The Navajo Code Talkers
9th Period Social Studies
Major General Howard Connor once said, “Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines never would have taken Iwo Jima” (Teller 1). During the Second World War, Navajo Code Takers were some of the most important troops for the Allied Powers. They used a secret code to relay undecipherable messages to one another (Jones 1).
There were many important people of World War II. The first person to suggest using the Navajo Language to send messages was Philip Johnston. Philip’s father was a missionary to Navajos, so Philip was raised on Indian reservations almost his whole childhood. He could both speak and understand fluent Navajo. Knowing that other Indian languages had been used before, Philip thought Navajo would be perfect. Navajo was unwritten, unknown, had a complex form, a hard pronunciation, and had so many high and low tones that made it impossible to decipher. In World War I, 19 Chocotaw men worked bravely for the U.S. (Jones 1). By knowing this, Philip put his plan into action. His idea worked so well that Navajos were able to encode, transmit, and decode a three-line English phrase in a matter of about twenty seconds (Infoplease 1). This proved that the Navajo Language could be used for code talking.
In 1942, 29 Navajo men were recruited by the United States Marine Corps. These men were not told why they were needed or how long they would be gone. Most importantly they were not allowed to tell anyone, not a family member or even another marine, about what they were going to be assigned to. Theodore Parker, a preacher and writer once said, “Let us do our duty, in our shop in our kitchen, in the market, the street, the office, the school, the home, just as faithfully as if we stood in the front rank of some great battle, and knew that victory for mankind depends on our bravery, strength, and skill. When we do that, the humblest of us will be serving in that great army which achieves the welfare of the...
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