Talk:Code talker

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Broken page move: Codetalkers[edit]

Moved from Wikipedia:Village pump on Saturday, September 13th, 02003.

User:David Martland has moved the codetalkers article to code talkers using copy-and-paste, leaving the edit history behind. What is the way to fix this? —Paul A 06:32, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)

The procedure is explained at Wikipedia:How to rename (move) a page#Fixing cut and paste moves but can only be done by admins, which is what I believe Hephaestos is doing right now. Angela 06:38, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)


it extremely hard to beleive the japanese did not break this code. its possible they broke it and just didnt use their intel very effectively, for example if there was a lag of several days or more in between message interception, decryption, and decision making. considering that the japanese were able to successfully break far more sophisticated codes, I suspect this story has more than a bit of folk myth/hollywoodism mixed into it. especially considering that its now politically correct to heap praise on the formerly unrecognized native americans who participated in the project. Id like to see some sources, preferably japanese military, admitting they never broke it. Vroman 05:14, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Lieutenant General Seizo Arisue (the Japanese chief of intelligence) later on made it known that while other American codes were broken, the Navajo code was not. --Bletch 19:43, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This is suffering from broken links G Evans 4 nov 04

I recently read that on at least one occasions the German army in Russia used a something similiar during WW2 to call off an attack. Since the message could only be transmitted to an isolated unit via radio, the radio operator spoke Swabian, which the other operator understood but not the Russians who intercepted the message.

Many More photos to be added[edit]

Basque[edit]

I have heard several times that among the codetalkers there were Basque speakers. Can somebody confirm?

I find Asunto: Code Talker that mentions:

  • Battle of Guadalcanal
  • Book Los españoles en la guerra del Pacífico by Daniel Arasa
  • planned by Transmissions Captain Frank D. Carranza, son of Basque immigrants who noticed 60 bilingual Basque-descent marines at the transmissions training centert at San Francisco.
  • Tests in Basque and North American languages start (1942) between San Diego and the Pacific headquarters
  • Admiral Nimitz had as Basque translators lieutenants Nemesio Aguirre, Fernández Bakaicoa and Juanna
  • To complicate things there was a schedule of languages:
    • Monday Basque
    • Tuesday Navajo
    • Wednesday Iroquois
    • Thursday Comanche
    • Friday Basque
    • Saturday Mix
    • Sunday Navajo
  • Some examples of Basque messages.
  • After Guadalcanal, it was difficult to find more codetalkers so Navajo was replacing the rest of languages.

In http://www.thememoryhole.org/foi/caselogs/dod-2002.xls :

  • 899
  • 02-F-0874
  • OIARZABAL, PEDRO
  • REQ ACCESS TO RESTRICTED RECORDS RELATED TO AMERICANS (OF BASQUE ORIGIN, I.E. FROM SPAIN OR FRANCE; BASQUE-FRENCH, OR BASQUE SPANISH) WHO SERVED IN WWII; USE OF BASQUE LANGUAGE TO TRANSMIT SENSITIVE MILITARY INFO DURING WWII (PACIFIC CAMPAIGN) BASQUE LANG

--Error 01:21, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

It seems that everybody is quoting Daniel Arasa's book. --Error (talk) 00:06, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Philip "Calcium Hydroxide" Johnston[edit]

What is the source of the nickname "Calcium Hydroxide" in 'Philip "Calcium Hydroxide" Johnston'? --Amir E. Aharoni 15:22, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

This was the only page on the internets with it, so I removed it. Random vandalism, presumably, tho I don't feel like hunting thru the logs to find out who added it, and what other pages they hit as well.--Severinus 22:53, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. --Amir E. Aharoni 07:12, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

German anthropologists among the Native American tribes[edit]

