Native American Code Talkers

Comanche, Sioux and Choctaw warriors were legendary in the United States for their ferocity and bravery. But in World Wars I and II they gave Europeans a taste of what a difficult enemy they could be.

No longer tenaciously fighting the US Cavalry, except on movie screens, their contributions were less on the battlefields, and more behind the scenes. Their native languages, barely known beyond the North American Continent, proved to be inscrutable to Axis cryptologists.

Native American inflections and phraseologies were naturally complex. To make decryption even less likely the languages were overlaid with code. To Native Americans a tank was "a turtle," a bomber was a "pregnant airplane," and Hitler was the "Crazy White Man."

German cryptologists in World War I never did break these codes. The same held true in World War II.

So languages born on the Great Plains of America were plainly impossible for America's greatest enemies.

The museum has several artifacts from this fascinating and well-documented story including a shirt and hat from the Code Talkers organization formed by these extraordinary contributors after World War II.

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