~~November 13, 2014~~
Choctaw Indian Code Talkers of World War I
By Phillip Allen
In 1917, Choctaw Indians were not citizens of the United States. The language the Choctaws spoke was considered obsolete. That same language later helped bring about a successful end to the first World War (Allen) Of more than 10,000 Native Americans serving in WWI, a number of Choctaw soldiers “confounded German eavesdroppers”. (Flaherty).
When speaking of going into battle, you can almost be assured that communications is an important weapon. It can be used to defeat your enemy, or it can destroy you. During WWI, the Germans were able to decipher all of the allied forces’ coded communications. Then something almost miraculous happened. A group of 19 young Choctaw men appeared on the scene, using their own language to transmit messages that the Germans were never able to decipher (“Choctaws”).
Native Americans including Choctaws, were not allowed to vote until 1924 – although years before this they volunteered to fight for what they considered their country, land and people (Allen).
According to tribal documents, there were 19 Choctaw Code Talkers: Tobias Frazier, Victor Brown, Joseph Oklahombi, Otis Leader, Ben Hampton, Albert Billy, Walter Veach, Ben Carterby, James Edwards, Solomon Louis, Pete Maytubby, Mitchell Bobb, Calvin Wilson, Jeff Nelson, Joseph Davenport, George Davenport, Noel Johnson, Schlicht Billy and Robert Taylor.
The men listed here were part of the 36th Division (“Choctaws”). Originally, only eight men were recognized as Choctaw Code Talkers, but as the success of using their native language as a “code” was recognized, others were quickly pressed into service (Allen”).
“As it appears in … “
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