[Congressional Record Volume 157, Number 187 (Wednesday, December 7, 2011)]
[Pages H8252-H8258]

                      HONORING NAVAJO CODE TALKERS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Reed). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 5, 2011, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gosar) is 
recognized for the remainder of the hour as the designee of the 
majority leader.
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Speaker, thank you for joining me this evening to talk 
about a very special group of veterans, the Navajo Code Talkers. 
Tonight, my colleagues and I are going to share their stories and 
highlight the amazing accomplishments of this group of warriors. Their 
contribution to the Allied effort during World War II is widely 
credited with winning the Battle of Iwo Jima and making majors gains in 
the Pacific.
  During the early months of World War II, Japanese intelligence 
experts broke every code the U.S. forces devised. The Japanese were 
able to decode and intercept communications with ease. To combat this, 
increasingly complex codes were initiated that sometimes took hours at 
a time simply to decipher one message. Guadalcanal in 1942 was a 
turning point for the Allied military forces, who realized that the 
military communications needed a new direction, and new inspiration.
  Fortunately, an innovative citizen named Philip Johnston 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 non-Navajos fluent 
in the unique Navajo language. He realized that since it had no 
alphabet and was almost impossible to master without early exposure, 
the Navajo language was a perfect choice to form a new, impenetrable 
military code. In 1942, Johnston completed an impressive demonstration 
of the Navajo language to the Commanding General of the Pacific fleet 
headquartered in San Diego. He was then given permission to begin a 
pilot for the Navajo Code Talker program, and I would like to submit 
his letter dated March 8, 1942, for the Record.

                                   Headquarters, Amphibious Force,

                                  Pacific Fleet, Camp Elliott,

                                      San Diego, CA, March 6, 1942
     Subject: Enlistment of Navaho Indians.

     To: The Commandant,
     U.S. Marine Corps.
     Enclosures: (A) Brochure by Mr. Philip Johnston, with maps. 
         (B) Messages used in demonstration.
       1. Mr. Philip Johnston of Los Angeles recently offered his 
     services to this force to demonstrate the use of Indians for 
     the transmission of messages by telephone and voice-radio. 
     His offer was accepted and the demonstration was held for the 
     Commanding General and his staff.
       2. The demonstration was interesting and successful. 
     Messages were transmitted and received almost verbatim. In 
     conducting the demonstration messages were written by a 
     member of the staff and handed to the Indian; he would 
     transmit the message in his tribal dialect and the Indian on 
     the other end would write them down in English. The text of 
     messages as written and received are enclosed. The Indians do 
     not have many military terms in their dialect so it was 
     necessary to give than a few minutes, before the 
     demonstration, to improvise words for dive-bombing, anti-tank 
     gun, etc.
       3. Mr. Johnston stated that the Navaho is the only tribe in 
     the United States that has not been infested with German 
     students during the past twenty years. These Germans, 
     studying the various tribal dialects under the guise of art 
     students, anthropologists, etc., have undoubtedly attained a 
     good working knowledge of all tribal dialects except Navaho. 
     For this reason the Navaho is the only tribe available 
     offering complete security for the type of work under 
     consideration. It is noted in Mr. Johnston's article 
     (enclosed) that the Navaho is the largest tribe but the 
     lowest in literacy. He stated, however, that 1,000--if that 
     many were needed--could be found with the necessary 
     qualifications. It should also be noted that the Navaho 
     tribal dialect is completely unintelligible to all other 
     tribes and all other people, with the possible exception of 
     as many as 28 Americans who have made a study of the dialect. 
     This dialect is thus equivalent to a secret code to the 
     enemy, and admirably suited for rapid, secure communication.
       4. It is therefore recommended that an effort be made to 
     enlist 200 Navaho Indians for this force. In addition to 
     linguistic qualifications in English and their tribal dialect 

[[Page H8253]]

     should have the physical qualifications for messengers.
                                                 Clayton B. Vogel,
                                               Commanding General.

  Their elite unit was formed in early 1942 when the first of the 29 
Navajo Code Talkers were recruited by Johnston. The code was modified 
and improved throughout the war, but it is so important to note that 
these 29 Navajo heroes came up with the original code themselves. 
Accordingly, they are often referred to reverently as the ``original 
29.'' We will have the honor of reading their names a bit later this 
  Many of these enlistees were just boys with little exposure to the 
world outside of the Navajo reservation. After the war, it was 
discovered that recruits as young as 15 and as old as 35 years of age 
had enlisted. In fact, a few of these men traveled to other towns on 
the reservation, outside their clan where no one knew them and their 
true age, in order to enlist underage and serve their country.
  After sailing through basic training, the Navajo Code Talkers were 
sent to Marine divisions in the Pacific theater of World War II. Their 
reputation as innovators soon spread far and wide amongst their 
commanding officers. In the field, they were not allowed to write any 
part of the code down as a reference. In fact, the code existed only 
amongst this small group. Under high pressure battle conditions, the 
Code Talkers had to quickly recall their code accurately, or risk 
hundreds or thousands of lives.
  Make no mistake about the gravity of this accomplishment. The Navajo 
Code Talkers created the only unbroken code in modern military history. 
It baffled the Japanese forces. It was even indecipherable to a Navajo 
soldier taken prisoner and tortured on Bataan.
  The secret code created by the Navajo Code Talkers was a simple 
marvel of linguistic invention. It contained native terms that were 
associated with specialized or commonly used military language, as well 
as native terms that represented letters in the alphabet.
  English words with no Navajo translation were spelled out using the 
Navajo alphabet. The selection of a given term was based on the first 
letter of the English meaning of the Navajo word. For words that did 
not translate into Navajo, the Code Talkers created code that did not 
directly translate, but tended to resemble the things with which they 
are associated. For example, the Navajo word for ``iron fish'' 
represented submarine. I could give many more examples, but I think 
that one is particularly poignant. To say ``America,'' the Code Talkers 
used the word ``ne-he-mah,'' which means ``our mother.''
  This brilliant code allowed our U.S. Marines to communicate quickly 
and accurately. The Code Talkers' brave work is widely credited with 
successes of battle in the Pacific and, more ultimately, with helping 
to end this tragic war.

