Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Code Talkers - World War II



It's surprising what you learn visiting National Parks and Monuments. I have no recollection of learning anything in school about the Navajo Code Talkers who played quite an important role in the second World War. If it was mentioned, maybe they just glossed over it. Possibly, I could have just missed the whole thing by not paying attention that day.

During the beginning of the war, a non-Navajo man who had grown up on the Navajo reservation, suggested to the military that they should use the Navajo language for code during the war. The demonstrations were so successful, they immediately started enlisting the Navajos.

This proved to be the most accurate, fast and secure communications in the Pacific. No one had ever broken the code, the only one in military history.  This resulted in communication that was reliable and kept the enemy from learning the U S (and allies) actions .

The Navajos who were recruited went to boot camp, then communications training. After that they went to learn the specifics of the Navajo Code.

There was a network of 400 Code Talkers by the end of the war, all Navajo, all Marines. Initially, they recruited 29 Navajos and developed over 200 terms and vocabulary to cover countries involved, equipment and other categories. When the war ended, the Navajo Code consisted of almost 800 words in their Code.

During the war, there were special trips to the reservation to recruit more Navajos because the code was working so well.

It is said that the World War II might have had a different outcome had it not been for these Code Talkers and their language that is so unique.


The photo above was taken in the Navajo Reservtion at Canyon de Chelly, Arizona.

2 comments:

  1. There is a movie called "Windtalkers" with Nickolas Cage about the Navajos and the part they played in the war.

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    1. Interesting - I'll have to check that out.

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