In 1917, the Choctaw people were not citizens of the United States. The language the Choctaws spoke was considered unnecessary and obsolete. The language of the Choctaws was not taught in schools or textbooks. It was an ancient language passed on to their children. Because the language was so unique to the Choctaw people, only Choctaws knew the language. It was this same language that would prove decisive in being able to communicate in a code no enemy could understand. This people and language once considered by the United States to be insignificant actually changed the course of the battle in World War I (WWI) and became one of the greatest assets of this country. A small number of Choctaw soldiers confounded German eavesdroppers and allowed American tactics to go undetected. These few soldiers were heroes that helped to end World War I (WWI).
In 1924, a Congressional Act granted Indians citizenship in the United States. Without the help of these Choctaw heroes, this might have taken much longer. Today, the Choctaws people still maintain dual citizenship.
In World War II (WWII), there were 4 Code Talkers documented as Class II Code Talkers. A Class II Code Talker was not formally trained and used their native language “in the open” substituting English words when there was no word for military terms in the Choctaw language.
November 5 – Code Talker Booth @ Durant Headquarters – 9 am-4pm
November 7 – Code Talker Speaking @ Fairfield, Arkansas, Time to be determined
November 9 – Code Talker Booth and Speech – 9 am – 4pm @ Denison – Perrin Air Force Museum
November 10 – Code Talker Booth @ Tushka Homma – 9 am – 12 noon - Veterans Ceremony
December 1 – Code Talker Booth – Durant Pow Wow @ Event Center – 10am – 8 pm
The men who made up the United States' first code talkers were either full-blood or mixed-blood Choctaw Indians. All were born in the Choctaw Nation of the Indian Territory, in what is now southeastern Oklahoma, when their nation was a self-governed republic. The 19 known code talkers are as follows:
- Albert Billy (1885–1958). Billy, a full blood Choctaw, was born at Howe, San Bois County, Choctaw Nation, in the Indian Territory. He was a member of the 36th Division, Company E.
- Mitchell Bobb (January 7, 1895-December 1921). Bobb's place of birth was Rufe, Indian Territory Rufe, Oklahoma in the Choctaw Nation. He was a member of the 142nd Infantry, Company E.
- Victor Brown (1896–1966). Brown was born at Goodwater, Kiamitia County, Choctaw Nation.
- Ben Carterby (December 11, 1891 – February 6, 1953). Carterby was a full blood Choctaw roll number 2045 born in Ida, Choctaw County, Oklahoma.
- Benjamin Franklin Colbert Born September 15, 1900 at Durant Indian Territory, died January 1964. He was the youngest Code Talker. His Father, Benjamin Colbert Sr, was a Rough Rider during the Spanish - American War.
- George Edwin Davenport was born in Finley, Oklahoma, April 28, 1887. He enlisted into the armed services in his home town. George may also have been called James. George was the half brother to Joseph Davenport. Died April 17, 1950.
- Joseph Harvey Davenport was from Finley, Oklahoma, Feb 22, 1892. Died April 23, 1923 and is buried at the Davenport Family Cemetery on the Tucker Ranch.
- James (Jimpson) Morrison Edwards (October 6, 1898 – October 13, 1962). Edwards was born at Golden, Nashoba County, Choctaw Nation in the Indian Territory. He was a member of the 142nd Infantry, Company E.
- Tobias William Frazier (August 7, 1892– November 22, 1975). (A full blood Choctaw roll number 1823) Frazier was born in Cedar County, Choctaw Nation. He was a member of the 142nd Infantry, Company E.
- Benjamin Wilburn Hampton (a full blood Choctaw roll number 10617) born May 31, 1892 in Bennington, Blue County, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, now Bryan County, Oklahoma. He was a member of the 142nd Infantry, Company E.
- