Phillip Johnston, who was a missionary to the Navajo tribe for 24 years, established the Navajo Code talker program in September 1942.
"With cooperation of four Navajos residing in the Los Angeles area, and another who was already on active Naval service in San Diego, Mr. Johnston presented a demonstration of his theory to General Vogel and his staff at Camp Elliott on February 25, 1942. Marine staff officers composed simulated field combat messages, which were handed to a Navajo, who then translated it into tribal dialect and transmitted it to another Navajo on the other side of the line. The second Indian then translated back in perfect English in the same form which had been provided originally. The demonstration proved entirely successful and as a result, General Vogel recommended the recruitment into the Marine Corps of at least 200 Navajos for the code talker program. As a footnote, tests in the Pacific under combat conditions proved that classified messages could be translated into Navajo, transmitted, received and translated back into English quicker than messages which were encoded, transmitted and decoded employing conventional cryptographic facilities and techniques."
A recruiting office was set up a Fort Wingate in 1943 when the program proved a success. The Japanese never cracked this code and it was still in use in 1968 when the information on the Code Talkers was declassified.
Kimball, Chris. NAVAJO CODE TALKERS: A Brief History. Prepared by the Reference Section History and Museums Division, USMC May 14, 1982. http://www.yvwiiusdinvnohii.net/history/usmccode.htm Available Online. Accessed 01/25/00
"The Japanese, who were skilled code breakers, remained baffled by the Navajo language. The Japanese chief of intelligence, Lieutenant General Seizo Arisue, said that while they were able to decipher the codes used by the U.S. Army and Army Air Corps, they never cracked the code used by the Marines. The Navajo code talkers even stymied a Navajo soldier taken prisoner at Bataan. (About 20 Navajos served in the U.S. Army in the Philippines.) The Navajo soldier, forced to listen to the jumbled words of talker transmissions, said to a code talker after the war, "I never figured out what you guys who got me into all that trouble (with the Japanese) were saying.""
Kukral, L.C. The Navajo Code Talkers. NAVY & MARINE CORPS WORLD WAR II COMMEMORATIVE COMMITTEE: A service of Navy Chief of Information Office. http://wae.com/webcat/navajos.htm Available Online. Accessed 01/25/00.
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Other Websites and Information
Factsheet on Navajo Code Talkers
From Outwest Newspaper
How the Navajo Code Talkers helped win World War II From Out West #14, October 1992 By Chuck Woodbury, editor
Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary
Senator Jeff Bingamin's Navajo Code Talkers
(U.S. Senator for New Mexico (D))
Navajo Code Talkers by Harrison Lapahie
President Bush Honors Navajo Code Talkers
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The Navajo code talkers[by] Doris A. Paul.
D810 .C88 P38
Warriors : Navajo code talkers / photographs
by Kenji Kawano ; foreword by Carl Gorman ; introduction by Benis M. Frank.
D810.C88 K38 1990
Navajo weapon : the Navajo code talkers /
D810.C88 M38 2001
Philip Johnston and the Navajo code talkers
/ by Syble Lagerquist.
Navajo code talkers [videorecording] / produced by Triage, Inc. for
the History Channel.
D810.C88 N383 1998 VIDEO
Navajo code talkers [videorecording] : a film / by Tom McCarthy.
D810.C88 N38x 1990 VIDEO
They talked Navajo = diné bi-zaad choz-iid : the United States
Marine Corps Navajo code talkers of World War II : a record of their reunion,
July 9-10, 1971, Window Rock, Arizona.
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Navajo Code Talkers, C.1943
FE EPH HM-VII.7
Navajo Code Talkers.
FE EPH HM-VII.14
Navajos in World War II; N.D.
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