                              {time}  1930

  In the battle for Iwo Jima, in the first 48 hours alone they coded 
over 800 transmissions with perfect accuracy.
  While the true heroism of these brave warriors is known today, sadly, 
the Code Talkers had to return home after the war without the heroes' 
welcome they deserved. Ironically, the code was such a precious asset 
to the U.S. military that it was classified and had to be kept secret. 
While the code was declassified in 1968, it took years to properly 
decorate those veterans. In 2001, nearly 60 years after they created 
their legendary code, the Navajo Code Talkers finally received their 
well-deserved Congressional Medals of Honor.
  Today, only one original Code Talker remains, but the tradition lives 
on. A delegation of the Four Corners States will attempt to recognize 
these warriors one by one and give us their thoughts during this hour.
  I would like to first recognize my good friend from Arizona (Mr. 
  Mr. FLAKE. I thank the gentleman for yielding and for arranging this 
Special Order. This is something that we in Arizona and anywhere in the 
West in Utah and elsewhere have great pride in and that this 
recognition, as the gentleman mentioned, came far too late and has been 
far too little, given the amount of the impact that the Navajo Code 
Talkers had on World War II.
  So I'm pleased to be here and to lend my voice to recognition. As the 
gentleman mentioned, only one of the original Code Talkers is still 
living. So I think it's important that we recognize others who carried 
on this code and tradition and helped out in this way.
  This was a group, as we mentioned, of many Navajos, Native Americans, 
who volunteered for the armed services in World War II. This was, as 
the gentleman said, very successful. It was the only code that remained 
unbroken. And one of the most amazing aspects of World War II is how 
these people came together, as the gentleman mentioned, young kids in 
their teen years and others, and volunteered for this effort. It's even 
more remarkable when we note that many States did not permit Native 
Americans to vote until the 1950s. Yet the Code Talkers were 
undeterred. They wanted to help their country.
  It's fitting that we honor this group on the anniversary of the 
attack on Pearl Harbor, the start of World War II, because they had 
such an integral part of ensuring that that brutal war came to an end. 
I want to thank my colleague from Arizona and others who have come here 
for putting together this timely tribute to make sure that these 
individuals are recognized for the impact that they had in ending this 
war and to ensure that this world remains free.
  Mr. GOSAR. I thank the gentleman.
  I would like at this time to acknowledge my good friend from New 
Mexico (Mr. Lujan).
  Mr. LUJAN. I thank my colleague from Arizona (Mr. Gosar) for bringing 
us together tonight as we get a chance to visit and celebrate heroes 
that are amongst us, whether it's in spirit or body, as we are still so 
fortunate to have Chester Nez with us, one of the original 29 as well.
  With me tonight I have a few excerpts of articles that have been 
written around the country that capture some stories recently in the 
Fronteras Desk. An author by the name of Laurel Morales captured the 
story of Chester Nez. It starts like this: ``Growing up in New Mexico, 
Chester Nez and many of his fellow Navajo were punished for speaking 
their language.''
  You talk about a language as they were pulled away to boarding 
schools, so many of the young Navajo across the country, and the 
importance of what they were able to accomplish during World War II. In 
the words of Major Howard Connor of the 5th Marine Division, he 
declared that were it not for the Navajos, the marines would never have 
taken Iwo Jima, and the importance of language and what they were able 
to accomplish.
  The article goes on to read that years later, Nez was shocked to 
learn that he'd been recruited by the marines specifically to devise a 
code using the same language the government tried to beat out of him. 
It was extremely ironic. One of the very things they were forbidden to 
do--speak Navajo--ended up helping us save the war.
  Mr. Nez goes on to say that he and his fellow Code Talkers first 
developed an alphabet, as you described, Mr. Gosar, using everyday 
Navajo words to represent letters of words, as you talked about--
submarine: iron fish; besh-lo: iron fish; and hummingbird: dah-he-tih-
hi to talk about fighter planes. It's amazing how when we talked about 
the Japanese and how they were so effective at cracking codes, how they 
couldn't crack this one.
  Mr. Nez goes on to say in the article that being one of the last 
original Code Talkers, he lives in Albuquerque with his son--a father 
of six children. He has nine grandchildren and eight great-
grandchildren. It goes on to say that ``today, with so many people 
leaving the reservation, Navajo elders like Nez fear their language is 
dying. Nez hopes Navajo children learn the story of Code Talkers so 
they understand just how critical it is to learn their own language.''
  And thank you for bringing us together, Mr. Gosar, this evening to 
help celebrate the history of our Code Talkers, as it wasn't until 
Senator Bingaman moved legislation back in 2000 to be able to give 
honor to our original 29--a few of them, at the very least, and their 
families--with gold medals, and silver medals to the others that were 
also trained to go on.
  So I think this is an example of a few stories that we'll be 
submitting and sharing this evening to be able to celebrate the lives 
and stories and the history, especially on today as we remember Pearl 
Harbor and all the sacrifice

[[Page H8254]]

