Native American Code Talkers (Used In Wwi & Wwii)
Michaela Hamilton English Honours 2 April 1, 2001 Native American Code Talkers For thirty-six years the Japanese government puzzled over the mysterious unbreakable code used by the American Armed Forces ...
Adam Adkins put the role of the Navajo Code Talkers in World War II when he said "Intelligence is an offensive weapon, one which searches out the vulnerable points again and again until they to are made weak. The only defense against intelligence is security and no form of security is more effective or important than communications security" (Adkins 319). The importance of being able to communicate with one another without the enemy knowing what is being said
Navajo Code Talkers
Who would have known that the language of Native Americans, created hundreds of years before the founding of our nation, would prove to be one of America s greatest secret ...
is very valuable to the war effort. They allowed us to communicate without the threat of being heard. The idea of using Native Americans as a way to communicate without being heard actually had its roots in World War I. The 142nd Infantry felt that the Germans had tapped their telephone communications near the end of the war. Due to very primitive form of coding messages and the time it took to send a message in code and then to UN-code the message, this was not a very effective form of Communicating. So one Choctaw Indian named Mose Bellmard, who was serving in the 142nd offered his native language as a way to communicate. The first time they used the Language the order was to move troops from one village to another therefore surprising the Germans and the campaign was a success (Adkins 323). The idea of using the Navajos in this same capacity came from a man named Philip Johnston. Johnston was the son of a Protestant missionary who served on the Navajo Reservations. He first moved to the reservation at the age of four, by way of the wagon in 1896. He was a Civil Engineer in Los Angeles when World War II broke out McCoy 68). He was aware of the army's use of the Choctaw Indians in World War I. so he came up with an idea to use the Navajo language as a form of communicating. He first approached the United States Army Air Force but when they showed no interest, he went to the Marines. He initially talked to Major General Clayton B. Bogel. Philip put on a demonstration for the General Vogel at a Los Angeles football field. Johnston brought six Navafo Indians with him to demonstrate. Different marine leaders gave messages to the Navajos to send to the other end of the football field. Astoundingly, the Navajo Indians interpreted all the messages without error (McCoy 68). Johnston also argued that Navajo language had never been written down and he estimated that only 30 non-Navajos spoke the Language, none of the people being Japanese. This was the beginning of the Navajo Code Talkers as we know them. Philip Johnston was rewarded for his idea by being appointed Master Seargent in the U.S. Marines. General Vogel initially wanted to recruit over 200 Navajos to code talk. He was vetoed by the Commandant of the Marines. He was only allowed to recruit 30. In May of 1942, the first 29 Navajos were sent to Boot Camp. They were treated just like any other enlisted man. Because of Security reasons not even the Seargent placed in charge of drilling the Navajos were let in on what these men were being used for. Apparently they did very well in Boot Camp. Lt. Colonel George Hall had this to say about their performance: "This group has done exceptionally well at this depot. They are very tractable, attentive and loyal. At an early date they developed an exceptionally high Esprit de Corps" (Adkins 373). After Boot Camp these men were sent to Camp Elliott to start to learn how to communicate. They were taught how to work with radios, and telephones that they would use in the bush. They were even taught Mosrse code. They also were assigned the chore of writing the Navajo Language down on paper. This was part of the appeal, of the Navajo Language. It was on paper therefore the Japanese could not study the language. Since the Navajo language does not have the military words in it, the Navajo's were forced to make up names. Here's a few exapmples of
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