S was in need of a cipher, which is a code to help transmit sausages without the Japanese interfering and intercepting, so they turned to the Navajo. The Navajo Language was spoken only by the Navajo and not written down at all. It was the perfect code for the military. The Navajo tribe was one of the largest Native American tribes in the U. S. Coming in second only to the Cherokee nation. They still held the biggest Native American reservation of them all, sixteen million acres to be exact, and not an inch more. The Navajo people were a lot like our people.
They had everyday Jobs, even got paid! Yet they were slaughtered by the military until they were needed. The Navajo project all started in the mind of Mr.. Phillip Johnston. He had spent his childhood on the Navajo reservation and spoke Navajo himself. Other than his Job as engineer of Los Angels, he also lectured about Navajo and told of their great language. One day he was looking through the newspaper and noticed that an armored division was trying to create a military code from a Native American Language. That sparked the idea.
Once he had the idea he traveled to camp Elliot near San Diego to demonstrate it to Lieutenant Colonel James E. Jones. Jones was skeptical at first but once it was demonstrated he was completely on board. They .NET the idea to the marines and recommended 200 Navajo for the assignment. What they received wasn’t quite what they were expecting. They were given permission for a pilot project which basically meaner they were approved but only for 30 Navajo. One dropped out so it was really only twenty-nine Navajo. After the 30 Navajo were chosen in 1942, they began their training.
They trained just like all other marines, except tort one thing, the code. The code was developed in camp Pendleton, Accordance, California. This was the first Native American language used in battle other than Choctaw. Once the code was created, they were sent into heir respected divisions. Twenty-seven were sent and two stayed behind to teach the future Navajo the code so that they would always have talkers. Now on to the actual code. The system for the code was a series of seemingly random Navajo words such as fox or house.
Even if the enemy did know Navajo, the code would still be valid. First they would receive the message through a telephone or radio. After they heard the words, they would write down their English equivalents. They would have a list of random words. Then they would take those words and only use the first letter of that word for the code so if you got the words, race: umbrella: nut:” it would translate to R. IS. N. What made it difficult was the fact that there were multiple words for one letter for example, the words, “ant: axe: apple:” would all mean “A”.
Along with the letters, they also invented certain words to mean certain military terms such as, “tank”. In fact, they made over 450 military terms. After the code was developed, not only did they deploy into all six divisions of the marines but they were tremendous fighters. They were praised for their skill, speed, and accuracy. They were perfectly qualified marines and participated in all common urine activities. The Navajo did all this on top of the codes they produced and transmitted.
These Navajo took part in every attack the marines made in the war. These codes were one of the reasons we won in the Pacific. They took only 3 minutes to produce, transmit, and receive a single code. That is extraordinary considering fact that a common code machine could take hours, even days to transmit a code. When the Japanese picked up on the code, they were completely baffled by it. They didn’t had no idea what it meant. Even though they were only recently acknowledged for their valiant fight for their entry, it was a truly a memorable ceremony.
The talkers received Congressional Gold Medals for their service. They were recognized on September 17th, 1992 by George Bush at the pentagon. Although there were around 540 total code talkers deployed, only 35 showed up to the ceremony. The Navajo code talkers were recognized as heroes and that they deserve to be. The code they created not only became the most unbreakable code the world had ever known but also saved countless marines in the process. They truly are American heroes. If not for them, who knows. We might not have won the war.