and all the families we lost that day and so many brave soldiers as 
  Thanks for bringing this tonight. I look forward to many stories and 
continuing to share many of the articles that we've been able to find 
capturing the history and personal stories of our friend, our heroes, 
the Code Talkers from all throughout New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.
  Mr. GOSAR. I thank the gentleman from New Mexico.
  At this time I would like to recognize my good friend from Utah (Mr. 
  Mr. CHAFFETZ. Thank you. I appreciate the bipartisan nature in which 
we do this. These are truly American heroes who have made a difference 
in our lives and something we should all be proud of and never forget. 
I worry as these gentlemen get older that somehow generations in the 
future will maybe forget this.
  I appreciate you, Mr. Gosar, for your commitment to them. I know 
you're passionate about this. I can see it in your eyes when you talk 
about it.
  I wanted to recognize and pay special tribute to somebody who's 
originally from Utah, Samuel Tom Holiday. He was a Navajo Code Talker. 
He served in the United States Marine Corps 4th Marine Division, 25th 
Regiment, the H&S Company. We're fortunate to still have him here with 
us in our presence today.
  Mr. Holiday was born in 1924 on a Navajo reservation near the 
Monument Valley area of Utah, down near the Four Corners area. He was a 
Navajo Code Talker in World War II. As you have talked about before, 
Code Talkers transmitted tactical messages by telephone and radio in 
the Dine language. It was a code the Japanese were never able to break 
and was very instrumental in our war efforts.
  At a young age, Samuel and his brothers hid from government agents 
who came to send Navajo children to boarding schools. Holiday said he 
was ultimately caught and forced to attend a boarding school where he 
was not allowed to speak his native language. As he said, ``One of the 
hardest times I had was learning to talk English. I would hide cookies 
in my pockets to pay the older boys to teach me English. Whenever 
they''--the school instructors--``found out I had talked Navajo, they 
made me scrub floors, scrub walls. I spent much of my first year 
scrubbing the wall.''
  Mr. Holiday attended the school until he was 18 years old and he was 
recruited into the Marine Corps. Mr. Holiday served in the Pacific 
theatre from 1943 to 1945 in Saipan, Tinian, Kwajalein Atoll, and Iwo 
  From Mr. Holiday: ``A lot of time they sent us where it was a very 
dangerous spot, and I sent messages. They didn't know we were Navajo 
Code Talkers using Navajo language.'' The very language he was punished 
for using in his boarding school was suddenly a major asset to the 
United States Marines.
  Mr. Holiday remains active with the Navajo Code Talkers Association. 
He's traveled throughout most of the United States conducting 
presentations about the Code Talkers and about his life experiences 
before and after the war. I was very pleased to see that Mr. Holiday 
was awarded the Congressional Silver Medal, something he was very 
worthy of, obviously.
  It's interesting to me that the Navajo Code Talker Program was 
actually a secret until after the war and was not declassified until 
later in 1968. It was another 14 years before the Navajo Code Talkers 
were recognized by the United States Government. In fact, in December 
of 1982, President Ronald Reagan recognized the Code Talkers for their 
dedicated service, unique achievement, patriotism, resourcefulness, and 

                              {time}  1940

  August 14, 1982 was proclaimed National Navajo Code Talkers Day. I 
think President Reagan did the right thing. I think it's something that 
all Americans--I want my kids and people in Utah and across the Nation 
to recognize the contributions and sacrifices that these people made. 
They truly made a difference in our lives; instrumental in the war.
  I appreciate this time to be able to recognize their achievements and 
help to our country.
  Mr. GOSAR. I thank the gentleman from Utah.
  I would like at this time to recognize my friend, the gentleman from 
New Mexico (Mr. Heinrich).
  Mr. HEINRICH. I want to thank the gentleman from Arizona for pulling 
us together from around the four corners to honor these incredible 
Native Americans, these incredible Americans, especially on this 
historic anniversary. And I'm certainly honored to join my colleagues 
tonight to honor the quiet valor of all the Navajo Code Talkers.
  Today, some six decades since their service during World War II, only 
one of the original 29 Code Talkers, Corporal Chester Nez, survives. 
And I am incredibly proud of Corporal Nez, who at the age of 90 resides 
in my congressional district in Albuquerque with his son Mike, his 
daughter-in-law Rita, and their children.
  Corporal Nez's story is much like the hundreds of Code Talkers who 
followed in his footsteps. He grew up on the Navajo Nation to parents 
who grew corn and pinto beans, kept goats and sheep. And he grew up in 
a time when Navajos were sharply mistreated and even unable to vote in 
our own elections in places throughout the Southwest. Yet in 1942, at 
the age of 18, he sprung into action and he joined the 382nd Platoon in 
a role that is largely credited with saving thousands of American 
  Along with the other 28 original Code Talkers, Corporal Nez developed 
a code from their unwritten language. You can find the code's 
explanation today in the index of his autobiography. And whether in 
artillery, tanks, aboard ships or in infantry, the Code Talkers played 
a vital role in some of the worst battles in the Pacific theater, 
communicating battlefield codes that were never, ever broken by the 
enemy. Their code-talking was considered so essential to the war that, 
unlike their counterparts, many of them were forced to serve straight 
through the war with no breaks for rest or trips back home. And today, 
we widely recognize that their service helped turn the course of World 
War II.
  Yet because of the sheer secret of their role and the possibility 
that they would be called back for the same duty in the future, the 
actions of the Code Talkers weren't declassified until 23 years after 
the war ended. And it wasn't until 55 years later that they were 
bestowed with the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor and Silver Medal.
  To the young people of the Navajo Nation for whom Corporal Nez's 
quiet valor is a remarkable example, I encourage you to carry on his 
legacy by keeping the Navajo language alive and well for generations to 
  Mr. Speaker, I know that the Navajo Nation takes such pride in these 
heroes. And on behalf of all of us who owe a tremendous debt of 
gratitude for their service, I'm proud to recognize the courage, 
service, and bravery of all the Navajo Code Talkers, and especially 
Corporal Nez of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  Mr. GOSAR. I thank the gentleman from New Mexico for that find.
  I would now like to acknowledge my good friend from Arizona (Mr. 
  Mr. SCHWEIKERT. Thank you, Congressman Gosar. For all of us, we truly 
appreciate you organizing this.
  When you consider today is the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and 
the entry into World War II, for many of us who grew up with family 
that had served, there's many heartbreaking stories. But when we reach 
out and read and learn more about the Code Talkers story, it's one of 
the great moments of pride for those of us from Arizona.
  When you consider there were--my understanding is there were about 
400 native Americans who served, but the 27--was it 27 or 29?
  Mr. GOSAR. Twenty-nine.
  Mr. SCHWEIKERT. Twenty-nine from Arizona, I've had the pleasure over 
time of meeting some of them. I also know, as Arizona now is about to 
begin celebrating its 100th anniversary--and I have, actually, it's a 
little bit of a silly photo, but there is actually a smaller version of 
this on my wall in my office. A few months ago we had our very first 
celebration of beginning the 1-year celebration of our centennial as a 
State, and we were featuring our Navajo Code Talkers. It is something 
that many of us from the West are very, very proud of. And it was also 
that little moment where if

