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Member of secret WWII Navajo Code Talker Marine unit dies at 90
Yahoo ^ | 11/02/12 | Ron Recinto

Posted on 11/02/2012 8:40:48 AM PDT by DFG

A member of the famed Navajo Code Talkers, who used their rare and ancient language to outwit the Japanese during World War II, has died.

George Smith died on Oct. 30 at the Gallup Indian Medical Center in New Mexico, said Navajo Nation president Ben Shelly. Smith was 90.

"Our Navajo Code Talkers have been real life heroes to generations of Navajo people," Shelly said in a statement. "They have brought pride to our Navajo people in so many ways."

In honor of Smith, the Navajo Nation flag will be flown at half-staff until sundown on Nov. 4.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: marine; navajo; smith; wwii

1 posted on 11/02/2012 8:40:49 AM PDT by DFG
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To: DFG

If you are out in Arizona, detour off I 40 up to Window Rock, capitol of the Navajo Nation, and see the park commemorating the Code Talkers.


2 posted on 11/02/2012 8:46:29 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: DFG

Here’s health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we’ve fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By UNITED STATES MARINES.


3 posted on 11/02/2012 8:47:42 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: DFG

Rest In Peace, Sir. You served your country and nation with honor.


4 posted on 11/02/2012 8:47:43 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (The Obamas = rude, crude and socially unacceptable)
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To: DFG
What part of that is "secret"? The Japanese knew about them, they just couldn't understand them. Certainly everybody in this country knew about them for over 60 years.

Secret is a frequently mis-used word by the MSM. Semantically, if it was a secret we wouldn't know about it.

5 posted on 11/02/2012 8:50:09 AM PDT by pfflier
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To: DFG

Go easy, Warrior. Semper Fi, brother.


6 posted on 11/02/2012 8:50:51 AM PDT by 98ZJ USMC
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To: DFG

Rest in Peace.


7 posted on 11/02/2012 9:02:20 AM PDT by knife6375 (US Navy Veteran)
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To: DFG

Semper Fidelus George Smith.

An Old Man


8 posted on 11/02/2012 9:08:08 AM PDT by An Old Man
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To: DFG

Semper Fidelus George Smith.

An Old Man


9 posted on 11/02/2012 9:08:19 AM PDT by An Old Man
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To: DFG
Semper Fidelus George Smith.

An Old Man

10 posted on 11/02/2012 9:09:58 AM PDT by An Old Man
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To: DFG
Semper Fidelus George Smith.

An Old Man

11 posted on 11/02/2012 9:10:12 AM PDT by An Old Man
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To: An Old Man

Thank you George Smith.

Thank you Navajo Nation.


12 posted on 11/02/2012 9:11:00 AM PDT by Surrounded_too
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To: DFG

RIP


13 posted on 11/02/2012 9:16:53 AM PDT by Larry Lucido (Romney/Ryan 2012)
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To: DFG

Rest in Peace sir.


14 posted on 11/02/2012 9:17:14 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Obama didn't fix it!)
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To: DFG

Thank you for your service. RIP...to you and all of our greatest generation.


15 posted on 11/02/2012 9:20:51 AM PDT by Jane Long (Soli Deo Gloria!)
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To: DFG

Rest in peace,Mr Smith! You served your country well.


16 posted on 11/02/2012 9:26:28 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Ambassador Stevens Is Dead And The Chevy Volt Is Alive)
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To: DFG

I saw a documentary on the Code Talkers that said that their codename for Hitler was “Crazy White Man”.Boy,ain’t *that* the truth.


17 posted on 11/02/2012 9:28:53 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Ambassador Stevens Is Dead And The Chevy Volt Is Alive)
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To: DFG
From navajocodetalkers.org:

DURING THE EARLY MONTHS OF WWII, Japanese intelligence experts broke every code the US forces devised. They were able to anticipate American actions at an alarming rate. With plenty of fluent English speakers at their disposal, they sabotaged messages and issued false commands to ambush Allied troops. To combat this, increasingly complex codes were initiated. At Guadalcanal, military leaders finally complained that sending and receiving these codes required hours of encryption and decryption—up to two and a half hours for a single message. They rightly argued the military needed a better way to communicate.

