Lincoln County veterans booster Tony Molina (rear) of Siletz poses at the Uyxat Pow Wow Grounds with two preeiminent veterans of World War II – two Navajo “Code Talkers” who played critical roles in helping to bring the war in the Pacific theater to a successful close for the United States. Marine Corps Veterans Allen Langley, Herman Hudson, Jr, and Eugene Hudson were veterans guests of honor for the Marcellus Memorial Veterans Pow Wow held this weekend at the Grand Ronde Pow Wow Grounds on Highway 22.
The Code Talkers were an extraordinary group of Navajos whose native language skills made it possible for American forces in the Pacific to maintain secrecy as they carried out their battles against the Japanese. In the early months of the war, the Japanese were able to decode secret communications between American forces which prompted terrible loss of life among American troops. Stymied by the Japaneses’ uncanny ability to decipher American text encrypting, the decision was made to enlist American Navajos whose language has no alphabet to be deciphered. And it worked perfectly. These “code talkers,” as they were called, relayed messages over the radio from Navajo Marine to Navajo Marine who understood exactly what the messages meant which helped in one military maneuver after another, including the invasion and ultimate taking of the island of Iwo Jima, famous for the iconic raising of the American flag atop Mount Suribachi.
There is currently a fundraiser going on to construct a World War II Museum in Window Rock, Arizona, in honor of these galant Navajos whose ability to “talk code” from military commanders to American troops, marines and naval personnel in the field, thereby saving countless American lives. Through their extraordinary service to America’s fighting men and women, they helped to bring “the War” to an end in the Pacific sooner than what would have been possible otherwise.