Navajo Code Talkers. PROJECT (Just to show notes)

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by B-17engineer, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Hi Guys. I've been assigned 5 page paper on the Navajo Code Talkers.

    Let me get something straight :D I am not looking for help, just going to post notes as I go so if anyones interested can see my paper evolve from notes, outline, rough draft and then final copy.

    So far :

    Navajo's are from Southwest region.

    Language has 4 different tones for pronunciation of words. Tones include High, low, rising, and falling. The words Medicine and Mourning are said the same but use different tones.

    Navajo language takes 20 years to fully learn as opposed to an average 8 years for US language.

    In 1940 only thirty people in the United States know to speak the language outside of Navajo's

    The normal Cryptogram has been easily cracked ever since the 'frequency chart' and the US need a new unbreakable code.

    Philip Johnston whose parents were Protestant Missionaries comes up with the idea that Navajo should be used.

    he takes the Navajo case to a Marine base in LA (These are from memory I have tons in school) and the officers aren't persuaded.

    To show he thinks the Navajo's are useful he speaks to the Marines and they are stunned at how hard it is.

    After many talks the US allow Philips program but from a 200 men unit down to a 30 man pilot unit.

    END.

    I am reading quite a few books and using quite a bit of databases for this. I left notes in school. These are from memory.
     
  2. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    A very good subject to write about.
     
  3. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Thanks! It had to be about Native Americans and I decided this was one of the only World War II topics.

    Trying to develop a good thesis. I've had 6 trial and errors I don't like them that much. Will keep thinking.
     
  4. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Excellent topic! Lookin forward to seein your progress!
     
  5. piet

    piet Member

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    The name code talkers is strongly associated with bilingual Navajo speakers specially recruited during World War II by the Marines to serve in their standard communications units in the Pacific Theater.

    Other Native American code talkers were used by the United States Army during World War II, using Cherokee, Choctaw and Comanche soldiers.

    Soldiers of Basque ancestry were used for code talking by the US Marines during World War II in areas where other Basque speakers were not expected to be operating.
     
  6. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Thanks Piet.

    I can't really accept info because I am only allowed to use books and databases the school has. :evil:

    Plus, I want to go into honors history so I need to do well on this. which means lots of work!
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Great topic to do!
     
  8. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Great topic to research B-17.
    I am looking forward to your "discoveries."


    Wheels
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I'm hooked already H ! I've heard of this subject, but know very, very little about it, so I'll be very interested to read your finished work. Keep it coming!
     
  10. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    :D sure guys. Just got to get my notes of my laptop in school and get a book out.
     
  11. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    This should be cool, B-17! looking forward to more "notes"!
     
  12. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Great topic. I am sorry to say the most I know of this topic is from the movie Windtalkers. Not s great source to learn from. I will wait for your posts on this topic.
     
  13. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    :oops:

    Got my notes upstairs ! More later.
     
  14. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    After the pilot group of Navajo's were officially created they were sent to Camp Elliott in San Diego to learn how to operate Radios and various other equipment.

    Code Talkers were given two months to devise the code.

    First eight men were sent to New Caledonia to prepare for the invasion of Guadalcanal. ]

    Johnston the creator of the project was itching to become part of project.

    He received permission to enlist as a U.S. Marine Specialist at the ranks of Staff Sargent.

    Under his management the Navajo's began to refine and expand the code in late December of 1942.


    It was decided that alternate terms in Navajo should be devised for the 12 most frequently used terms in the English language. The repetition of letters is a key to unlocking any code. The letter 'A' in English is a vowel that appears regularly- so regularly that a code breaker knows exactly how many are used in a common English sentence. The code breaker then goes on to fill in the blanks based on the frequency of the terms used. Consequently, the Navajo code talkers began to use several terms for 'A,' including Wol-la-chee (ant), Be-la-sana (apple), ajd Tse-nihi (axe). Several terms were adopted for all the vowels and several consonants. Eventually the code contained 411 terms.

    Since Japanese troops could speak English without an accent and call artillery on there own troops, a common asked question to radio operators at an artillery battery would be, " Do you have a Navajo?" and then a Navajo would be put on the line.

    Navajo's carried a variety of weapons including M-1 Garands, BAR's, and .30 cal machine guns.

    More later.
     
  15. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    I have to agree with Messy on this....I've read a little bit here and there, but most of what I "know" is from Windtalkers. And we all know how much research Hollywood does before putting out a film!:rolleyes: Keep up the lessons, H, we're learnin from ya!
     
  16. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Sorry for no updating... I am starting the paper now..
     