[[Page H8255]]

you ever want to be a little humiliated, have them try to teach you to 
speak a few Navajo words, and then the giggling begins on how badly you 
pronounce it.
  But for anyone who is listening, the Navajo Code Talkers have 
actually built a foundation, and they actually have a wonderful Web 
site that has data and stories. It is navajocodetalkers.org. I 
encourage anyone to reach out and grab some of that information. These 
are powerful stories of incredible service to our country in a time of 
great need with a very unique skill and talent.
  I thank the gentleman from Arizona for organizing this.
  Mr. GOSAR. I thank the gentleman from Arizona.
  I want to take a few moments and honor one of our own in Arizona who 
just recently died. It is my humble privilege to honor Allen Dale June, 
one of the original 29 Code Talkers. He died just recently in September 
of 2010 at the age of 91. He passed away of natural causes at the 
Veterans Hospital in Prescott, Arizona, which is in my district. He is 
survived by his wife and 10 children and was buried in Kaibeto, in the 
heart of Navajo reservation.
  June, who attained the rank of sergeant, received the Congressional 
Gold Medal in 2001 along with other members of the original Code 
Talkers. When he died, Navajo Nation Council Speaker Lawrence Morgan 
said, ``The Navajo Nation lost a great warrior. His unique service to 
his country brought positive attention to the Navajo Nation. He will be 
  According to his wife, Virginia, June first tried to sign up for the 
Marines in his hometown of Kaibeto, but a recruiter told him he was too 
young. He then traveled to the reservation town of Chinle to enlist 
because he figured people there wouldn't recognize him and he could lie 
about his age and forge his father's signature. This dedication and 
determination to serve their country was common among the Code Talkers 
and shows character and bravery that we all should emulate.
  Allen June was a humble man who did not like to brag about much, even 
his remarkable service as a Code Talker. However, in the last years of 
his life he wore his service proudly, sporting a red Navajo Code Talker 
cap with his name on it.
  I would like to take an opportunity and see if my colleague from New 
Mexico would entertain a colloquy back and forth giving the roll call 
of the names of the 29.
  Mr. LUJAN. It would certainly be an honor, Mr. Gosar.
  Mr. GOSAR. Thank you, sir.
  The roll call for the Navajo Code Talkers, the original 29:
  Charlie Y. Begay.
  Mr. LUJAN. Royal L. Begay.
  Mr. GOSAR. Samuel Begay.
  Mr. LUJAN. John Ashi Benally.
  Mr. GOSAR. Wilsie Bitsie.
  Mr. LUJAN. Cosey S. Brown.
  Mr. GOSAR. John Brown, Jr.
  Mr. LUJAN. John Chee.
  Mr. GOSAR. Benjamin Cleveland.
  Mr. LUJAN. Eugene R. Crawford.
  Mr. GOSAR. David Curley.
  Mr. LUJAN. Lowell S. Damon.
  Mr. GOSAR. George H. Dennison.
  Mr. LUJAN. James Dixon.
  Mr. GOSAR. Carl N. Gorman.
  Mr. LUJAN. Oscar B. Ilthma.
  Mr. GOSAR. Allen Dale June.
  Mr. LUJAN. Alfred Leonard.
  Mr. GOSAR. Johnny R. Manuelito.
  Mr. LUJAN. William McCabe.
  Mr. GOSAR. Chester Nez.
  Mr. LUJAN. Jack Nez.
  Mr. GOSAR. Lloyd Oliver.
  Mr. LUJAN. Joe Palmer.
  Mr. GOSAR. Frank Danny Pete.
  Mr. LUJAN. Nelson S. Thompson.
  Mr. GOSAR. Harry Tsosie.
  Mr. LUJAN. John Willie.
  Mr. GOSAR. William Dean Wilson.
  Does my friend have any further comments?
  Mr. LUJAN. Only to say again, Mr. Gosar, as we celebrate tonight, to 
never forget about the contributions of the Navajo people to our great 
Nation, with the work that they've done not only through the Cold War, 
but going back to all the work that was done.

                              {time}  1950

  As we pointed out earlier, in the words of Major Howard Connor, if it 
were not for the Navajos, the marines never would have taken Iwo Jima. 
It's a great night to be here to celebrate, and I thank you for 
bringing us together.
  I would like to submit into the Record an article from the Santa Fe 
New Mexican, dated August 29, 2010, also capturing the story telling 
and talking about Mr. Chester Nez, as well as the article, ``The Last 
of the Navajo Code Talkers,'' by Laurel Morales, which was listed in 
the Fronteras Desk.

            [From the SantaFeNewMexican.com, Aug. 29, 2010]

  An Original Code Talker Keeps Tale Alive--Few Remaining Members of 
                        Elite Navajo Marine Unit

                          (By Felicia Fonseca)