Recent addition by unnamed IP address: " It can be noted that at that time:the Navajo asked these "white peaple", which differed from other Americans, of their intensions and were skeptical. Therefore, knowing of other Indain code used in warfare and stronge sence of pride, the Navajo strongly encouraged these 'Anrhropolgits' to leave immidiatly(These contacts with the 'outsiders' were reported to the U.S Goverment and/or Military during the war)." Among the spelling and grammar mishaps, there's a good story. Needs a reference, though. Binksternet 01:54, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

I reverted the edit about the time you entered this. I took it out because I wasn't sure if it was legit, and the spelling and grammar was so bad it could have been a joke edit. Has anyone heard this story? Any evidence to support the claims? -- wrp103 (Bill Pringle) (Talk) 03:32, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Bill, I agree with your delete action; I saved the text here anticipating the originator's ability to find a reference. I haven't heard the story before but if true, it's worth inclusion. Binksternet 04:03, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I've seen the story cited, pretty much as written above (w/o the spelling and grammar issues) but can't remember the source. As the Navajo of the time, late 30s as I recollect, were rather reclusive, it makes sense that they would have found this group of folk to be rather curious in their intense interest in the language and dialects. Irish Melkite (talk) 01:00, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Expanded article[edit]

Perhaps the article could be expanded to include other occurences of usage of a lesser known language or dialect in order to obfuscate a message. Finland used some Finnish dialects and Ostrobothnian Swedish-language dialects to fool Soviet signals intelligence during the Winter War and Continuation War to great success (English-language sources for example W. Trotter's The Winter War). 88.148.192.117 13:05, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I would have no problem with a "See also" entry pointing that an article about that, but the term "Code Talker" refers specifically to Native Americans. -- wrp103 (Bill Pringle) (Talk) 13:10, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I support the idea of a paragraph about other instances of code talking besides Native Americans in the US military. What other page would such a story belong on? This is it. Binksternet 13:48, 19 October 2007 (UTC)


The movie's fabrications[edit]

I think we should take all mention of the movie Windtalkers out of the article's body and put all that stuff in one section where its fabrications can be addressed. A few relevant things from the Windtalkers's "Criticism" section could be brought here. Binksternet 01:34, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Since there's only the one mention of the movie until the end of the article, I think it certainly could be removed from the top, but i disagree that there should be a large discussion of the film in this article. As you point out, there is already an article for the film with a substantial section on criticisms of it, and that's the appropriate place for it. I think a simple mention that a film was made, that it was fictional, and that it didn't accurately portray the true story of code talkers in WWII is all that's necessary here, and if people want more, they will go to the article for the film. norm77 13:45, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Good idea. Binksternet 15:26, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
One caveat is that people who only know about Code Talkers through the movie (or from others who have seen the movie) may have false impressions. This article should correct those false impressions, although it probably shouldn't be in a "this is a list of what was wrong about Windtalkers"-type way. Addressing the misperceptions just in the Windtalkers article isn't sufficient, because by the time people come here, they may not know that those misperceptions originally came from the movie Windtalkers. -- 128.104.112.85 (talk) 23:42, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the sentence involving code talker bodyguards should be edited because it misrepresents a critic's opinion as fact. [2] Title XI, section 1102 a10B Spider96 —Preceding comment was added at 09:55, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Also the sentence about fabrication of the bodyguards and racial stereotypes under Popular Culture cannot be attributed to the Ronin Group review. The review only offers the opinion that the bodyguards are an insult (not that they are fabricated) and it does not mention racial stereotypes at all. IanRiley 14:25, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Wiki for the Blind[edit]

I am 19 years old and blind. I am interested in adding relevant items to wiki that help the blind "visualize" and grasp the subjects at hand. I love the tradition of oral storytelling. I have added a link to a radio story by The American Storyteller.--Trgwilson (talk) 05:30, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Possible copyvio: Which page copied the other?[edit]