  17. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Here is what I got done today

    It's double spaced and is a page and 3/4 already...
    -------------------------------------

    Navajo Code Talkers


    Wollachee! This is the Navajo word for apple. The Navajo Code Talkers were one of the single most important assets to the American Army in World War Two because they, created the first unbreakable code, with this unbreakable code American troops lives were saved, and finally the code took the war to the Japanese. The Navajo Code Talkers are a group of Native Americans that live in the South Western United States. The Navajo people make up North America’s largest tribe of Native Americans. Speaking the language the Navajo’s speak is not easy. Navajo people take nearly twenty years to fully learn the language where as the English language takes a little under eight years. The language uses five tones, high, low, normal, rising, and falling. The words mouth and medicine are pronounced the same in Navajo language but use different tones. Before the start of World War Two, only thirty people in the whole world outside of the Navajo reservation could speak the language fluently. During World War One Navajo’s, Comanche’s, and Choctaws all volunteered for service, at the time there was hardly a need for a code since the cryptogram had just been introduced. A cryptogram is a code that substitutes letters for other letters for example a phrase like this “This is a cryptogram.” Would look like this, “Fkdr dr u bazofmiauc.” after the code was encrypted. This code was one of the greatest codes until a German officer named Kasisiki made a frequency chart that used the most common occurring letters. After this code was broken each country needed a new code, most found new codes very quickly but, the United States still was yet to have an unbreakable code.
    At the start the start of World War Two the United States was in dire need of a code that couldn’t be figured out. A man named Phillip Johnston had the solution, the Navajo people of the Southwestern United States. Johnston’s father had been a Presbyterian missionary to the Navajo’s in the years before and after World War One. Johnston, who grew up being only one of thirty in the world speaking Navajo, served as a translator for his father. Johnston had heard that in Louisiana, Native Americans were being used to operate radios and this sparked an idea about using Navajo’s. Phillip Johnston contacted US officers at Camp Elliot in February of 1942. Lieutenant Colonel James John met with Johnston and was very skeptic of the plan to use Navajo’s because he believed many people knew the language. In reality, only thirty people knew and none of them Japanese. Johnston was annoyed with the rejection but, he argued his point. The Colonel wouldn’t change its mind, to show the complexity of the language Johnston spoke a few words to some marines and quickly the Colonel changed his mind.
     
  18. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    More added and beginning tweaked..

    Da-he-tih-hi! This is the Navajo word for fighter plane. The Navajo Code Talkers were one of the single most important assets to the American Army in World War Two because they, created the first unbreakable code, with this unbreakable code American troops lives were saved, and finally the code took the war to the Japanese. The Navajo Code Talkers are a group of Native Americans that live in the South Western United States. The Navajo people make up North America’s largest tribe of Native Americans. Speaking the language the Navajo’s speak is not easy. Navajo people take nearly twenty years to fully learn the language where as the English language takes a little under eight years. The language uses five tones, high, low, normal, rising, and falling. The words mouth and medicine are pronounced the same in Navajo language but use different tones. Before the start of World War Two, only thirty people in the whole world outside of the Navajo reservation could speak the language fluently. During World War One Navajo’s, Comanche’s, and Choctaws all volunteered for service, at the time there was hardly a need for a code since the cryptogram had just been introduced. A cryptogram is a code that substitutes letters for other letters for example a phrase like this “This is a cryptogram.” Would look like this, “Fkdr dr u bazofmiauc.” after the code was encrypted. This code was one of the greatest codes until a German officer named Kasisiki made a frequency chart that used the most common occurring letters. After this code was broken each country needed a new code, most found new codes very quickly but, the United States still was yet to have an unbreakable code.
    At the start the start of World War Two the United States was in dire need of a code that couldn’t be figured out. A man named Phillip Johnston had the solution, the Navajo people of the Southwestern United States. Johnston’s father had been a Presbyterian missionary to the Navajo’s in the years before and after World War One. Johnston, who grew up being only one of thirty in the world speaking the Navajo language (besides the Navajo’s themselves.), served as a translator for his father. Johnston had heard that in Louisiana, Native Americans were being used to operate radios and this sparked an idea about using Navajo’s. Phillip Johnston contacted US officers at Camp Elliott in February of 1942. Lieutenant Colonel James John met with Johnston and was very skeptic of the plan to use Navajo’s because he believed many people knew the language. In reality, only thirty people outside the Navajo reservation knew and none of them Japanese. Johnston was annoyed with the rejection, but he argued his point. The Colonel wouldn’t change his mind. To show the complexity of the language Johnston spoke a few words to some Marines and quickly the Colonel changed his mind. The idea was then turned over to two higher ranking officers, Major General Clayton Vogel and Colonel Wethered Woodward, for approval. The officers met with four Navajo’s who spoke Navajo and English and asked them to translate a few messages. The two officers were amazed with the language and its accuracy. Johnson was given the green light to create the 382nd Marine Platoon which only had twenty nine Navajo’s as opposed to the original 200.
    The twenty nine Navajo pilot unit was sent to boot camp at Camp Elliott. Like every other marine the Navajo’s learned to march in formation, fire a weapon, and set up a tent. Like most Marines of the time, Navajo’s were expected to shave, have short hair, pay attention, and do well in physical fitness. The Navajo’s passed with flying colors but, like many other in the camp, complained. After basic training was over, the Navajo’s remained in the camp to learn how to use radio equipment and develop the infamous code. “We decided to change the name of the airplanes, ships, and the English ABC’s into the Navajo language. We named airplanes ginigtosh, sparrow hawk, since the sparrow hawk is like an airplane.”(Cozy Stanley Brown, 1942). The code was developed under the administration Phillip Johnston. The Navajo’s began to refine and expand the code over and over. The code was based on twelve frequently used terms in the English alphabet. The repeating letters and more importantly vowels are the sole key to unlocking the code. For instance, the English letter ‘I’ appears regularly in words, the letter appears so often the code talkers know how many times the letter appears in a simple English phrase and then goes and fills in the blanks of a phrase to unlock its true meaning. After many months of refinement the code used 411 terms. The code talkers had to have a great memory and an ability to link the English and Navajo language to be able to send a code. A group of eight Navajo men were sent to the island of New Caledonia in the Pacific. These men were to be used to help send and translate messages because the Japanese were set to invade the island. The Navajo’s would have to prove themselves in battle.
     
