Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Navajo Code Talkers Break Silence

Many Veterans' Day stories, including the sad events that took place at Ft. Hood, but I found this one about the Navajo Code Talkers the most interesting,

NEW YORK – The famed Navajo Code Talkers, the elite Marine unit whose unbreakable code stymied the Japanese in World War II, fear their legacy will die with them.

Only about 50 of the 400 Code Talkers are believed to be still alive, most living in the Navajo Nation reservation that spans Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Many are frail or ill, with little time left to tell the world about their wartime contribution.

"It was all covered by secrecy. We were constantly told not to talk about it," Little said. The Code Talkers felt compelled to honor their secrecy orders, even after the code was declassified in 1968.

The oldest of the 13 living Code Talkers is 92, and the group includes one of the original 29. Many Code Talkers who served in the war were young farmers and sheepherders who had never been away from home.

"The code did a lot of damage to the enemy," said Samuel Tom Holiday, 85, of Kayenta, Ariz., who also is joining the parade. He was a 20-year-old Code Talker when he and two other Marines went behind enemy lines on Iwo Jima to locate a Japanese artillery unit advancing on American forces.


  1. There was a movie about them that I caught on dvd a few years ago. I think it was called "Windtalkers." My brother Russ told me about it when I was very much into listening to and playing Native American flutes. It was close to the end of the film that one of characters plays one.

  2. I loved teaching about the Code Talkers when I taught high school U. S. History in Albuquerque. Such a good story, it was a shame so little of it actually showed up in the movie.