Keith Hill passed away yesterday at the age of 87. He was president of the Navajo Code Talkers Association and Congressional Silver Medal recipient. At 17, he joined the Navajo Code Talkers, a group of men who used their Native American language to communicate and coordinate the movements of Marines in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Hill started with the U .S. Marine Corps in December of 1943, and he fought at the Marshall Islands, Sai Pan, and Iwo Jima. Over 400 over Navajo Code Talkers also served.
Encryption could be a complicated and time-consuming task. A quicker and more secure means was needed.
Philip Johnston, the son of a missionary, had presented the idea of Navajo speakers to the Marines. He was a World War I vet who knew that the military was looking for a quick and secure way to send messages. Using speakers of a language that few outsiders ever heard—and that fewer than 30 outsiders spoke—seemed like a plausible solution.
Why Navajos? There were very, very few speakers of the Navajo language outside the tribe, with exception of a limited number of scholars and missionaries (Johnston estimated 28 people), so it was unlikely anyone else would recognize the langauge and be able to translate it. Even among other Indian tribals, the language was considered different.
But after a demonstration on February 28, 1942, General Vogel wrote … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on January 5, 2012, under - World War II.
Tags: 1943, Adam Jevec, Amphibious Corps, code, Code Talkers, Encryption, Fort Wingate, General Vogel, Iwo Jima, Japanese, Marine, Navajo, Navajo code Talkers, NM, Pacific, Pacific Fleet, Philip Johnston, secret code, US Marine Corps, World War II, WWII
In the early afternoon of December 7, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt was just finishing lunch in his oval study on the second floor of the White House, preparing to work on his stamp album.
The phone rang, and he was informed that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, shortly before 1 p.m. Washington time, 8 a.m. Hawaii time.
“It was just the kind of unexpected thing the Japanese would do. At the very time they were discussing peace in the Pacific, they were plotting to overthrow it,” he remarked to his assistant.
For the rest of that afternoon, Roosevelt and his advisers were busy at the White House receiving fragmentary reports about the damage to U.S. installations, ships, and planes in Hawaii.
Security was increased around the White House, and plans were under way for a bomb shelter for the President underneath the nearby Treasury Department building. Across the nation, news of the attack spread by radio and word of mouth, and Americans began thinking about what life in a nation at war was going to be like.
A First Draft
Roosevelt decided to go before Congress the next day to report on the attack and ask for a declaration of war. In early evening, he called in his secretary, Grace Tully. “I’m going before Congress tomorrow, and I’d like to dictate my message,” … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jim on December 5, 2011, under - World War II.
Tags: attack, day of infamy, FDR, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hawaii, Japanese, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Robert Sherwood, Roosevelt, Samuel Rosenman, speech