Navajo code talkers
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Navajo Code talkers. During war, it is important for commanders to communicate with each other Secure and secret communication systems were slow and expensive WWI vet, Philip Johnson, stumbled upon the idea that Navajos could be secret messengers. Navajo Code talkers.

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Navajo Code talkers

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Navajo code talkers

Navajo Code talkers

  • During war, it is important for commanders to communicate with each other

  • Secure and secret communication systems were slow and expensive

  • WWI vet, Philip Johnson, stumbled upon the idea that Navajos could be secret messengers


Navajo code talkers

Navajo Code talkers

  • The idea came to him while reading a newspaper article about NA participation during WWII

  • He grew up on a Navajo Reservation and was fluent in their language and culture

  • The Navajo language does not have an alphabet or symbols

  • It is also complex and very difficult to learn

  • It was estimated that fewer than 30 non-Navajo people in the world were familiar with the language


Navajo code talkers

Navajo Code talkers

  • He took his idea to the military, where it was quickly welcomed

  • A demonstration was set up. A 3 sentence code was transmitted and decoded in 20 seconds. It would have taken a machine a half hour to do the same task

  • 29 Navajos were recruited

  • These recruits were successful, hundreds more were requested

  • An estimated 400 code talkers worked in the Pacific Campaign


Navajo code talkers

Navajo Code talkers

  • During the battle of Iwo Jima, six code talkers transmitted 800 messages over two days, all without error

  • A major, who was at the battle, later stated that if it were not for the code talkers, the Marines may have been defeated at Iwo Jima

A captured Navajo soldier was asked by the Japanese to interpret the code. Although he understood some of the words they were using, it didn’t make any sense to him.


Navajo code talkers

Navajo Code talkers

  • The code talkers activities were classified until 1968

  • They have been honored several times

  • In 1992, they were honored at a ceremony in the Pentagon. A permanent exhibit is set up there.

  • In 2001, President Bush honored them at a White House ceremony

  • The original 29 were given gold medals and the others were given silver medals

  • They also have a statue honoring their contributions in Phoenix Arizona


Navajo code talkers

Navajo Code

English: America Attack Submarine

Navajo: Ne-ha-mah al-tah-je-jay besh-lo

Literal: Our mother attack iron fish


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