Air Force

April 26, 2013

Navajo Code Talkers turned course of WWII

Tags:
Airman 1st Class GRACE LEE
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

FROM LEFT: Bill Toledo, Robert Walley and Alfred Newman, World War II Navajo code talker veterans, pose for a photo April 12 at the Luke Air Force Base exchange. The three veterans visited Luke to educate the public about the Navajo Code Talkers and their role in WWII.

Three World War II Navajo Code Talker veterans visited the Luke Air Force Base Base Exchange April 11 through 13 to sign books and answer questions about their roles in the war.

It all began in the early months of WWII.

“The Japanese had people who spoke English fluently and broke every code the U.S. had created,” said Bill Toledo, WWII Navajo Code Talker. “They knew every action the U.S. would take before it was taken, and this was a great problem during the war.”

To resolve the problem, a person named Phillip Johnston came up with a solution to create an indecipherable code.

He was the son of a Protestant missionary and at age 4 began to learn the Navajo language, said Toledo. He was also one of the rare few who was fluent in the language and realized there was great potential in the language. He then convinced the military’s top commanders to allow him to start the Navajo Code Talker test program.

“The first unit had 29 Navajo Code Talkers,” Toledo said. “They came up with the 211 codes that we had to memorize.”

The codes were ingenious and consisted of native terms that were associated with the respective military terms they resembled, according to the Navajo Code Talkers website.

“The advantage we had was the fact that the Navajo language wasn’t written,” said Alfred Newman WWII Navajo Code Talker. “Also very few people outside the Navajo community knew the language.”

Additionally, to supplement the terms used, words could be spelled out using Navajo words.

“For the letter ‘A’ we would think of an ‘ant,’ which is ‘Woo-La-Chee’ in Navajo,” Toledo said. “Then for certain terms like hand grenade we used the word potato, which is ‘Nae-Ma-Si.’”

The code talkers were required to memorize all the codes to keep them secret.

“The codes could never be written down,” Toledo said. “We were all tested on the codes before we left the school to join the war.”

Once their education and training were completed, the Navajo Code Talkers served in several places across the Pacific from Guadalcanal to Okinawa and helped not only save lives but end the war.

“It’s important for the younger generation to know about the Navajo Code Talkers because we helped the U.S. win the war,” Toledo said. “It’s great to be able to travel around the U.S. and help educate kids about the history of the code talkers and how we came to be.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Luke 1 holds first commander’s call

Courtesy Photo Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, begins his first commander’s call at Luke Air Force Base Monday. Pleus took command of the fighter wing June 20. Brig. Gen Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing com...
 
 
Senior Airman Marcy Copeland

Luke F-35 mission scores 100th sortie

Senior Airman Marcy Copeland An F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter makes an approach to land Tuesday at Luke Air Force Base. The fighter jet was concluding the 100th F-35 sortie flown at Luke. Luke Air Force Base launched ...
 
 
6-140821-F-LC301-007

Sponsoring Airmen makes big difference for them

A permanent change of station can be overwhelming for the Airman coming from technical training school or for the family who feels as though they have moved a thousand times, but having a sponsor can make all the difference whe...
 

 

Air Force News – August 29, 2014

New Mexico Airmen from every specialty completed a four-day deployment exercise Aug. 20 at Holloman Air Force Base as part of the Air Force Commander’s Inspection Program. Air Force’s CIP was rolled out 2013 and specifically focuses on the bases’ ability to rapidly deploy combat-ready Airmen and equipment worldwide. Romania Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base started...
 
 

People First – August 29, 2014

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story. Call for...
 
 

Program smooths change from military to civilian life

It can be difficult to find work in today’s economy, even more so for families that are moving to a new area or families that are transitioning from military to civilian life. One program available to veterans is the Workforce Investment Act, which can help veterans have a smooth transition to civilian work. The 56th...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin