The name code talkers is strongly associated with bilingual Navajo speakers specially recruited during World War II by the US Marine Corps to serve in their standard communications units of the Pacific theater. Code talking, however, was pioneered by the Cherokee and Choctaw peoples during World War I.(1)
The unbreakable code was coded Navajo spoken by native speakers of Navajo. The idea of using Amerindian languages for military communications went back to World War I when Company D of the 141st Infantry Division utilized eight Choctaws to convey military orders by telephone.
Peter MacDonald is one of the last remaining Navajo Code Talkers. The former chairman of the Navajo Nation recently sat down with VAntage Point staff to explain what made the “unbreakable” code so effective, and how it helped save lives and secure victory in the Pacific.
“Without Navajo, Marines would never have taken the island of Iwo Jima,” he said. “That’s how critical Navajo Code was to the war in the Pacific.” (3)
Thomas H. Begay recalls the Navajo Code Talker program...
Thomas H. Begay sings the Marine Corps Hynm in Navajo.
(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_talker , (2) http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/navajocodetalk.htm (3) https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/71737/the-battle-of-iwo-jima-and-the-unbreakable-code/