Hey folks,

Sections of this article read a lot like this page: [3] Did Wikipedia copy from samuelholiday, or did samuelholiday copy from Wikipedia? If they copied Wikipedia, that's fine, but they need to acknowledge Wikipedia. If we copied them, we need to remove all the copyvio elements (or substantially rewrite them). The sections are "Use of Navajo", "Cryptographic properties", and "Post-war Recognition". Thoughts? --Deathphoenix ʕ 18:18, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

I'll be posting something similar to Talk:Joe Kieyoomia, as the article is virtually identical to the samuelholiday one. --Deathphoenix ʕ 18:20, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

The key here is the differences: the article says "words to represent letters" and the external link says "letters to spell out words" - so let's look through the article history to find if it was letters/words sometime in the past. Sure enough, it used to have that wording. Now you just have to work around to find some spot where the Wiki article is identical to the external article, that is a pretty good indication that someone has copied the wiki-text for themselves without giving a credit.
That seems to be the case here, I suspect the external site was copied from Wikipedia sometime between 02Aug06 and 06Dec06 - I'm not going to try to pin it down any more than that.
NB that I have a nifty little piece of software that lets me find phrases ultra-quick, I didn't walk back through the entire article history. :) Franamax (talk) 18:49, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks for the extra info. I'll contact the necessary Wikipedia PR folks who can contact this web site to provide proper attribution. Given the respect I have for the web site and its "owner", I hope they'll be gentle. :-) --Deathphoenix ʕ 19:40, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Good work in finding which old WP version matches the external one, but that doesn't quite prove who copied whom. If the article had been created or substantially rewritten by one editor in 2006, it would still look suspiciously like a copyvio. However, the previous history shows that dozens of editors built it over several years. I agree that the WP article is clearly original, and thus any copies elsewhere must be derivatives. Certes (talk) 21:42, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Article name change[edit]

Why the article name change? Navajos are not the only American Indian tribe who were codetalkers not the first ... The article should be "Code Talkers" so as to be all inclusive ... otherwise I'll need to create a Choctaw code talkers article. Rob (talk) 22:16, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. This was a unilateral move by a new editor who didn't discuss ahead of time. I'm restoring the article to the way it was. Binksternet (talk) 22:34, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Shoot. The system prevented me from moving the article to Code talker like it was before. I was able to move it to Code Talkers instead, which doesn't wholly satisfy. The capital 'T' is leftover from the formal name of "Navajo Code Talkers" and the pluralization isn't the way it was before, though I can't see any benefit from having just one code talker... Binksternet (talk) 22:45, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I think the plural is better, if for no other reason than that code talkers had to work in groups of two or more! Is it possible (desirable?) to move this to Code talkers with lower case "t"? Robert Greer (talk) 23:20, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
No, I just tried and the system prevented me. Binksternet (talk) 19:36, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
You can file a request at WP:RPM to get the page moved to the right title. Tell the story briefly and an admin can sort it out. Franamax (talk) 21:03, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I moved the page. I think the problem was that there already was a page "Code talker" that linked to "Code Talkers". -- wrp103 (Bill Pringle) (Talk) 01:25, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Chinese regional languages[edit]

I heard yesterday from a Chinese friend that the Chinese used speakers of village dialects as code talkers during WWII. I don't have time to look for sources right now, but it would be an interesting addition to this article. --Slashme (talk) 12:36, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

GOCE[edit]


Mlpearc powwow 06:47, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Time discrepancies[edit]

So... the project wasn't declassified until 1968, but a Navajo code talker character was featured in a 1959 movie? Some clarification required.85.64.187.236 (talk) 21:17, 2 August 2011 (UTC)Yuval

"Classified" doesn't mean that no-one knew they existed. The program was classified, not the people. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 22:16, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Unlikely Example[edit]

"bomber was "pregnant airplane" " seems unlikely, as 'airplane' would hardly have been a term in any of the languages or dialects. In conversation with Native Americans, they indicate that words for 'new' or 'modern' things are rarely created. They either use the English language term or create a term using a combination of existing words in their tongue that effectively describe the idea - more often the former, if it's a concept that could be expected to be ongoing in their lives.

