as a code. The American officers gave the project skeptical go ahead. It seemed too simple and vulnerable to have two soldiers talking back and forth to each other.
The initial reaction to recruiters who began circulating within one of the largest and most remote Indian nations in the United States was one of great suspicion. It was up to Chairman of the Navajo Nation, Chee Dodge, who sent word out about the mission of Navajo marines acting as special communication agents to assist the war effort. Notices were put up in trading posts all over the Navajo Reservation. Once the objective was understood, Navajo men, some of them only fifteen years old, rose to the occasion to assist the war effort and defend their country. Carl Gorman, Sr., the oldest of the Code Talkers is the father of famous Navajo artist R.C. Gorman of Taos, New Mexico. The first thirty recruits were selected. The first cadre of Navajo recruits coming from all directions in there faded jeans and dusty boots, some by horse back and some by wagon to board the trains at Flagstaff, Arizona and Gallup, New Mexico for marine base training camp in California.
The Navajos arrived at boot camp. In 1943 there were 191 Navajo code talkers serving. Eventually 450 Code Talkers would serve in World War Two in the Pacific.
Okinawa's Bloody Conquest
The bloodiest battle of the Pacific War claimed more than 150,000 Japanese and American casualties.
By John F. Wukovits
(The Dineh') "In Beauty We Walk" by Gerald M. Knowles at Passages West (Mounument Valley) web site.
|Marine Corps: Navajo|
20th Century Warriors
Native American Participation
in the United States Military
Department of the Navy - Naval Historical Center
Prepared for the United States Department of Defense by CEHIP Incorporated, Washington, DC, in partnership with Native American advisors, Rodger Bucholz, William Fields, Ursula P. Roach. Washington: Department of Defense, 1996.
Code Talkers in World War II
DOD DefenceLink News:
Medal of Honor Winners
Navajo Code Talkers
REVISED AS OF 15 JUNE 1945, DECLASSIFIED UNDER DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DIRECTIVE 5200.9
The Navajo Code Talkers
(By L.C. Kukral, Navy & Marine Corps World War II Commemorative Committee. A service of Navy Chief of Information Office)
Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Peleliu, Iwo Jima: the Navajo codetalkers took part in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted inthe Pacific from 1942 to 1945. They served in all six Marinedivisions, Marine Raider battalions and Marine parachute units,transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their nativelanguage--a code that the Japanese never broke.
Navajo Code Talkers' Manual
Navajo Code Talkers' Manual
Navajo Word List
|USAF Seeking Native Veterans by Morris Bitsie|
The U.S. Air Force is seeking to create a display for the Air Force Academy honoring Native Americans who served in the Air Force (or its predecessor, the Army Air Corps) between 1940 and 1997.
Contact Professor Chadick by telephone at (719) 333-2416 or call Mr. S.S. Hampton, Sr. (Choctaw), Chair, Native American Special Observances at (719) 333-3430 or (719) 333-3431.
Native American Veterans
Committee on Indian Affairs:
Committee held oversight hearings to review Federal services and benefits designed to assist Native American veterans, receiving testimony from Jesse Brown, Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Espiridion Borrego, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training; Arcenio Smiley, Church Rock, New Mexico, on behalf of the Navajo Code Talkers Association; Apesanahkwat, Menominee Indian Nation, Keshena, Wisconsin; Anthony R. Pico, Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indian Reservation, Alpine, California; Samuel N. Penney, Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee, Lapwai, Idaho; Kali Watson, Hawaii Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Honolulu; and Ernie Stevens, Jr., National Congress of American Indians, Washington, D.C. (Hearings were recessed subject to call).
|Choctaw Code Talkers|
of World War I
Click on the photo for an enlarged image -- 60 K From , The Official Publication of the Choctaw Nation, August 1986. In the closing days of World War I, eight Choctaws were instrumental in helping the American Expeditionary Force to win several key battles in the Mousse-Argonne campaign, which ...
The Native American Almanac
In the closing days of World War I, fourteen Choctaw Indian men in the Army's Thirty-Sixth Division, trained to use their language, helped the American Expeditionary Force win several key battles in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign in France, the final big German push of the war.
