Navajo code talkers join the Marines
23rd November 1942: As the struggle for Guadalcanal continues US forces are helped by Native Americans within their ranks
On Guadalcanal, the US Marines were still dug in, fending off Japanese attacks on their positions around Henderson Field.
A remarkable new asset joined them in November 1942, when a detachment of Marines recruited from the Navajo Nation arrived. It was becoming necessary to communicate urgently by wireless on the battlefield - yet the Marines had learnt that the Japanese were often listening in.
The introduction of men speaking in Navajo was to transform this situation. Chester Nez1 was one of the men who joined the battlefield in November 1942:
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