       Albuquerque.--Tourists hurry inside a shop here to buy 
     books about the famed Navajo Code Talkers, warriors who used 
     their native language as their primary weapon.
       Outside, on a walk sheltered from the sun, nine of the Code 
     Talkers sit at a table autographing the books. Each is an old 
     man now. They wear similar caps and shirts, the scarlet and 
     gold of the Marine Corps, and turquoise jewelry.
       One of these men, who signs his name as Cpl. Chester Nez, 
     is distinguished from the others. Below his signature, he 
     jots down why: 1st Original 29.
       Before hundreds of Code Talkers were recruited from the 
     Navajo Nation to join the elite unit, 29 Navajos were 
     recruited to develop the code--based on the then-unwritten 
     Navajo language--that would confound Japanese military 
     cryptologists and help win World War II.
       Of the Original 29, only three survive. Nez is one.
       The Code Talkers took part in every assault the Marines 
     conducted in the Pacific, sending thousands of messages 
     without error on Japanese troop movements, battlefield 
     tactics and other communications critical to the war's 
     ultimate outcome.
       ``It's one of the greatest parts of history that we used 
     our own native language during World War II,'' Nez said in an 
     interview with The Associated Press. ``We're very proud of 
       Nez tells the story succinctly. He is the last of the 
     original group able to do so. One can hardly speak or hear, 
     and the memory of the third is severely tested by Alzheimer's 
       The 89-year-old Nez is limited, too. He is in a wheelchair 
     after diabetes led to the amputation of both legs. These 
     days, he'd rather ``just sit around, take it easy,'' he said.
       As a boy, Nez lived in a traditional Navajo home and helped 
     his family tend to sheep in Two Wells on the eastern side of 
     the vast 27,000-square-mile reservation.
       He played with toy cars, went barefoot, and spoke only his 
     native language. That changed when he was sent to one of the 
     boarding schools set up by the federal government to 
     assimilate American Indian children into the broader culture.
       At boarding school, Nez said he had his mouth washed out 
     with soap for speaking Navajo--ironic indeed, considering the 
     vital role that the unique language--and Nez--would come to 
       Nez was in 10th grade when a Marine recruiter came looking 
     for young Navajos who were fluent in Navajo and English to 
     serve in World War II. He jumped at the chance to defend his 
     country, and to leave boarding school. He kept the decision 
     to enlist a secret from his family and lied about his age, as 
     did many others.
       ``I told my roommate, `Let's try it out,' and that's what 
     we did,'' Nez said. ``One reason we joined is the uniform--
     they were so pretty, dress uniforms.''
       About 250 Navajos showed up at Fort Defiance, Ariz., then a 
     U.S. Army base. But only 29 were selected to join the first 
     all-Native American unit of Marines. They were inducted in 
     May 1942.
       After basic training, the 382nd Platoon was tasked with 
     developing the code.
       There Nez met Allen Dale June and Lloyd Oliver, among the 
     others. Using Navajo words for red soil, war chief, clan, 
     braided hair, beads, ant and hummingbird, for example, they 
     came up with a glossary of more than 200 terms, later 
     expanded, and an alphabet.
       At first, Nez said, the concern was whether or not the code 
     could work. Then it proved impenetrable. ``The Japanese did 
     everything in their power to break the code but they never 
     did,'' he said.
       Nez no longer remembers the code in its entirety, but 
     easily switches from English to Navajo to repeat one 
     instruction he delivered during fighting on Guadalcanal.
       ``I always remember this one,'' Nez said. ``Enemy machine 
     gun on your right flank, destroy!''
       The Navajos trained in radio communications were walking 
     copies of the code. Each message read aloud by a Code Talker 
     was immediately destroyed.
       ``When you're involved in the world of cryptology, you not 
     only have to provide information, you have to protect that,'' 
     said Patrick Weadon, curator of the National Cryptologic 
     Museum. ``And there's no better example than the Navajo Code 
     Talkers during World War II.''
       The Code Talkers were constantly on the move, often from 
     foxhole to foxhole. Nez had a close call in Guam with a 
     sniper's bullet that whizzed past his head and struck a palm 
       Once while running a message, Nez and his partner were 
     mistaken for Japanese soldiers

[[Page H8256]]

     and were threatened at gunpoint until a Marine lieutenant 
     cleared up the confusion, his son, Michael, said.
       ``Of course Dad couldn't tell them he was a Code Talker,'' 
     Nez's son said.
       The Code Talkers had orders not to discuss their roles--not 
     during the war and not until their mission was declassified 
     23 years later.
       In 2001 Nez, Dale and June traveled aboard the same plane 
     to Washington, D.C., to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. 
     The recognition, which they didn't receive when they returned 
     home from war, propelled them to a sort of celebrity status, 
     along with the release of a movie based on the Code Talkers 
     the following year
       They appeared on television, rode on floats in parades and 
     were asked to speak to veterans groups and students.
       Nez threw the opening pitch at a 2004 Major League Baseball 
     game and blessed the presidential campaign of John Kerry. 
     Oliver traveled with other Code Talkers as guests of honor in 
     the nation's largest Veterans Day parade in New York last 
       When residents of Longmont, Colo., heard that June and his 
     wife did not have a permanent home, they raised money to buy 
     one for the couple.
       The last three survivors of the Original 29 don't live on 
     the Navajo Nation, where they are celebrated with a tribal 
     holiday. They wonder about each other, but it's unlikely 
     they'll reunite again.
       After World War II, Nez volunteered to serve two more years 
     during the Korean War and retired in 1974 after a 25-year 
     career as a painter at the veterans hospital in Albuquerque.
       June, 88, has spent the past few weeks in and out of 
     hospitals in Wyoming and Arizona, and requires round-the-
     clock care. His third wife, Virginia, calls herself ``the 
     charm'' and the protector of an endangered species.
       She's a walking promotion for him and the Marine Corps, yet 
     she's careful of how much she says because he thinks it is 
     unwelcome bragging.
       Oliver's wife, Lucille, echoes similar sentiments about her 
     husband. Oliver displayed few reminders in what, until 
     earlier this year, was his home on the Yavapai Indian 
     reservation in Camp Verde, Ariz.--a few framed pictures, a 
     Marine cap above his bedroom window and a U.S. flag above the 
       ``He just put the past behind him, I guess,'' she says.
       Oliver, 87, speaks audibly but his words are difficult to 
     understand. His hearing is impaired and he prefers not to 
     have a hearing aid.
       Both June and Oliver had brothers who later served as Code 
       Nez tells the tourists seeking autographs in Albuquerque 
     that he's part of the Original 29, but few appear to grasp 
     what that means.
       ``Most of them,'' he says of the tourists, ``they just 
     thank me for what we did.''

                [From the Fronteras Desk, Nov. 11, 2011]

                  The Last of The Navajo Code Talkers

                          (By Laurel Morales)

