Far East and Pacific Theaters

The Navaho Code Talkers

In January 2000, Hasbro released a "Navajo Code Talker" as a 12-inch figure in its GI Joe doll line. Originally advertised at, a search on 1/8/06 did not indicate a continuing availability of this action figure; ebay had two 1999-dated dolls. 

See also, William C. Meadows, The Comanche Code Talkers of World War II (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2003).

Aaseng, Nathan. Navajo Code Talkers. New York: Walker, 1992. New York: Walker Childrens, 1994. [pb] lists this 96-page book as for ages 10 and up.

Bixler, Margaret T. Winds of Freedom: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II. Darien, CT: Two Bytes Press, 1992.

From publisher: This book "explores and broadens understanding of the Navajo Nation and its culture by telling the real-life stories of a remarkable group of Navajo men who developed and implemented the only code the enemy was never able to decipher during World War II."

Fonseca, Felicia. "Chevron Donates Land for Code Talkers Museum." Associated Press, 1 Aug. 2009. []

On 31 July 2009, Chevron Mining Inc. donated 208 acres of land to the Navajo Code Talkers Association for a museum and veterans center. "Several hundred Navajos served as Code Talkers during the war.... They took part in every assault the Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, including the battles of Guadalcanal, Saipan and Iwo Jima."

Huffman, Stephen. "The Navajo Code Talkers: A Cryptologic and Linguistic Perspective." Cryptologia 24, no. 4 (Oct. 2000): 289-320.

The security of the code used by the Navajo code talkers lay "in the profound difference between the phonetic systems of Navajo and Japanese. This difference effectively prevented the Japanese intercept operators from producing the consistent transcriptions of coded messages that were essential to cryptanalytic attack."

Ilnytzky, Ula. "Navajo Code Talkers Break Silence for Veterans Day." Associated Press, 10 Nov. 2009. []

Only about 50 of the 400 Navajo Code Talkers of World War II "are believed to be still alive, most living in the Navajo Nation reservation that spans Arizona, New Mexico and Utah." On 10 November 2009, "13 of the Code Talkers, some using canes, a few in wheelchairs, arrived in New York City to participate for the first time in the nation's largest Veterans Day parade" on 11 November 2009.

Kahn, David, ed. "From the Archives: Codetalkers Not Wanted." Cryptologia 29, no. 1 (Jan. 2005): 76-87.

Kahn introduces and presents some documents pertaining to the use (or non-use) of Native Americans as codetalkers for secrecy in radiotelephonic communications by the military in World War II.

Meadows, William C. The Comanche Code Talkers of World War II. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2003.

Kruh, Cryptologia 28.1, notes that the author follows the group of Comanche Code Talkers that landed in Normandy on D-Day "from their recruitment and training to their active duty in World War II and on through their postwar lives up to the present.... Meadows sets this history in a larger discussion of the development of Native American code talkers in World Wars I and II.... It is a very thorough study."

McCullagh, Declan. "Clinton Honors Navajo Heroes." Wired News, 18 Apr. 2000. [,1283,35730,00.html]

In a ceremony in Shiprock, New Mexico, on 17 April 2000, President Clinton "highlighted the accomplishments of the roughly 420 Navajo tribe members turned cryptographers who served in WWII."

Nez, Chester, with Judith Schiess Avila. Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII. New York: Berkley, 2011. 2012. [pb]

"Chester Nez, 93, last of the original 29 Navaho codetalkers of World War II, died ... on 4 June 2014." Intelligencer 20.3 (Spring-Summer 2014), 83-84.

Christensen, Cryptologia 37.3 (2013), says this "is an engaging story. It reads quickly.... What stands out ... is the description of the cryptographic principles used in the constuction of the Navaho code."

Paul, Doris A. The Navajo Code Talkers. Pittsburgh, PA: Dorrance, 1973. 1998. [pb]

From publisher: This book "is the single most comprehensive account of the contribution of the Navajo native Americans in World War II. Its authentic photos and illustrations have been featured on CBS Television's 'An American Portrait' series, and the book itself has been profiled on the ABC Nightly News."

Purdum, Todd S. "Navajo War Effort No Longer Unheralded." New York Times, 11 Oct. 1999. []

"[T]the embroidery on the battered red and yellow caps covering their grizzled heads and tanned faces proclaims their proud name: Navajo Code Talkers."

Sexton, Connie Cone, and Betty Reid. "Lloyd Oliver, Among Last of Original Code Talkers, Dies at 87." Arizona Republic, 18 Mar. 2011. []

Lloyd Oliver, who died on 16 March 2011, "was the second-to-last remaining Navajo Code Talker of the original group that designed an unbreakable oral code using their native tongue to confuse the Japanese during World War II. The last survivor, Chester Nez, lives in New Mexico."

Weadon, Patrick D. Origins of the Navajo Code Talkers: Cryptologic Brilliance, Linguistic Expertise, Dedication To Duty. Ft. George G. Meade, MD: National Security Agency, Center for Cryptologic History, 2002. []

This work outlines the persistence of 50s-something Philip Johnston and the success his vision met with the integration of the Navajo Code Talkers into the Marines' battlefield communications system.

Return to WWII - Marine Corps

Return to Far East & Pacific Table of Contents