Documentary Follows Navajo Code Talkers As They Return To WWII Battlefields
A new documentary screening in San Diego Wednesday followed members of the Navajo Nation who served in WWII as they returned to major battlefields in the Pacific. The Navajo code talkers were trained and learned the secret code in San Diego.
David Patterson, one of the only remaining World War II Navajo code talkers has died at 94
A Navajo Code Talker who used his native language to outsmart the Japanese in World War II has died in New Mexico, Navajo Nation officials said. David Patterson Sr. died Sunday in Rio Rancho at age 94. Few Navajo Code Talkers are still alive. Patterson and hundreds of other Navajos trained in radio communications were prohibited from talking about their work until it was declassified in 1968.
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Gilbert Horn Sr., Decorated WWII code talker, Merrill`s Marauder dies
Gilbert Horn Sr., a decorated World War II veteran honored for his service as a Native American code talker, died at 92. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and became a member of the 163rd Infantry Battalion. Horn received specialized training in communications and encryption, then volunteered for special duty as a code talker, using his native Assiniboine Tribe language skills to disguise U.S. military communications during the war against the Japanese.
The last of the 29 Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez dies at 93
The last of the 29 Navajo Americans who developed a code with their native language to encrypt military messages in WWII has died. Chester Nez, 93, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, had told he was "very proud" of his part developing the cipher the Japanese never broke. It was credited with saving the lives of thousands of US troops in the Pacific. "It saddens me to hear the last of the original code talkers has died," Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly told Reuters, adding he was ordering flags to be flown at half-mast in Nez`s honour.
World War II Code Talker Jimmie Begay passes away at 86
Flags across the Navajo Nation are whipping in the wind at half mast, as Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly ordered the move in honor of Sgt. Jimmie Begay. He trained as a Code Talker at Camp Eliot before serving in the 1st Marine Division, 2nd Battalion during campaigns at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Guam, Saipan, and Tinian in the midst of World War II.
Keith Little, longtime Navajo Code Talkers group president passes away at 87 (Article no longer available from the original source)
Keith Little envisioned a place that would house the stories of the Navajo Code Talkers and where people could learn more about the famed WW2 group who used their native language as a weapon. His family now hopes to carry out his dream of a museum near the Arizona-New Mexico border that also will hold memorabilia and serve as haven for veterans. Little was 17 when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, becoming one of hundreds of Navajos trained as Code Talkers. They used a code developed by 29 tribal members that was based on Navajo language. Their code helped confuse the Japanese and win the war.
Navajos were punished for speaking their own language, until WWII began
Despite punishment for speaking their own language in government boarding schools and not having voting rights in their own states, 400 Americans became their nation`s secret weapon during the Second World War – the Navajo Code Talkers. Today, most people in the United States have heard about code talkers in passing conversations, but few have looked into the history of the code talkers.
Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII by Chester Nez
"Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII" by Chester Nez with Judith Schiess Avila is a fascinating collection of combat in the Pacific theater, the history of the Navajo people and the development of a uniquely American code that remained unbroken by the Japanese throughout the war and classified until 1968.
Navajo code talker Joe Morris passes away
Joe Morris Sr., one of the Navajo code talkers whose use of their native language in transmitting messages successfully thwarted Japanese code breakers in the Pacific, has passed away at 85. Born on the Navajo reservation in Indian Wells, Ariz., Morris was one of 400 Navajo code talkers who underwent training at a communications school at Camp Pendleton to memorize the undecipherable code based on their complex, unwritten language. The code grew to more than 600 Navajo terms: A submarine became "besh-lo," which means iron fish in Navajo, while a bomber was "jay-sho," or buzzard.
Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tom Holiday was twice mistaken as a Japanese by his fellow Marines
Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tom Holiday and two other Marines were sent behind Japanese lines at Iwo Jima to find artillery sites that were shelling American forces. Holiday, who served as a radio operator in the 4th Marine Division`s 25th Regiment, sent a message in the Navajo code back to the Marines and their first shot took out the enemy`s big guns: "So I went back two days later, saw the big guns laying sideways and dead Japanese. They looked like Navajo. They were young." Holiday`s fellow Marines mistook him for Japanese, twice. Fortunately he was saved by the men in his company.
Lloyd Oliver, the second-to-last original Navajo Code Talker, passes away at 87
Lloyd Oliver, the second-to-last remaining Navajo Code Talker of the original group that created an unbreakable oral code using their native tongue to confuse the Japanese during the Second World War, has passed away at 87. Yvonne Murphy, recording secretary for Navajo Code Talkers Association, said the loss of Oliver is "a sad day in Navajo history. He was one of the ones who laid the foundation for the design of the language that the Code Talkers used."
Chester Nez, one of the original 29 Navajo code talkers, to publish his memoir
Chester Nez, one of the original 29 code talkers who developed the unbroken World War II code, plans to publish his memoir in September 2011. This is great news, since only two original Navajo code talkers are still alive.
