Need for a
On December 7, 1941 the
Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Soon after that the United
declared war on the Japanese. The
Marine Corps was looking for an effective code since some Japanese
English fluently which allowed them to intercept messages and even send
fake ones. Philip Johnston proposed that they use the Navajo
language. Philip was the son of missionaries who had worked at a
Navajo school and could speak Navajo fluently. He also knew that
only maybe ten people in
the world outside the Navajo reservation could speak Navajo and none of
were Japanese. (Philip’s
picture and original proposal letter appear below).
A group of
Navajo was recruited to create a code from the Navajo language.
After creating the code they
recruited other Navajo men who knew both English and Navajo. They
through intensive training learning
the whole code before they were able allowed into battle. As the
war continued, the code was revised and expanded, and additional code
talkers were selected and trained to serve in the Pacific.