       Flagstaff.--Only one veteran Navajo code talker remains of 
     the original 29 Navajo Marines who used their native language 
     to devise an unbreakable code during World War II.
       Growing up in New Mexico, Chester Nez and many of his 
     fellow Navajo were punished for speaking their language. In 
     the 1920s, Nez attended one of many government run boarding 
     schools that attempted to erase Indian culture and language.
       ``I often think about the things I went through, all the 
     hardships,'' Nez said. He was being interviewed at the 
     studios of KUNM in Albuquerque for Veterans Day.
       Years later, Nez was shocked to learn he'd been recruited 
     by the Marines, specifically to devise a code using the same 
     language the government tried to beat out of him. Judith 
     Avila helped Nez write his memoir Code Talker, which was just 
       ``It was extremely ironic one of the very things they were 
     forbidden to do--speak Navajo--ended up helping save us 
     during the war,'' Avila said.
       During World War II, the Japanese had cracked code after 
     code the U.S. military used to hide their communications. 
     Then, a Marine by the name of Philip Johnston, who had been 
     raised on the Navajo Nation by white missionaries, suggested 
     enlisting the help of the Navajo tribe. They became known as 
     the code talkers.
       Navajo, or Dine as it's called, is a spoken language. And 
     few non-Navajos understand its complexities. Nez and his 
     fellow code talkers first developed an alphabet using every 
     day Navajo words to represent letters, like the Navajo word 
     for ant became ``A.''
       Chester Nez, seen here during World War II, is 90 and the 
     last of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers.
       Then they came up with words for military terms. In Navajo, 
     there is no word for bomb. So they called it an egg. A 
     fighter plane was the Navajo word for hummingbird.
       ``And the Japanese tried everything in their power to try 
     to decipher our code, but they never succeeded,'' Nez said.
       He and his fellow code talkers were faced with many 
     cultural challenges during the war. The most difficult was 
     dealing with so much death.
       The Navajo believe when you encounter a dead body that 
     person's spirit stays with you. Coming home after the war, 
     Nez remembered being haunted by these spirits.
       ``They were all around me. I actually see them alongside my 
     bed,'' Nez said. ``This was one of the bad omen.''
       His family performed a ceremony called the ``enemy way'' to 
     cleanse him After that, Nez said, he felt free of the ghosts.
       The code talker program was secret. When Nez and the others 
     arrived home in 1945, there was no fanfare. The code remained 
     active for years after the war; it wasn't declassified until 
     1968. Still, it took decades before the men were officially 
       In 2000, New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman introduced 
     legislation to honor the code talkers. The following year--
     nearly six decades after the code was written--president 
     George W. bush awarded them Congressional Gold Medals.
       ``Today we give these exceptional Marines the recognition 
     they earned so long ago,'' President Bush told a televised 
     crowd at the Capital Rotunda.
       Only five of the original 29 were still alive.
       Chester Nez stood tall, puffed out his chest and saluted 
     the president, while the crowd--many relatives of code talker 
     families--gave the group a standing ovation.
       ``This gold medal is something I will treasure for as long 
     as I live,'' said Nez, now 90-years-old.
       The last original code talker lives in Albuquerque with his 
     son. The father of six children, he has nine grandchildren 
     and eight great grandchildren.
       Today with so many people leaving the reservation, Navajo 
     elders like Nez fear their language is dying. Nez hopes 
     Navajo children learn the story of the code talkers, so they 
     understand just how critical it is to learn and use their own 

  Mr. GOSAR. I thank the gentleman from New Mexico for his 
  I would also like to start by going through the further list of the 
Navajo Code Talkers in the honor roll:

                        Navajo Code Talker list

             Confirmed by Marine Corps, as of 17 July 2001

       1. Akee, Dan 818638
       2. Anthony, Franklin 990074
       3. Apache, Jimmie 936773
       4. Arviso, Bennie 894438
       5. Ashike, Earl 990140
       6. Ashley, Regis 894674
       7. Attikai, Harold 990084
       8. Augustine, John 894402
       9. Ayze, Lewis 990075
       10. Bahe, Henry 479876
       11. Bahe, Woody 875423
       12. Baldwin, Benjamin 818564
       13. Beard, Harold 894537
       14. Becenti, Roy L. 831055
       15. Bedoni, Sidney 479771
       16. Begay, Carlos 818566
       17. Begay, Charlie Sosie 830976
       18. Begay, Flemming 830977
       19. Begay, George 990132
       20. Begay, Henry 990142
       21. Begay, Jerry C. 830979
       22. Begay, Joe 990094
       23. Begay, Lee 990116
       24. Begay, Leo 990126
       25. Begay, Leonard 990210
       26. Begay, Notah 875405
       27. Begay, Paul 479917
       28. Begay, Samuel H. 358525
       29. Begay, Thomas H. 537144
       30. Begay, Walter 990073
       31. Begay, Willie K.1000016
       32. Begay, Wilson J. 894417
       33. Begody, David M. 990209
       34. Begody, Roger 875422
       35. Belinda, Wilmer 875407
       36. Belone, Harry 936837
       37. Benallie, Jimmie D. 964665
       38. Benally, Harrison Lee 1000075
       39. Benally, Harry 894507
       40. Benally, Jimmie L. 831045
       41. Benally, Johnson D. 875371
       42. Benally, Samuel 1000078
       43. Benton, Sr., Willie 830980
       44. Bernard, John 875276
       45. Betone, Lloyd 830963
       46. Bia, Andrew 990072
       47. Billey, Wilfred 830982
       48. Billie, Ben 1000045
       49. Billiman, Howard 521004
       50. Billison, Samuel (Dr.) 831074
       51. Billy, Sam Jones 830981
       52. Bitsie, Peter J. 1000037
       53. Bitsoie, Delford 990061
       54. Bizardie, Jesse 875495
       55. Black, Jesse 990205
       56. Blatchford, Paul 818633
       57. Bluehorse, David M. 831043
       58. Bowman, John Henry 403099
       59. Bowman, Robert 936938
       60. Brown, Arthur 990125
       61. Brown, Clarence Paul 990088
       62. Brown, Tsosie Herman 990202
       63. Brown, William Tully 990109
       64. Buck, Wilford 1000019
       65. Burke, Bobby 894411
       66. Burnie, Jose 1000100
       67. Burnside, Francis 548184
       68. Burr, Sandy 830984
       69. Cadman, William 936839
       70. Calleditto, Andrew 448919
       71. Carroll, Oscar Tsosie 894622
       72. Cattle Chaser, Dennis 479729
       73. Cayedito, Del 830985
       74. Cayedito, Ralph 830986
       75. Charley, Carson Bahe 894600
       76. Charlie, Sam 990199
       77. Chase, Frederick 479873
       78. Chavez, George 831098
       79. Chee, Guy 990200
       80. Clah, Stewart 965051
       81. Claw, Thomas 818547
       82. Cleveland, Billie 521016
       83. Cleveland, Ned 894519
       84. Cody, Leslie 479834

[[Page H8257]]

