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"Choctow Nation Code Talkers in WWI" Topic

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Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2022 10:46 a.m. PST

They served, they sacrificed, 19 young Choctaw soldiers were the first to use their native language to confuse the enemy, making a marked difference in the outcome of World War I.

It has been more than 90 years since the Choctaws of WWI volunteered their service to the United States and joined the Army to travel across the ocean to foreign land. Some of the Choctaw men were over-heard speaking their Native language in the midst of battlefields in France and an officer immediately had a brainstorm.

Training the Choctaws to use their words as "code," they were placed strategically on front lines and at command posts so that messages could be transmitted without being understood by the enemy. Nineteen Choctaw men have been documented as being the first to use their own language as a "code" to transmit military messages.

During the first world war, with the tapping of the American Army's phone lines, the Germans were able to learn the location of where the Allied Forces were stationed, as well as where supplies were kept. When the Choctaw men were put on the phones and talked in their Native speech, the Germans couldn't effectively spy on the transmissions.



Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2022 11:10 a.m. PST

That is interesting. I thought only the Navaho were used for that.

Choctaw20 Jun 2022 1:04 p.m. PST

We were the first code talkers.

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2022 1:34 p.m. PST

Can you still speak the language?

The Cherokee were also code talkers in WWII mostly in Europe.

The Navajo get a lot of the credit because the Marines are publicity hogs <grin>.


Choctaw20 Jun 2022 2:26 p.m. PST


It was not spoken in my house. My grandmother tried to hide the fact she was Choctaw. Unfortunately I have picked up very little of the language.

I believe the Comanches also had code talkers as well during WWII.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2022 3:21 p.m. PST

Yes, there were several American Indian tribes who supplied code talkers to the US Army during WW1. Some of us here in Mississippi are aware of the work the Choctaw code talkers did.

Jacqueline Freels published a book about them in 2002 called The Choctaw Code Talkers: the Unsung Heroes of World War I. There is a copy in the collection of the Mississippi Archives. link


Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2022 3:32 a.m. PST

Years ago I read an article about the various code talkers. Apparently the Germans picked up on what was going on and between the wars sent anthropologists to the various reservations to try to learn the languages. They were sent packing by the locals.

American Indians don't get nearly the credit they deserve for being proud, patriotic, Americans.

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