  19. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Anyone still interested? :lol:

    Here is the final WITHOUT editing... that'll be tomorrow..

    Navajo Code Talkers


    Da-he-tih-hi! This is the Navajo word for fighter plane. The Navajo Code Talkers were one of the single most important assets to the American Army in World War Two because they, created the first unbreakable code, with this unbreakable code American troops lives were saved, and finally the code took the war to the Japanese. The Navajo Code Talkers are a group of Native Americans that live in the South Western United States. The Navajo people make up North America’s largest tribe of Native Americans. Speaking the language the Navajo’s speak is not easy. Navajo people take nearly twenty years to fully learn the language where as the English language takes a little under eight years. The language uses five tones, high, low, normal, rising, and falling. The words mouth and medicine are pronounced the same in Navajo language but use different tones. Before the start of World War Two, only thirty people in the whole world outside of the Navajo reservation could speak the language fluently. During World War One Navajo’s, Comanche’s, and Choctaws all volunteered for service, at the time there was hardly a need for a code since the cryptogram had just been introduced. A cryptogram is a code that substitutes letters for other letters for example a phrase like this “This is a cryptogram.” Would look like this, “Fkdr dr u bazofmiauc.” after the code was encrypted. This code was one of the greatest codes until a German officer named Kasisiki made a frequency chart that used the most common occurring letters. After this code was broken each country needed a new code, most found new codes very quickly but, the United States still was yet to have an unbreakable code.
    At the start the start of World War Two the United States was in dire need of a code that couldn’t be figured out. A man named Phillip Johnston had the solution, the Navajo people of the Southwestern United States. Johnston’s father had been a Presbyterian missionary to the Navajo’s in the years before and after World War One. Johnston, who grew up being only one of thirty in the world speaking the Navajo language (besides the Navajo’s themselves.), served as a translator for his father. Johnston had heard that in Louisiana, Native Americans were being used to operate radios and this sparked an idea about using Navajo’s. Phillip Johnston contacted US officers at Camp Elliott in February of 1942. Lieutenant Colonel James John met with Johnston and was very skeptic of the plan to use Navajo’s because he believed many people knew the language. In reality, only thirty people outside the Navajo reservation knew and none of them Japanese. Johnston was annoyed with the rejection, but he argued his point. The Colonel wouldn’t change his mind. To show the complexity of the language Johnston spoke a few words to some Marines and quickly the Colonel changed his mind. The idea was then turned over to two higher ranking officers, Major General Clayton Vogel and Colonel Wethered Woodward, for approval. The officers met with four Navajo’s who spoke Navajo and English and asked them to translate a few messages. The two officers were amazed with the language and its accuracy. Johnson was given the green light to create the 382nd Marine Platoon which only had twenty nine Navajo’s as opposed to the original 200.
    The twenty nine Navajo pilot unit was sent to boot camp at Camp Elliott. Like every other marine the Navajo’s learned to march in formation, fire a weapon, and set up a tent. Like most Marines of the time, Navajo’s were expected to shave, have short hair, pay attention, and do well in physical fitness. A Navajo describes his time at the camp, “The treatment was good, as was learning the English Language”(Samuel Smith 2005). Another Navajo offers a far different opinion, “I call it ‘brainwashing’ they were trying to civilize us and be like normal American citizens (Keith Little 2005). The Navajo’s passed with flying colors but, like many other in the camp, complained. After basic training was over, the Navajo’s remained in the camp to learn how to use radio equipment and develop the infamous code. “We decided to change the name of the airplanes, ships, and the English ABC’s into the Navajo language. We named airplanes ginigtosh, sparrow hawk, since the sparrow hawk is like an airplane.”(Cozy Stanley Brown, 1942). The code was developed under the administration Phillip Johnston. The Navajo’s began to refine and expand the code over and over. The code was based on twelve frequently used terms in the English alphabet. The repeating letters and more importantly vowels are the sole key to unlocking the code. For instance, the English letter ‘I’ appears regularly in words, the letter appears so often the code talkers know how many times the letter appears in a simple English phrase and then goes and fills in the blanks of a phrase to unlock its true meaning. After many months of refinement the code used 411 terms. The code talkers had to have a great memory and an ability to link the English and Navajo language to be able to send a code. A group of eight Navajo men were sent to the island of New Caledonia in the Pacific. These men were to be used to help send and translate messages because the Japanese were set to invade the island. The Navajo’s would have to prove themselves in battle.