"Code talkers never ended up going for any rest the whole time. They were also fighting in the war and that is extremely unusual. Men got months of rest between battles, but the code talkers got none," explained Judith Avila, the writer Nez has chosen to write his memoir.
Although the term `code talkers` is strongly associated with Navajos and WWII, the code talking practice was first used by the Choctaw Code Talkers in the First World War. In addition Cherokee, Choctaw, Lakota, Meskwaki, and Comanche code talkers were used by the U.S. Army during the Second World War.
Less than 100 Code Talkers of the 400 trained by the U.S. military alive
WWII Navajo Code Talkers are attempting to establish their legacy on the Navajo reservation in Arizona with a $42 million fundraising campaign for a veterans center and museum - which has been more than 10 years in the making.
Allen Dale June, one of the 29 original Navajo Code Talkers, passes away at 91
Allen Dale June, one of the 29 original Navajo Code Talkers who confused the Japanese by sending World War II messages in their native language, has passed away. Several hundred Navajos served as Code Talkers, but a group of 29 created the code. June, who reached the rank of sergeant, received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2001 along with other members of the original Code Talkers. With his death, only 2 of the 29 are still living. The Code Talkers, whose role in the war wasn`t declassified until 1968, participated in every operation the Marines carried out in the Pacific 1942-1945.
Last Lakota World War II code talker Clarence Wolf Guts passes away
Clarence Wolf Guts, the last surviving Oglala Lakota code talker, has passed away at the age of 86. A Native American code talker from the Second World War, he helped defeat Axis forces by transmitting strategic military messages in his native language, which the Japanese and Germans couldn`t decipher. The 450 Navajo code talkers were the most famous group of Native American soldiers to radio messages from the WWII battlefields, but 15 other tribes used their languages to aid the Allied campaigns.
Navajo Code Talker tells students tales of World War II
Students at Sand Ridge Junior High got a firsthand glance into a unique part of World War II history. Samuel Tsosie was one of the 400 members of the Navajo Indian tribe who served as U.S. Marine communications specialists in the Pacific theater. Called the "Code Talkers," they confused Japanese intelligence with a code based on their native language. Dressed in his military uniform Tsosie sat at the front of the auditorium next to a table filled with photographs and memorabilia, including a Navajo code-talking G.I. Joe action figure. Many of the Navajos were expert marksmen because they had shot prairie dogs on the reservation, Tsosie recalled.
Chevron Mining Inc. donates land for Code Talkers museum
As members of an elite group of Navajo Marines reach their 90s, they know there`s little time left to tell the story about how they used their native language to confuse the Japanese during World War Two. Their vision for a place to tell those stories, including the years in which they kept their role a secret, is closer to reality. Chevron Mining Inc. donated 208 acres (84 hectares) of land to the association for a museum and veterans center. And with the recent passing of 4 Code Talkers in 5 weeks, including one of the original 29 who helped create the unbreakable code, there`s a greater sense of urgency.
John Brown Jr. - One of last original Navajo Code Talkers
John Brown Jr., a Navajo Code Talker who was part of the original group recruited to formulate what became an unbreakable code that confused the Japanese during the Second World War, has passed away at the age of 88. Several hundred Navajos served as Code Talkers during the war, but a group of 29, that included Brown, developed the code based on their native language. Code Talkers participated in every attack the Marines carried out in the Pacific 1942-1945. Brown was granted the Congressional Gold Medal in 2001 along with other members of the original Code Talkers. Less than a handful are still alive.
Congress approves Code Talker Medal
The bill H.R.4544 require the issuing of medals to mark the valor of Native American code talkers. Unlike previous laws that honored the code talkers with a national medal, this honors the individuals and their tribes: (A) Assiniboine; (B) Chippewa and Oneida; (C) Choctaw; (D) Comanche; (E) Cree; (F) Crow; (G) Hopi; (H) Kiowa; (I) Menominee; (J) Mississauga; (K) Muscogee; (L) Sac and Fox; and (M) Sioux. A Native American will be entitled to be awarded a silver duplicate medal struck in recognition of the service of Native American code talkers of the recognized tribe of the Native American, if the Native American served in the U.S. Armed Forces as a code talker.
Navajo Code Talkers subject of Japanese photographer`s work
When the Navajo Code Talkers served in World War II, using the Navajo language to confuse the Japanese, they had no idea that decades later a Japanese man would make their tale known around the globe. Kenji Kawano has been photographing the Navajo Code Talkers for 30 years. An honorary Code Talker since 1987, he was featured on Navajo artist Sheldon Harvey`s "Tribute to the Navajo Code Talkers and Kenji Kawano" on show alongside a traveling exhibit. Kawano formed a firm bond with them through listening to their accounts and shooting photos of them. The result was "Warriors: Navajo Code Talkers," a book published in 1990.
