The Code Talkers also known as Windtalkers were Native Americans
that used their native language to talk and transmit information on
tactics, troop movements, orders and other vital battlefield
information by telegraphs or radios during combat.
The first Code Talkers were from the Choctaw Nation which was
recruited in World War 1 to use their language to transmit messages.
There were 18. In the late 1940, the first code talker was recruited for peace time
maneuvers but never expanded beyond this point. They were Comanche.
The US Marine Corp enlisted about 300 code talkers in the beginning
of WWII. There ranks exceeded 400 during the course of the war and
served in all six Marine Divisions from 1942 to 1945. There were
trained as infantry fighting men but their main duty was to stick
with the communications duties.
The most famous of the Code talkers were the Navajo soldiers who
served in World War II, principally, in the Pacific theater which
saw some of the toughest fighting of the war. The Japanese were very
good in breaking our codes. The difficult Navajo tongue in
communications was impossible to decipher by the Japanese. The code
took Native words and assigned to more than 450 frequently used
military terms. The Code Talkers could receive and translate
messages faster than using the standard military codes which took up
to 30 minutes to translate. The Code Talkers could provide instant
coded messages. Because of this, lives were saved and battles
strategy was improved. The Marines may have never taken Iwo Jima if
it wasn’t for the code talkers.
No Code Talker was ever captured. Each pair or single Code Talker
was assigned a bodyguard. He was an NCO with the duty to protect the
Code and protect them from being mistaken for Japanese. However, the
life of a code talker was not as important as the code itself. Only
after the war did the Code Talker find out that their bodyguards had
orders to shoot them if captured but the military denies this
The Code Talkers were kept a secret after WWII for 25 years in case
they hade to be used again. The Code Talkers were finally honored for their war efforts in 2002
by receiving 29 Congressional Gold Medals and 318 Silver Medals.