       85. Cohoe, James Charles 416497
       86. Craig, Bob Etcitty 830988
       87. Crawford, Karl Kee 478278
       88. Cronemeyer, Walter 990201
       89. Crosby, Billy 990035
       90. Csinnjinni, Carl 416351
       91. Dale, Ray 448911
       92. Damon, Anson C. 990227
       93. Davis, Tully 875378
       94. Deel, Martin Dale 818563
       95. Dehiya, Dan 830989
       96. Dennison, Leo 990107
       97. Dodge, Jerome Cody 894478
       98. Doolie, John 830990
       99. Doolie, Richardson 479723
       100. Draper, Nelson 990098
       101. Draper, Teddy Sr. 875345
       102. Etsicitty, Kee 830991
       103. Etsitty, Deswood 875304
       104. Evans, Harold 990097
       105. Foghorn, Ray 830992
       106. Francisco, Jimmy 818625
       107. Gatewood, Joseph P. 479889
       108. George, William 894441
       109. Gishal, Milton M. 875283
       110. Gleason, Jimmie 894446
       111. Goodluck, John 830933
       112. Gorman, Tom 818627
       113. Grayson, Bill L. 990052
       114. Greymountain, Yazzie 894538
       115. Guerito, Billy Lewis 830994
       116. Gustine, Tully 830995
       117. Guy, Charles 875406
       118. Harding, Ben Williams 990091
       119. Harding, Jack W. 479888
       120. Hardy, Tom 894628
       121. Harrison, Emmett 894479
       122. Haskie, Ross 358587
       123. Hawthorne, Roy Orville 990027
       124. Haycock, Bud 990196
       125. Hemstreet, Leslie 936840
       126. Henry, Albert 830996
       127. Henry, Edmund Juan 830997
       128. Henry, Kent Carl 936779
       129. Hickman, Dean Junian 990103
       130. Holiday, Calvin 990198
       131. Holiday, Samuel Tom 818614
       132. Housewood, Johnson 448907
       133. Housteen, Dennie 479730
       134. Howard, Ambrose 818574
       135. Hubbard, Arthur Jose 1000128
       136. Hudson, Lewey 894521
       137. Hunter, Tom 875445
       138. James, Benjamin 830998
       139. James, Billie 875301
       140. James, George B. 875342
       141. Johle, Elliott 894447
       142. John, Charlie T. 875395
       143. John, Leroy M. Sr. 448918
       144. Johns, Edmund 448908
       145. Johnny, Earl 830999
       146. Johnson, Deswood R. 844625
       147. Johnson, Francis T. 479772
       148. Johnson, Johnnie 537164
       149. Johnson, Peter 894412
       150. Johnson, Ralph 990086
       151. Jones, Jack 818548
       152. Jones, Tom H. Jr. 831001
       153. Jordan, David 831000
       154. June, Floyd 479768
       155. Keams, Percy 990028
       156. Keedah, Wilson 894673
       157. Kellwood, Joe H. 479704
       158. Kescoli, Alonzo 875397
       159. Ketchum, Bahe 875416
       160. King, Jimmie 448910
       161. Kinlacheeny, Paul 894414
       162. Kinsel, John 448912
       163. Kirk, George H. 831003
       164. Kirk, Leo 585379
       165. Kiyaani, Mike 894629
       166. Kontz, Rex T. 448921
       167. Lapahie, Harrison 831046
       168. Largo, James 990095
       169. Little, Keith M. 818629
       170. Lopez, Tommy K. 831059
       171. MacDonald, Peter 1000079
       172. Malone, Max 894621
       173. Malone, Rex 831101
       174. Malone, Robert 831075
       175. Maloney, James 990085
       176. Maloney, Paul E. 875431
       177. Manuelito, Ben C. 479800
       178. Manuelito, Ira 831005
       179. Manuelito, James C. 831060
       180. Manuelito, Peter 1000234
       181. Marianito, Frank 936841
       182. Mark, Robert 990093
       183. Martin, Matthew 894406
       184. Martinez, Jose 894550
       185. McCraith, Archibald 990110
       186. Mike, King Paul 894671
       187. Miles, General 990096
       188. Moffitt, Tom Clah 894473
       189. Morgan, Jack C. 830932
       190. Morgan, Ralph 448920
       191. Morris, Joe 894601
       192. Moss, George 990093
       193. Multine, Oscar P. 875314
       194. Murphy, Calvin H. 875360
       195. Nagurski, Adolph N. 875384
       196. Nahkai, James T. Jr. 831006
       197. Nakaidinae, Peter Sr. 479861
       198. Napa, Martin Felix
       199. Negale, Harding 936842
       200. Newman, Alfred 831007
       201. Nez, Arthur 1000176
       202. Nez, Freeland 875252
       203. Nez, Israel Hosteen 479769
       204. Nez, Sidney 894511
       205. Notah, Roy 448914
       206. Notah, Willie Anthony 875300
       207. O'Dell, Billy 479877
       208. Oliver, Willard V. 831008
       209. Paddock, Layton 479871
       210. Pahe, Robert D. 831114
       211. Parrish, Paul A. 416414
       212. Patrick, Amos Roy 936843
       213. Patterson, David Earl 831043
       214. Peaches, Alfred James 875372
       215. Peshlakai, Sam 894440
       216. Peterson, Joe Sr. 1000089
       217. Pinto, Gaul (Guy) 831047
       218. Pinto, John Senator 990189
       219. Platero, Richard 894460
       220. Preston, Jimmie 479801
       221. Reed, Sam 875369
       222. Roanhorse, Harry C. 831011
       223. Sage, Andy 831012
       224. Sage, Denny 818604
       225. Salabiye, Jerry E. 1000024
       226. Sandoval, Peter P. 831088
       227. Sandoval, Samuel F. 831013
       228. Sandoval, Thomas 831014
       229. Scott, John 875415
       230. Sells, John C. 936956
       231. Shields, Freddie 894442
       232. Shorty, Dooley 1000177
       233. Shorty, Robert T. 831049
       234. Silversmith, Joe A. 831015
       235. Silversmith, Sammy 831050
       236. Singer, Oscar Jones 990122
       237. Singer, Richard 479774
       238. Skeet, Wilson Chee 1000081
       239. Slinkey, Richard T. 479727
       240. Slivers, Albert J. Sr. 990068
       241. Smiley, Arcenio 894508
       242. Smith, Albert 831062
       243. Smith, George 831063
       244. Smith, Raymond R. 857535
       245. Smith, Samuel Jesse 831073
       246. Soce, George B. 831016
       247. Sorrell, Benjamin G. 448905
       248. Spencer, Harry 990197
       249. Tabaha, Johnnie 990076
       250. Tah, Alfred 479831
       251. Tah, Edward 894676
       252. Talley, John N. 831017
       253. Tallsalt, Bert 990082
       254. Thomas, Edward 990129
       255. Thomas, Richard 894520
       256. Thompson, Clare M. 875458
       257. Thompson, Everett M. 818518
       258. Thompson, Francis T. 537182
       259. Thompson, Frank T. 403057
       260. Todacheene, Carl Leon 831018
       261. Todacheene, Frank Carl 990105
       262. Tohe, Benson 537165
       263. Toledo, Curtis 831051
       264. Toledo, Frank 479759
       265. Toledo, Preston 479757
       266. Toledo, Willie 479756
       267. Towne, Joseph H. 479721
       268. Towne, Zane 479770
       269. Tso, Chester H. 894413
       270. Tso, Howard B. 894677
       271. Tso, Paul Edward 990071
       272. Tso, Samuel 818546
       273. Tsosie, Alfred 831019
       274. Tsosie, Cecil G. 831020
       275. Tsosie, Collins D. 831021
       276. Tsosie, Kenneth 831025
       277. Tsosie, Samuel Sr. 479913
       278. Upshaw, John 990099
       279. Upshaw, William 875364
       280. Vandever, Joe 831026
       281. Wagner, Oliver 990162
       282. Wallace, Stephan P. 1000022
       283. Walley, Robert 831027
       284. Werito, John 831052
       285. Whitman, Lyman J. 894466
       286. Willetto, Frank, Jr. 831029
       287. Willetto, Frankie Chee 894509
       288. Williams, Alex 875338
       289. Williams, Kenneth 875370
       290. Willie, George B. 875408
       291. Woody, Clarence Bahi 990092
       292. Yazhe, Ernest 448949
       293. Yazhe, Harrison A. 875363
       294. Yazza, Peter 875442
       295. Yazza, Vincent 1000109
       296. Yazzie, Clifton 894593
       297. Yazzie, Daniel 831030
       298. Yazzie, Eddie Melvin 521223
       299. Yazzie, Edison Kee 875390
       300. Yazzie, Felix 416408
       301. Yazzie, Francis 1000101
       302. Yazzie, Frank H. 990101
       303. Yazzie, Harding 894480
       304. Yazzie, Harold 537154
       305. Yazzie, Joe Shorty 830962
       306. Yazzie, John 990113
       307. Yazzie, Justin D. 1000126
       308. Yazzie, Lemuel Rev. 990062
       309. Yazzie, Ned 990112
       310. Yazzie, Pahe Denet 479773
       311. Yazzie, Raphael 831053
       312. Yazzie, Robert 831031
       313. Yazzie, William 875347
       314. Yellowhair, Leon 990100
       315. Yellowhair, Stanley 818600
       316. Yellowman, Howard 831032
       317. Yoe, George 990119
       318. Zah, Henry 894551

