Navajo Code Talkers Day Celebration 8/14


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Nov 12, 2008
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True heroes.

"He said that the Navajo Code talkers were able to use their own language to transmit secret messages during the war successfully, and nobody else could do that.

Begay served in the U.S. Marines from 1943 to 1946. He did a tour in the Pacific from August 1944 to July 1946 and was assigned to the 5th Marine Division Signal Company and in the Radio Section of the H & S company, 27th Marines.

The Navajo Code Talkers were a group of men who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and developed an unbreakable code that was used during World War II. They participated in all assaults the U.S. Marines led in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, including Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Peleliu and Iwo Jima..

The Navajo Code Talkers received another form of recognition in 2000, when the Honoring the Navajo Code Talkers Act was signed into law, and again in 2001 when they were honored with Congressional Gold and Silver Medals.

“In the long run, they were recognized, but it kind of came a little late, many years after the Code Talker (program) was declassified,” Ronald said.

The U.S. Marines originally recruited only 29 Navajo men to be Code Talkers in 1942. They all had to meet the general qualifications of a Marine, but also be fluent in Navajo and English. After the first group proved how successful they were at transmitting code, the U.S. Marines started to recruit more.

Only three Navajo Code Talkers are still alive. The total number of Navajo Code Talkers that served in the U.S. Marines is not known, but it is estimated to be more than 400. The last living Navajo Code Talkers are Begay, John Kinsel Sr. and Peter MacDonald.

The Navajo code was made up of words selected from the Navajo language and used to describe military phrases. Since the Navajo language has no military terminology, the Navajo Code Talkers have to develop the code using Navajo words that were given military meaning.

For instance, the word Tsidi-Moffa-Ye-Hi means bird carrier in Navajo, but was used as the word for “aircraft.” The initial Navajo code had 211 terms, which grew to 411 as the war continued.."


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