Navajo Code Talkers

Navajo U.S. Marine Corps code-talker recruits being sworn in at Fort Wingate

Navajo U.S. Marine Corps code-talker recruits being sworn in at Fort Wingate (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Code talkers are people in the 20th century who used obscure languages as a means of secret communication during wartime. The term is now usually associated with the United States service members during the world wars who used their knowledge of Native American languages as a basis to transmit coded messages. In particular, there were approximately 400–500 Native Americans in the United States Marine Corps whose primary job was the transmission of secret tactical messages. Code talkers transmitted these messages over military telephone or radio communications nets using formal or informally developed codes built upon their native languages. Their service improved the speed of encryption of communications at both ends in front line operations during World War II.

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. Code talking, however, was pioneered by the Cherokee and Choctaw peoples during World War I. Wikipedia

Learn more about Navajo Code Talkers through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about Navajo Code Talkers

"Indian Marines Sing 'Halls of Montezuma' In Navajo Language" 28 Jan 1943, Thu Tucson Citizen (Tucson, Arizona) Newspapers.comNewspaper article discusses Navajo Code Talkers and use of Navajo language as basis for WWII codeNewspaper article discusses Navajo Code Talkers and use of Navajo language as basis for WWII code 19 Sep 1945, Wed The Richmond News Leader (Richmond, Virginia) Newspapers.com"Forgotten Men Of World War II" "Navajo Boast Fine Record As Fighters" 28 Jun 1947, Sat Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona) Newspapers.comNavajo Code Talkers and stories of other Native American contributions to WWIINavajo Code Talkers and stories of other Native American contributions to WWII Sat, Aug 16, 1947 – Page 5 · Tucson Daily Citizen (Tucson, Arizona) · Newspapers.comArticle about Philip Johnston, who originated the idea of using Navajo speakers as code talkersArticle about Philip Johnston, who originated the idea of using Navajo speakers as code talkers 14 Jun 1956, Thu Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, Arizona) Newspapers.comLocal Navajo served as Code Talkers during World War IILocal Navajo served as Code Talkers during World War II Sun, Aug 5, 1962 – Page 16 · The San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, California) · Newspapers.comNavajo Code Talkers: Stories of Valor and PatriotismNavajo Code Talkers: Stories of Valor and Patriotism Wed, Aug 11, 1976 – Page 29 · The Gallup Independent (Gallup, New Mexico) · Newspapers.com1982 resolution proposes designating August 14 as National Navajo Code Talkers' Day1982 resolution proposes designating August 14 as National Navajo Code Talkers' Day 19 Mar 1982, Fri Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona) Newspapers.comNavajo Code Talkers march in inaugural paradeNavajo Code Talkers march in inaugural parade Fri, Jan 20, 1989 – Page 5 · Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona) · Newspapers.comCode Talker exhibit opens at the Pentagon in 1992Code Talker exhibit opens at the Pentagon in 1992 19 Nov 1992, Thu The Hill Top Times (Hill Air Force Base, Utah) Newspapers.comExcerpt about Navajo Code Talkers, featuring interview with Samuel Billison & examples of code termsExcerpt about Navajo Code Talkers, featuring interview with Samuel Billison & examples of code terms 30 May 1999, Sun The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware) Newspapers.comNavajo Code Talkers are the inspiration for movies, toysNavajo Code Talkers are the inspiration for movies, toys Fri, Mar 17, 2000 – Page 30 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.com"Arizona Burger King offers side of history on Navajo code talkers" 27 Mar 2000, Mon The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) Newspapers.comWWII's Navajo Code Talkers receive medalsWWII's Navajo Code Talkers receive medals Fri, Jul 27, 2001 – 3 · Hattiesburg American (Hattiesburg, Mississippi) · Newspapers.comNavajo Code Talkers will speak to local residents in WisconsinNavajo Code Talkers will speak to local residents in Wisconsin Thu, Apr 25, 2002 – 3 · Fond Du Lac Commonwealth Reporter (Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin) · Newspapers.com"Windtalkers" movie a story of Navajo Code Talkers Fri, Jun 14, 2002 – 172 · The Times (Munster, Indiana) · Newspapers.com"Code Talkers May Get Monument" 02 Mar 2003, Sun Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Newspapers.comNewspaper article excerpt featuring interviews with former code talkers Keith Little and Jimmy BegayNewspaper article excerpt featuring interviews with former code talkers Keith Little and Jimmy Begay 09 Nov 2003, Sun The South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Indiana) Newspapers.com"Fact Sheet: World War II Navajo Code Talkers" Fri, Nov 11, 2005 – 55 · Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, Florida) · Newspapers.comInterview with Navajo Code Talker Dr. Samuel BillisonInterview with Navajo Code Talker Dr. Samuel Billison Fri, Nov 11, 2005 – 55 · Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, Florida) · Newspapers.com"Money needed to build Navajo Code Talkers Museum" 28 Jul 2022, Thu Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina) Newspapers.com
"Navajo Code Talkers," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/world-war2/navajo-code-talkers/ : accessed April 15, 2024)