                       LISTED, BUT NOT CONFIRMED

       1. Alfred, Johnnie 479728
       2. Allen, Perry 818534
       3. Becenti, Ned 448948
       4. Begay, Edward 474862
       5. Begay, Jimmie 419878
       6. Begay, Johnson 965045
       7. Brown, Ned 818534
       8. Clark, Jimmie 830987
       9. Fowler, King 990080
       10. Gray, Harvey 448909
       11. Jenson, Nevy 990178
       12. Jose, Teddy 448913
       13. Kennepah, Jessie 358451
       14. Morgan, Herbert 448922
       15. Morgan, Sam 831100
       16. Nez, Howard 403039
       17. Nez, Howard H. 831086
       18. Otero, Tom 831009
       19. Singer, Tom 448916
       20. Smith, Enoch 998953
       21. Sorrel, Jerome 448915
       22. Tsosie, David W. 831022
       23. Tsosie, Howard 964998
       24. Tsosie, Howard J. 831024
       25. Whitman, Joe Reid 831028
       26. Wilson, William 567102
       27. Yazzie, Charley H. 831054
       28. Yazzie, Sam W. 990036

[[Page H8258]]

                      PENDING/WAITING FOR RECORDS

       1. Anderson, Edward 956330
       2. Brown, N.A. 964770
       3. Burnside, Francis A. 548184
       4. Curley, Rueban 875229
       5. David, Alfred
       6. Dooley, Richard 807198
       7. Foster, Harold Y. 537154
       8. Freeman, Edwin
       9. Goldtooth, Emmett
       10. Goodman, Billie 875280
       11. Harthorn, Rodger 2314982
       12. Jake, H.
       13. Kien, William 831058
       14. Leroy, George
       15. Leuppe, Edward 381004
       16. Nazwood, Johnson
       17. Peterson, David 831043
       18. Price, Joe F. 894626
       19. Price, Wilson H. 358592
       20. Sandoval, Merril Leon 831048
       21. Tracey, Peter 257670
       22. Tsosie, Woody B.
       23. Visalia, Buster

                               NOT LISTED

       1. Babiye, Don
       2. Barber, Willie
       3. Begaye, Flemming 830977
       4. Bejay, Charlie
       5. Burbank, Askee
       6. Clauschee, Guy 990200
       7. Hanigahnie Jake
       8. Kent, Carl Henry
       9. Livingston, ?
       10. Lod(v?)ato, Joe T.
       11. Martinez, Martin
       12. Peshlakai, Wallace Jr.
       13. Singer, William
       14. Yazzie ?, Leon
       15. Yazzie, Peter

  It is with that I submit those names on a wonderful treasure from the 
Four Corners to America, and what they gave this country is so 
valuable. You look back on their life and what they gave us is 
immeasurable. What I would also like to do is honor them on today, the 
anniversary of Pearl Harbor; and I hope that we would look fondly on 
their attributes and what they gave to this great country because we 
are all great because of them.
  I also want to take the liberty of acknowledging one other person. 
It's her birthday today. It's my mom. She turned 78. Happy birthday, 
  I yield back the balance of my time.