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Home > People > All About the Navajo Code Talkers - Article

All About the Navajo Code Talkers - Article

This article tells about the Navajo Code Talkers.

Navajo Code Talkers

The Need for an Unbreakable Code

During World War II, the Allied forces were having a lot of trouble getting secret messages overseas. Many times messages were sent through code. The Axis Powers were breaking the codes that had been used, and the United States knew that they needed to invent a code that was unbreakable, so that troops in the Pacific would remain safe.

The Birth of the Navajo Code Talkers

The idea for the new code came from Philip Johnston. He was a veteran from the first World War and had lived on the land that belonged to the Navajo Nation. He had read an article that discussed how the Army had previously used Native Americans as signalmen in their training camps. A signalman’s job is to send and receive messages. In 1942 the United States Marines enlisted 29 Navajo men to help create the new code. These men did not have to work too hard to create an unbreakable code: they were able to use their own native language. The Navajo people are indigenious to the United States, and their language is very old, and mostly unknown except to people that have Navajo heritage. These 29 men were able to communicate to each other and send coded messages in their own language to other military branches stationed in Europe. These men became known as the Navajo Code Talkers.

The Code Talker Advantage

The Navajo Code Talkers helped communicate through all missions in the Pacific Ocean from 1942 until 1945. One of the most important missions the Code Talkers worked on was the assault on Iwo Jima in Japan. The Code Talkers were able to transmit messages from the mainland of the United States to soldiers stationed in Japan. The Japanese military was unable to crack the code. The Navajo Code Talkers were responsible for making sure that strategies that were created in Washington were communicated safely to soldiers in Japan without the coded messages being breached.

Celebrating the Code Talkers

August 14th is National Code Talkers Day. This holiday was made official in March of 2021. Today, only four or the original Navajo Code Talkers are still alive. The living Navajo Code talkers are Thomas H. Begay, John Kinsel, Peter MacDonald, and Samuel Sandoval. On Veterans Day we celebrate their achievements and hard work by remembering how they used a language that is native to the United States to protect military personnel in the Pacific during World War II.


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