Navajo Code Talker to speak at WWU Nov. 29

Western Today staff

Samuel Tso, a Navajo Code Talker, will speak from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov 29, in Antzen Hall Room 100 on the Western Washington University campus.

All are invited to attend this free lecture.

The Navajo Code Talkers used their native language to transmit military messages on enemy tactics, Japanese Troop movements and battlefield information during World War II, and they took part in every assault executed by the Marines in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. The Japanese could not break the code. At Iwo Jima, six Navajo Code talkers worked for two days straight, sending and receiving 800 messages without errors. Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division, stated later that “were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would have never taken Iwo Jima.” The Navajo Code Talkers kept their work secret for many decades and did not receive recognition until the declassification of the operation in 1968.

Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tso bravely served with the U.S. Marine Corps from Feb 13, 1943, to March 29, 1946. He served at the Battle of Iwo Jima and at Nagasaki. He later devoted 30 years of his life to serve as an educator. In 2001, he received a Congressional Silver Medal for his service as USMC Navajo code talker.

This lecture is sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, the Department of History and the Interdisciplinary Linguistics Program.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 12:54pm