Choctaw Code Talkers
of World War I
Click on the photo for an enlarged image -- 60 K. Memorandum from Colonel Bloor, 1919.
Comanche Lodge, Comanche Indians,
Quanah Parker, Comanche Nation,
Native American, Indian, Genealogy, Treaties
Comanche Language and
Cultural Preservation Committee
The Comanche Language and Cultural Preservation Committee PO Box 3610 Lawton, OK 73502 firstname.lastname@example.org If you aren't on our mailing list and received a copy already, just e-mail your postal mailing address to email@example.com.
Why does the world need yet another book on D-Day? A good question. Consider the following contents and see if any other volume includes this information:
Paul Young George H. Kirk (left) fought on liberty's side in World War II. That in itself makes him special. But other reasons exist too. Whether thumbing through the December 1993 issue of Reader's Digest, perusing the August, 1993 issue of Smithsonian, or thoroughly reading Doris A. Paul's book The Navajo Code Talkers
Navajo Code Talkers
Paul's book The Navajo Code Talkers
How Efective Was Navajo Code?
One Former Captive Knows
By Tim Korte, Sanostee, New Mexico
(AP) By the close of World War II, Army Sgt. Joe Kieyoomia shared something with the secret words employed by the Navajo Code Talkers: both were like granite against Japanese efforts to break them. Captured after the fall of the Philippines in 1942, Kieyoomia lived 43 months in Japanese prison camps. A member of New Mexico's famed 200th Coast Artillery unit, he survived the notorious Bataan Death March that killed thousands of starved U.S. soldiers. (full text)
President Remarks at National Memorial Ceremony|
September 2, 1995, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary (Honolulu, Hawaii)
... Our soldiers, believe it or not, trained with wooden rifles. But our enemies sold short the strength and will of the American people -- the grocery clerks and farmers; the students and salesmen; the short-order cooks and the factory workers; the whites; the blacks; the hispanics; the Asian-Americans who served, including Japanese-Americans; the Native Americans, including the famous Navajo code-talkers. Most of them didn't know a lot about each other and even less of the world beyond our borders. But they had a core of shared traits bred in the American bone --determination, optimism, an unshakable dedication to freedom and afaith that right would prevail.
The Daggett Museum |
The Daggett Museum consists of over 40 cases displaying Early American collectibles, Railroad China, Navajo Indian Code-talkers from WWII, Barbed wire, Lapidary work and much more, including a unique model of the Solar I Generating Plan.
Navajo Code Talkers
A Brief History Prepared by the Reference Section History and Museums Division, USMC, May 14, 1982
The Navajo Code Talkers Program was established in September 1942 as the result of a recommendation made the previous February by Mr. Philip Johnston to Major General Clayton P. Vogel, USMC., Commanding General, Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet, headquartered at Camp Elliott, California. Mr. Johnston, the son of a missionary to the Navajo tribe, was fluent in the language, having lived among the Navajos for 24 years. He believed that use by the Marine Corps of Navajo as a code language in voice (radio and wire) transmission could guarantee communications security.
NAVY & Marine Corps World War II Commemorative Committee
A service of Navy Chief of Information Office 695-3161/DSN 225-3161
Speaker to tell of unsung war heroes
- November 16, 1998
Cpl. Henry Bake Jr. (left) and Pfc. George H. Kirk operate a portable radio in Bougainville, the largest of the Solomon Islands. The two Navajo were members of a Marine corps unit that specialized in sending and receiving codes in the Navajo language during World War II.
Noted Navajo painter and Code Talker dead at 79
Associated Press, 06/25/98
CANONCITO, N.M. (AP) - Narciso "Ciso" Platero Abeyta, a painter of Navajo themes, died Monday of a stroke at age 79. Abeyta was a Code Talker during World War II, part of a group of Native Americans that conveyed sensitive encrypted information across enemy lines in the Pacific.
The Navajo Code Talkers remained a classified top-secret of WWII until 1968. Although they played an essential role in the defense of this country, Code Talkers were not recognized for their heroic contribution until 1981, when Ronald Reagan publicly praised them for their dedication to duty and service during the war.
