Wind Talkers: Navajo Code Talkers in WWII - Summary

The movie, Windtalkers, starring Nicholas Cage, is a fictional tale about the contribution of actual Navajo code talkers to the Allied victory of the Pacific front in World War II.

Learn what the Navajo people endured as their ancestral lands are co-opted by the United States. Think about having to leave your home, on foot, and carrying what you own on your back. Imagine how you feel being allowed back to your home with a much stronger feeling of community, as you become part of the reunited Navajo Nation.

Read about the Navajo way of life and how the division of labor between men and women makes sure that babies are tended, crops are grown and harvested and wool garments and rugs are made. See images of Navajo homes, harvest and corn farming methods.

Although the US wants Navajos to integrate into American society, the Nation clings to their spoken language and customs. Using a spoken, rather than written, language proves useful as a code during WWI. Philip Johnston, a child of missionaries who spent his life among the Navajo, believes this spoken language can become an unbreakable code during WWII.

Twenty-nine Navajo civilians are recruited into the Marines, where they prove their worth using a code that is never broken.  It remained a national secret until 1968.

The story takes place predominately on the islands of Saipan and Peleliu as the Americans fight to take back the Philippines and push back the Japanese. Learn why these islands are so important to the Allies.

Many Japanese soldiers are educated in the US and can speak English flawlessly. They are also able to break US codes in the Pacific – that is ... until the code talkers arrive.

The code involves an unwritten language which all code talkers must memorize. See a list of the codes – how do you think you would have done as a code talker?

View videos and images from the Pacific island battles and learn about the Japanese Banzai attacks.

By the end of the war, 540 Navajos served as Marines. President Bush honors five code-talker survivors in 2001.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Oct 31, 2018

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"Wind Talkers: Navajo Code Talkers in WWII" AwesomeStories.com. Jun 01, 2002. Jan 18, 2020.
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