Navajo Code Talkers
By Garrett Mason and Colin Daughdrill Rider 3rd period
•Navajo code talkers were people who used obscure languages as a means of secret communication during wartime
•They served in all six Marine divisions
•In May 1942, the first 29 Navajo recruits attended boot camp
•Once a Navajo code talker completed his training, he was sent to a Marine unit deployed in the Pacific theater
•they have their own dictionary of secret symbols EX: GAH means RABBIT
•The Japanese, who were skilled code breakers, remained baffled by the Navajo language
•the Navajo potentially valuable as code even after the war
•The son of a Protestant missionary, Philip Johnston spent much of his childhood on the Navajo reservation.
•He grew up with Navajo children, learning their language and their customs.
•The Navajo Code Talkers, as they became known, were the key to America's success in World War II.
•Before World War II, every code that the United States had created for warfare had been broken.
•The success of the code was due, in a large part, to the complexity of the Navajo language.
•At the outbreak of World War II, there were only thirty non-Navajos who could speak the language
•Philip Johnston, had grown up on the Navajo Reservation, and could speak Navajo very well.
•The Marines decided to start training 200 more Code Talkers.
•Philip Johnston was an engineer living in California at the start of World War II.
•The code talkers received no recognition until the declassification of the operation in 1968.
•In 1982, the code talkers were given a Certificate of Recognition by U.S. President Ronald Reagan
•Other Native American code talkers were deployed by the US Army during World War II, including Cherokee, Choctaw ,Lakota, , and Comanche soldiers.
•The initial code consisted of translations for 211 English words most frequently used in military conversations.
•when the Navajo code was first introduced, military leaders in the field were skeptical.
•From 1942 until 1945, Navajo code talkers participated in numerous battles in the Pacific, including Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Peleliu, and Tarawa.
•They not only worked in communications but also as regular soldiers, facing the same horrors of war as other soldiers
•Navajo code talkers met additional problems in the field. Too often, their own soldiers mistook them for Japanese soldiers. Many were nearly shot because of this. The danger and frequency of misidentification caused some commanders to order a bodyguard for each Navajo code talker.
•The Navajo code talkers played a large role in the Allied success in the Pacific. The Navajos had created a code the enemy was unable to decipher.