    In battle the Navajo Code Talkers had to protect themselves from enemy fire. They were given an array of guns to do so with. Rifles such as the M1 Garand and the M1A1 Carbine were the most commonly seen by the Navajo’s. In very rare, unique situations Navajo’s were given guns such as the Browning Automatic Rifle or BAR, M1A1931 thirty caliber light machine gun, and the Thompson sub machine gun. These guns were heavy, to compensate for this the Navajo’s were issued rifles. The Navajo’s carried a giant twenty pound radio on their back into battle and trying to wield a forty pound machine gun is not ideal. The rifles weighed anywhere from nine to eleven pounds making mobility easy. Before February 1943 the Navajo’s didn’t carry their own radio, it was carried by a man in their squad. During the heat of battle, Navajo’s sometimes couldn’t reach the man with the radio. Finally, in February of 1943 the Navajo’s were equip with their own radio, ready for battle.
    The Navajo’s most important part was the application of the code to battle. On Guadalcanal their need for speed and accuracy was amazing. One unnamed Navajo, whose name has been lost in history said, “We had to be careful not to repeat words in a sentenece. On Guadalcanal we needed to move constantly due to Japanese shelling. Also, we learned not to use a word too often.” On Guadalcanal the Japanese were baffled by the code and it turned out to be a great success. Many Japanese citizens were educated in the United States and were able to detect false messages or code words. The Navajo code changed all of this. Since Japanese soldiers could speak American, they’d call US artillery batteries and give coordinates to fire on their own troops, so a commonly asked phrase was “Have you got a Navajo?” Of course this great success of the code didn’t come without a price. The Navajo people were pacifists and when fighting began many Navajo’s couldn’t handle the press. This lead to many try to desert the army or give themselves up to be tortured. Saipan was the first battle that the Navajo’s were recognized throughout the army. One Navajo had his Landing Craft turned over during the assault he said, “As I was coming ashore someone cut off my pack with a knife and water was coming out of my mouth and nose; but I survived, and we found our company that night” (Unknown 2004). During Saipan the Navajo’s scanned the battle field and saw dying men begging to be saved, Tanks getting hit directly by artillery, and mangled bodies from Japanese mortars. In battle the Navajo’s looked like they were Japanese, so on many occasions US marines took some Navajo’s prisoner. The army wasted so much time questioning and taking there own men prisoner more lives could’ve been saved. Navajo’s faced many scary oppositions during battles in the Pacific such as Banzai or suicide charges, mine, snipers, bombing raids, and being mistaken and almost shot by their own comrades on some occasions. The Navajo’s had accomplished there mission in the Pacific, it was a great success.
    The Navajo Code Talkers were a great asset to the American Army, Navy, and Marines because they helped coordinate missions in secrecy. Some entire missions were based on Navajo’s and their code. “Were it not for the Navajos, the marines would’ve never taken Iwo Jima! In face, the entire operation was directed by Navajo” (Major Howard M. Conner 1945). Navajo’s fought with dignity in World War II. Navajo’s showed that it doesn’t take an army of men to win a battle, rather, closely coordinated radio talk and few men can defeat a whole army. Without the Navajo’s it is almost certain that the Japanese could’ve possibly anticipated attack, move troops accordingly, and the US could possibly suffer a major defeat. With a weak army at the beginning of the war, a large defeat was not an option. Navajo code also saved many marines lives, since the Japanese were fluent in English all it took was a single call to an American radio battery and US marines would shell there own men. “The younger generations need to know the stories and lives of older people and of the past” (Cozy Stanley Brown 2004).
     
  20. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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