The legacy of Choctaw Code Talkers lives on

Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 5:55 PM CST
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(KXII) -We are half way through Native American Heritage Month and with Veterans Day this past weekend, we recognized the men and women who served our country.

This includes Code Talkers in both World War I and World War II.

The first code takers in history were Choctaw tribal members, in World War I.

“The messages that the code talkers sent in battle were in the Choctaw language,” said Judy Allen, Historic Projects Officer for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Prior to Code Talkers, the German Army was listening to all English messages and decoding them.

“When the Choctaws started speaking in Choctaw, they could not figure out what the language was, what the messages were,” Allen said.

Just two weeks after using the Choctaw language to transmit messages, the Armistice was signed, ending World War I and marking November 11 as Veterans Day.

“Because of the huge success, the Navajos were used in World War II,” added Allen.

Today we recognize up to 34 Native American tribes who contributed to Code Talking efforts.

Allen said, “we had 19 in the Choctaw Nation.”

The most recognized being Joseph Oklahombi who captured a weapon from a machine gun nest, turned it on the enemy and single-handedly captured 171 Germans.

“Its quite humbling to know that you’re a descendant of someone who has made such a tremendous contribution to the freedoms that we enjoy today,” said Earlene Farley, who is the great great great niece of Joseph Oklahombi.

Farley hopes the legacy of Code Talkers lives on, “as time goes on, that we lose our elders, we’re losing that history so it’s real important that we educate people today.”

This month, the second monument honoring Choctaw Code Talkers of World War I and World War II was placed in Broken Bow.

“This monument shares the history of our Code Talkers on one side and a piece of art on the other side that shares the story of our Code Talkers,” said Allen.