Marc Simmons: Navajo Code Talkers won overdue recognition

"Not longer ago, I heard a radio announcement that another of the now-famous Navajo Code Talkers of World War II had died. Flags were being lowered to half-mast throughout the Navajo Nation.

So secret was the existence and mission of the Code Talkers, that 24 years passed after the war’s end before the history of this elite Marine Corps unit was declassified and made known to the public.

Since then, a half-dozen or more books on the subject have been published and a major motion picture, Windtalkers, was released in 2002.

After America was thrown into a major Pacific conflict with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in late 1941, the Marines recruited 29 young Navajos off the reservation who spoke both English and their native language.

The aim was to train them as communication specialists who could send and receive messages in Navajo that baffled the Japanese."

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Marc Simmons: Trail Dust: Recognition came slowly to Navajo Code Talkers (The Santa Fe New Mexican 8/24)

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