Navajo code talkers


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Navajo code talkers

  1. 1. NAVAJO CODE TALKERS Lynn Trowbridge & Katie Russell
  2. 2. Phillip Johnston <ul><li>Son of a missionary to a Navajo Tribe </li></ul><ul><li>Fluently spoke the Navajo Language </li></ul><ul><li>Believed that because Navajo is an unwritten language and would be unintelligible to anyone except another Navajo </li></ul>
  3. 3. Johnston’s Idea <ul><li>Navajo Code Talkers program was established September 1942 </li></ul><ul><li>Johnston recommended the program to Major General Clayton P. Vogel </li></ul><ul><li>Said it could guarantee communications security </li></ul>
  4. 4. Who are the Navajo Code Talkers? <ul><li>Young Navajo men </li></ul><ul><li>Sheepherders and farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Recruited and drafted by Army, Navy, Marines </li></ul><ul><li>The average age was 16 </li></ul><ul><li>Underwent intense basic training </li></ul><ul><li>After basic training they completed extensive training in communications and memorizing the code </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Code <ul><li>Used everyday tribal language to convey messages </li></ul><ul><li>Some developed and used special codes based on their languages </li></ul><ul><li>29 original Navajo Code Talkers created the original code </li></ul><ul><li>Consisted of 200 terms </li></ul><ul><li>Short and concise so they could confuse the enemy </li></ul>
  6. 6. Understanding the Code <ul><li>Only 200 terms </li></ul><ul><li>Used and combined standard native words to create new terms for military and equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Ex: chay-da-gahi meant tank </li></ul><ul><li>Created an innovative alphabet </li></ul><ul><li>The Code Talkers had to translate the Navajo word into it’s English counterpart </li></ul><ul><li>Then they took the first letter of the English word </li></ul><ul><li>Ex: Woo-la-chee meant ant and represented the letter A </li></ul><ul><li>Beginning of the War </li></ul><ul><li>During the War </li></ul>
  7. 7. Special Code Words <ul><li>Had to develop special words for World War II military terms </li></ul><ul><li>Types of planes, ships, and weapons </li></ul><ul><li>Given picture charts so they could see the items </li></ul><ul><li>After looking at the pictures they would come up with words that fit the pictures </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sending Messages <ul><li>They had to know how to operate both wire and radio equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Had to know how to set up and maintain electronic communication wires </li></ul><ul><li>Given the message in English and they didn’t write them down </li></ul><ul><li>They then translated the message and sent it to another code talker </li></ul>
  9. 9. Location of Code Talkers <ul><li>World War II </li></ul><ul><li>Pacific Theater 1942-1945 </li></ul><ul><li>Participated in the major battles in the Pacific </li></ul><ul><li>Ex: Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Saipan ect. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Need for Code Talkers <ul><li>Japanese possessed an elite group of well trained English speaking soldiers </li></ul><ul><li>Intercepted US messages and interpreted </li></ul><ul><li>Sabotaged the message or issued falste commands to ambush US troops </li></ul><ul><li>Too avoid interpretation, the military started creating extremely complex codes </li></ul><ul><li>Took too long to decode a single message </li></ul>
  11. 11. Success <ul><li>The Navajo Code Talkers were successful because their new codes confused the Japanese </li></ul><ul><li>The Japanese had only studied English and had no idea what to do with the Navajo language </li></ul><ul><li>They had no idea what it was </li></ul><ul><li>Also, with the new code, messages got through faster because the code talkers understood each other </li></ul><ul><li>No more complex codes </li></ul>
  12. 12. References <ul><li>&quot;Navajo Code Talkers.&quot; U.S. Senate Jeff Bingaman: Democrat from New Mexico . Web. 04 Apr. 2011. <>. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;NMAI Codetalkers.&quot; National Museum of the American Indian . Web. 04 Apr. 2011. <>. </li></ul><ul><li>People's Paths Home Page!&quot; - History - Navajo Code Talkers.&quot; &quot;the People's Paths Home Site!&quot; North American Indian & Indigenous People! Web. 04 Apr. 2011. <>. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The Code Talker Story.&quot; The Offical Website of the Navajo Code Talkers . Web. 4 Apr. 2011. <>. </li></ul>