I've seen 'buzzard' - as referenced later in the article - as well as 'pregnant bird', 'mother bird', and a few other variants, but never 'pregnant airplane'. Irish Melkite (talk) 01:10, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

There are a bunch of books that say "pregnant airplane" was the term for bomber. Just looking now, I found a few that say "pregnant bird".
Perhaps we can add "pregnant bird" to the article, even though more sources say "pregnant airplane". Binksternet (talk) 01:52, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Blake's footnote to that line is to wikipedia, so it's circuitous. Notably, the only 2 books listed above which are specific to the subject of code talkers (Gilbert & Meadows) use the term 'pregnant bird'. Keoke & Porterfield's text is a generic compilation of Native American contributions to the world; Johnson's is a similar compilation only broadened to contributions by people of color.
That leaves the quote attributed to Charles Chibitty in the AL magazine. Every citation that I was able to find basically repeated Mr Chibitty's words - except one
"The Comanches had a native word for airplane, but could not distinguish among fighters, bombers and other types. The tribe members huddled and decided upon "Who-chew-no-ah Vuk-kuta" (pregnant airplane) for bomber."
That quote comes from http://www.wwiilectureinstitute.com/stories/foster.htm?cid=05 and is in a July 5, 2000 article titled "WWII Comanche code helped foil enemy" by By Edward Levenson, Philly Burbs Staff Writer. The article is about a talk given by Major General Hugh F. Foster, Jr. (Ret.) - who, as a 1st Lt in the Signal Corps, worked with the Comanche on development of their code.
So, on that basis, I guess pregnant airplane works as a Comanche term.
However, the Navaho Code Talkers Dictionary - at http://www.snowwowl.com/histcodedictionary.html - offers 'gini', translated as 'chicken hawk', for a dive bomber and 'jay-sho', translated as 'buzzard', for a bomber. A plane is 'sidi', translated as 'bird'. Irish Melkite (talk) 04:23, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Why "however"? What's your point? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:28, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
That 'pregnant airplane', 'buzzard', and 'pregnant bird' were all used as terms for bomber, depending on the tribe/language of the code-talker. Irish Melkite (talk) 04:34, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Note that we are not here to decide which source is the right one; we are here to decide which sources are prominent enough to tell the reader what they say. If two prominent, reliable sources say two different things, per WP:NPOV we list them both. It is entirely possible for us to say that the Choctaw term for bomber was either pregnant airplane or pregnant bird. Binksternet (talk) 04:38, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
@Irish Melkite: OK. Your use of "however" still doesn't make sense though. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:43, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Also: Choctaw terms were not the same as Navajo terms. The Navajo had several words for bomber, depending on what type. A level bomber was a buzzard, a dive bomber was a chicken hawk, and a torpedo bomber was a swallow. Binksternet (talk) 04:45, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Irish code talkers[edit]

I tried to find details of the use of the Irish language by the military. I think it was in Cyprus on a UN mission. Does anyone have details so that it can be added.--Dmol (talk) 14:34, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

I can't cite, but I can say while it's not common knowledge, it is widely accepted in common conversation that Irish soliders have used the language while on UN peacekeeping missions. Whilst I can't speak for the veracity, I've also heard that the Israeli army has had members trained in Irish to use in this manner as it's expected that given the difference in languages, it would be quite unlikely any opposition would have the language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.44.83.105 (talk) 02:53, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Meskwaki Code Talkers[edit]

Interview with Donald Wanatee, Sr, Meskwaki (Sac & Fox) Tribal Council Member and stepson of a Meskwaki Code Talker, Marshalltown (Iowa) Historical Society, 16Aug2012.