Narciso Abeyta's death comes five months after the passing of Carl Gorman, Sr., said to be the eldest Code Talker that served in WWII. Gorman's son, the celebrated Southwest artist R.C. Gorman, sculpted a monument to the Code Talkers which can be seen in Arizona. (6/26/98)
Photo of Navajo Code Talkers in formation at Camp Pendelton, California
Local call number Philip Johnston Physical description Black-and-white photograph, 8 x 13.5 cm. Reproduction requires permission of the repository.
National Atomic Museum Exhibit Honors WWII Navajo 'Code Talkers'
Julie Butler, firstname.lastname@example.org , October 31, 1996
Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation,
a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy.
Albuquerque, N.M. -- U.S. military radio transmissions intercepted by Japanese intelligence during World War II were spoken in such an unusual lexicon that Japan regarded the Americans' "secret code" unbreakable. The code, based on the Navajo language, was used by a select group of Navajos from New Mexico and Arizona who served as signalmen with Marine combat units from May 1942 until the war's end.
A new photography exhibit at the National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque (Wyoming Blvd. on Kirtland Air Force Base), titled "Warriors: Navajo Code Talkers," provides a glimpse into the contemporary lives of the 150-200 surviving code talkers. During World War II, the code talkers developed and used a system of fewer than 500 Navajo "code words" representing common military terms. The linguistic complexity of their language frustrated Japanese intelligence efforts, and many believe it played a significant role in the American offensive at Iwo Jima.
Navajo Language Program|
at Navajo Community College
Native American Security Techniques
Another Native American security technique
- Story Telling
Navajo Code Talkers
Reviewed in AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #43-99, 30 Oct 1999
AFIO - Association of Former Intelligence Officers, email@example.com
Navajo Code Talkers
By Anna Mollo
The secret is out on WWII Navajo Code-talkers
By Bill Papich, Chicago Tribune, March 17, 2000
GALLUP, N.M. - During World War II, they spoke the Navajo language as a code to confound Japanese eavesdropping on American military communications. Today, Hollywood and the country's second largest toy company listen to them. When the surviving Navajo code talkers meet once a month in this railroad and ranching town bordering the Navajo Nation, they talk about their newly found fame.
Two major motion pictures about the Navajo code talkers are in the works, and last month toymaker Hasbro Inc. introduced Navajo Code Talker GI Joe, the company's first doll to speak a Native American language.
"All of a sudden, the code talkers are starting to be known all over the world," says Frank Thompson, 79, who was among the 400 to 450 Navajo Indians entering the Marines from 1942 to 1944 who were trained as code talkers.
Navajo is not a written language. That frustrated the Japanese who never broke the code and never captured a Navajo code talker. Until 1968, existence of the code talkers was classified. The Pentagon was unsure whether the Navajo language might be needed in another war.
The importance of the Navajo language represented a turnaround for the code talkers, most of whom attended government schools on the Navajo Reservation. When they went to school students were punished if they spoke in Navajo, a practice that continued into the 1950s. Teddy Draper Jr., whose father was among the code talkers, credits them with starting a revival of the Navajo tongue.
"They had been beating us down, and then they use our language to win the war," the younger Draper said. "In 1968, within months of declassification of the Navajo code, the Navajo people started pushing for their history, their culture and their language in the schools." (Full text)
Index of Native American Media
IHS: Native American Resources
Index of Native American Resources
Navajo Nation Central Web site & FAQ's
Navajo Nation Unofficial Web site with FAQ's About Life with Navajo People. Includes the Chinle/Central Navajo Nation Directory
|Navajos.com - Shi Diné,|
Home of the Navajo People
Navajos.Com: A thoroughly modern view of the Navajo community is provided at this site with an e-zine format. Feature articles are presented, along with a national calendar of events, a travel guide, links to resources, current weather, message boards, and chatroom.
Indian Health Service:
Native American Resources
Listing of Native American related Internet Sites. Including Tribal Sites, Other Lists of links, Indian Health Services, Pow-Wow, and Native Recipes