Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Navajo Code Talkers

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These men were captured by the Wind Talkers. Wind Talkers were a group of men within the Marines that created a special launguage known as the "Navajo Code". One Marine stated that if it were not for the Wind Talkers, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima and other places.

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The Navajo Code was created by a Navajo Code Talker obtaining a string of unrelated Navajo words, then they translated every word into English, then they used the first letter in every word to make a whole word in English. The original Navajo Code Talkers also created and learned approximately 450 words that represented military terms.

The first group of 29 recruits in May 1942, developed a dictionary

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Selections from Interview with Joe Kellwood on December 28, 2004:

"From here I went to San Diego. Let me go back, I enlisted in Albuquerque, they give you two weeks to put your (things in order) and return to where you enlisted. You go there ready to go. All prepared to go into the service. In my case, they sent me down here (Phoenix), We stopped in Gallup, New Mexico, in the evening. Here comes all these Navajos that I went to school with and a lot of others that I don’t know. I ask where they’re going and they say, “San Diego, Marine Corps.” So there’s a group of us that come from NM to Needles. It’s one of those places, I know there’s Williams and there’s Needles. I have to change the train there to go to Phoenix and there rest went on through L.A. and on to San Diego. I was coming down to Wickenburg at 10:00 o’clock in the morning. My instructions were, when you get off the train go a block east and a block north. I stay overnight here and they have a place for me to stay and they furnish me food. The next day in the evening, we left here and stopped some place for a freight train to go by. We were near Yuma. They had the double engine, that they put onto the one we had. So we went through the tunnels. We stopped in old Mexico. Service people are on the side, all guarding the train, so no one jumps off. From there we made it to San Diego.
That’s how I joined the service

You asked me why I joined the Marines. My sister was kind of getting scary. Because the way these enemies were doing things, torture. I just let her know that I was going to get training to meet the enemy. And that made her cry."

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These are the silver and gold medals the first 29 navajo code talkers recieved in world war two.
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