Navajo Code Talkers Day celebrates crucial second world war contribution | World news | The Guardian

14 Aug

When Navajo servicemen used their native Indian language to create an unbreakable code, they helped the Allies get one step closer to victory over Japan in the second world war – a contribution celebrated on Friday as Navajo Code Talkers Day.

From 1942 to 1945, approximately 400 code talkers participated in every marine assault in the Pacific, as they transmitted important information by telephone and radio.

The idea to use Navajo for secure communication came from first world war veteran Philip Johnston, who had learned the language as a child as the son of a missionary to the Navajos.

The language is extremely complex. At that time, it had no written form either using an alphabet or symbols. Only approximately 30 non-Navajos understood the language when the second world war began. No Japanese citizens did.

via Navajo Code Talkers Day celebrates crucial second world war contribution | World news | The Guardian.

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