When Phillip Johnston, a civilian living in California learned of the crisis, he had the answer. As the son of a Protestant missionary, Johnston had grown up on the Navajo reservation and was one of less than 30 outsiders fluent in their difficult language. He realized that since it had no alphabet and was almost impossible to master without early exposure, the Navajo language had great potential as an indecipherable code. After an impressive demonstration to top commanders, he was given permission to begin a Navajo Code Talker test program.
...
THE CODE THEY CREATED AT CAMP PENDLETON was as ingenious as it was effective. It originated as approximately 200 terms—growing to over 600 by war's end—and could communicate in 20 seconds what took coding machines of the time 30 minutes to do. It consisted of native terms that were associated with the respective military terms they resembled. For example, the Navajo word for turtle meant "tank," and a dive-bomber was a "chicken hawk." To supplement those terms, words could be spelled out using Navajo terms assigned to individual letters of the alphabet—the selection of the Navajo term being based on the first letter of the Navajo word's English meaning. For instance, "Wo-La-Chee" means "ant," and would represent the letter "A". In this way the Navajo Code Talkers could quickly and concisely communicate with each other in a manner even uninitiated Navajos could not understand.
...
AFTER THE WAR, THE NAVAJO CODE TALKERS returned home as heroes without a heroes' welcome. Their code had been so successful, it was considered a military secret too important to divulge. They remained silent heroes until more than two decades later. Even after declassification of the code in 1968, it took many years before any official recognition was given. In 2001, nearly 60 years after they created their legendary code, the Navajo Code Talkers finally received well-deserved Congressional Medals of Honor.


18 posted on 11/02/2012 9:43:37 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: DFG
Rest in Peace, George Smith.

My family and I thank you for your service to this country.

19 posted on 11/02/2012 10:00:40 AM PDT by Scoutmaster
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To: DFG

I pray for the repose of this great man’s soul. May God bless and keep the surviving code talkers.


20 posted on 11/02/2012 10:17:43 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Pray for our republic.)
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To: cynwoody

Can someone tell me what the difference was between being a radio operator that spoke Navajo, and those that didn’t, as far as it relates to courage and heroism?

Also, this was old hat to the Army, they started it in WWI, and kept doing it in WWII, in the Pacific, Africa, and Europe, why are those Indians and the actual history of code talkers and the US military, totally unknown?


21 posted on 11/02/2012 10:24:44 AM PDT by ansel12 (Vote, but don't pretend.)
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To: DFG

RIP.


22 posted on 11/02/2012 10:26:33 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: ansel12
Can someone tell me what the difference was between being a radio operator that spoke Navajo, and those that didn’t, as far as it relates to courage and heroism?

Arguably being a Navajo code talker took less courage than being an ordinary radio operator speaking in code. That's because the Navajo language's obscurity layered on a whole new level of security, making it all the less likely that you and your unit might suffer the consequences of your messages being intercepted.

RIP, George Smith and all the other veterans of the Greatest Generation who have passed.

23 posted on 11/02/2012 11:24:34 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: pfflier
It was a wartime secret. Yes the japanese knew about them, but that didn't help as they had no way of breaking the code.

Even after the Japanese surrender, the program remained classified. The Navajo who were in the program never told anyone until it was declassified in the late 60's. Not even their families had nay idea what they did.

So yea, it was a secret.

24 posted on 11/02/2012 12:20:51 PM PDT by uglybiker (nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-BATMAN!)
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To: pfflier
It was a wartime secret. Yes the japanese knew about them, but that didn't help as they had no way of breaking the code.

Even after the Japanese surrender, the program remained classified. The Navajo who were in the program never told anyone until it was declassified in the late 60's. Not even their families had any idea what they did.

So yeah, it was a secret. And a damn good one, too.

25 posted on 11/02/2012 12:21:34 PM PDT by uglybiker (nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-BATMAN!)
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