    The Meskwaki code talkers were recruited in a special program in February 1941. Twenty-seven started the program and eight graduated. The were not aware of any other tribes recruited this way. They spent the week in training locally at the Marshalltown Coliseum ; physical and wilderness training was by hiking to the neighboring town of Albion and camping along the river. The went home to the Meskwaki Settlement on weekends. Once the U.S. was in the war, they were sent to Louisiana swamps for Army integration and the eight were sent to England and then to participate in the North African invasion, Nov 1942.
    At the Battle of Kasserine Pass, the first big U.S. battle against Rommel, in which the US Army was soundly whipped, the unit the code talkers were with ran out of ammunition and were told to disperse -- every man for himself and don't get caught. They headed south into the desert. The Air Force was supposed to provide search and rescue. The code talkers came out of hiding to wave at a passing U.S. plane, but it was followed by a German plane that reported their position and three of the eight were captured and spent the war as POWs -- Dewey Youngbear, Frank Santhe, Jude Wayne. Actually three were brothers named Wabaunasce, shortened in the Army to John Wayne, Mike Wayne and the captive, Jude Wayne. The remaining five continued code talking until the North African victory, then on to Sicily, Italy and France. One died of sickness and seven came home only when the war was over.
    Reference http://www.ww2pacific.com/codetlaker.html#meskwaki[dead link] with Picture

Hopi tribe should be acknowledged[edit]

I was recently on Hopi as a visitor and met the daughter of a code talker who was part of the ceremony last week to get congressional gold medal from congress for their efforts. I'm a newbie so don't know how to do but hope someone will add? Also White Mountain and Tonto Apache as well. Reference: http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2013/11/native-american-code-talkers-belatedly-get-congressional-gold-medals/ Thanks, Jim Denverjims (talk) 03:05, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Who was first?[edit]

There's a discrepancy in this article. The second paragraph reads, "The name code talkers is strongly associated with bilingual Navajo speakers specially recruited during World War II by the Marines to serve in their standard communications units in the Pacific Theater. Code talking, however, was pioneered by Choctaw Indians serving in the U.S. Army during World War I. These soldiers are referred to as Choctaw code talkers."

Then in the section on Cherokee Code Talkers, there's this: "The first known use of Native Americans in the American military to transmit messages under fire was a group of Cherokee troops utilized by the American 30th Infantry Division serving alongside the British during the Second Battle of the Somme. According to the Division Signal Officer, this took place in September 1918. Their unit was under British command at the time.[2]"

Were the Choctaws or Cherokees the first code talkers? Jtyroler (talk) 16:16, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

The Choctaw and Cherokee programs were somewhat parallel to each other. The Choctaw were first in battle. I trimmed the lead section to (hopefully) eliminate the confusion. Binksternet (talk) 17:09, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Section "Crytographic Properties" is overly specific - edit, rename, or move to new page[edit]

The section "Cryptographic Properties" only refers to those of Navajo. As this page is about code talkers in general, one of the following should happen:

  • Edit the section
  • Rename the section (i.e. to "... of Navajo")
  • Move this section to a new page

At least, that's how it naively looks to me, but I'm not certain enough to make the change myself. Any reason to prefer status quo? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.67.5.73 (talk) 13:43, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Non-American examples[edit]

Why are only American examples in the article? There were plenty of other nations who employed code talkers. Egypt used Nubian code talkers during the 1973 War with Israel. [4] [5] [6]Rajmaan (talk) 07:41, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Movie "Battle Cry" (1955)[edit]

During the battle towards the end of the movie, communications are placed in jeopardy as Japanese troops have captured a telephone rig (the line is a party line across the battle field, so all with a phone set can listen in simultaneously)

Concern is raised that the Japanese will be able to listen in to the battle instructions, however the gathered troops are reminded that they have Navajo language speakers in their company (refer to the main article Battle Cry ) who are then shown on film giving instructions in their language.

(I can only presume the actor's are genuinely speaking Navajo)

Timelord2067 (talk) 14:58, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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