Navajo code talker Keith Little - A battle tank became a tortoise
At some point, on some bomb-blasted Pacific island, a Japanese soldier may have tapped into American signals, trying to glean battle plans. He would have heard a mysterious message: Chay-di -gahi, ni-ma-si, jay-sho, me-as-jah, isidi-ney-ye-hi. Even if that soldier could understand the Navajo language, these sounds would have formed into a puzzling sequence of words. "Tortoise, potatoes, buzzard, owl, bird carrier." Such was the beauty of a code system used by a group of Marines known as the Navajo code talkers. Navajo words were used to represent military terms: A tank became a tortoise, grenades were potatoes, and an aircraft carrier was a bird carrier.
Code Talker Samuel Tom Holiday relays Military History (Article no longer available from the original source)
"I was taught the white man`s ways, and if I talked Navajo a little bit, I was punished," Samuel Tom Holiday said. Things turned upside down during World War II, when the U.S. Marine Corps recruited young Navajo men for a secret project. The American military realized the Navajo language could be a valuable weapon - idea of Philip Johnston - and Holiday was one of the 285 Indians who became "code talkers" during combat in the Pacific. During operations in the Pacific he was captured twice by other U.S. Marines. "They thought I was Japanese." Once his captors suspected he was an infiltrator who`d taken his Marine uniform from a dead American.
Last of Lakota Sioux Code Talkers Recalls World War II Service (Article no longer available from the original source)
The language is Lakota, one of 3 dialects of the people called Sioux, a tribe of hunters and warriors that once roamed all over the northern plains. Clarence Wolf Guts is an 83-year-old Lakota warrior whose ability to speak his native language played a role in defeating the Japanese in World War II. "I helped win the war, I helped, me and my buddies." It was dangerous work often carried out near the front lines. For many years after WWII the code talkers were largely forgotten. But after military documents were declassified in the 1990s and a book came out about the Navajo code talkers, historians sought out the surviving code talkers.
Navajo Code Talker Sam Sandoval recalls World War II (Article no longer available from the original source)
Navajo Code Talker Sam Sandoval`s mind shot back 67 years, to when he was an 18yo boy entering the U.S. Marine Corps, ready to serve in WWII. He entered the service with little idea that he would become one of the famous Navajo Code Talkers who helped the US defeat the Japanese. Sandoval made the trip from Farmington, N.M., to speak at the Cortez Cultural Center in celebration of National Code Talkers Day. Code talkers developed a code for 818 military terms, assigning military terms to Navajo words: The Navajo word for potato meant hand grenade in the code - chosen for their physical similarity.
Navajo Nation to celebrate Code Talkers Day (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Navajo Nation will celebrate Code Talkers Day as a tribal holiday for the first time Tuesday. "There are a lot of people on the reservation, and a lot of people off the Navajo Nation that want an opportunity to honor the Code Talkers in their own way," said Michael Smith. "This day provides an opportunity for people to step forward and honor these men," said Smith, whose father Samuel Jesse Smith was a Code Talker. The Code Talkers were an elite group of Navajo Marines who baffled the Japanese by transmitting World War II messages in their native language. Events will start with a parade, followed by music from the Marine Corps band.
World War II Navajo code talkers featured on a postage stamp
Before Keith Little went off to WW2, speaking Navajo had only ever got him into trouble. By the time he came home in 1945, it had proved decisive in winning the Pacific military campaign and earned him a niche in history. Navajo code talkers have been the subject of a film and congressional medals. Now, surviving members are to be featured on a postage stamp, and Arizona plans a memorial. When the U.S. was pitched in to the war by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, many Navajo took it personally and rushed to join the armed forces. "We wanted to get even. It was my intention to defend my little piece of land that I was herding sheep on," said Samuel Smith.
Navajo Code Talker David Tsosie dies at age 83
Navajo Code Talker David Tsosie has died at age 83. He had a Purple Heart from his World War II service. In June 1944, he was wounded during the battle of Saipan when flying shrapnel hit him in the leg. The Naval Historical Center says Code Talkers took part in every assault the Marines conducted in the Pacific 1942-1945. There were 29 original Code Talkers, but later several hundred Navajos served as Code Talkers during WW2. The Code Talkers were honored with congressional medals in 2001 -- gold for the original group; silver for the others.
Navajo code talker recalls unique WWII Iwo Jima flag raising
Teddy Draper Sr. was there when the American flag was raised on Iwo Jima. He`s not in the famous photo, but he was the Marine who radioed headquarters about the flag. Draper is a Navajo "code talker," one of a select few Native Americans who served as specialists in the Marine Corp and other branches of the military. He relayed information using his native language, which was unknown outside the US. The code proved to be unbreakable. He served in the Marines 1942-1946, earning a Purple Heart at Iwo Jima. After the war, code talkers were sworn to secrecy. MGM told a story of the codetalkers in the film "Windtalkers."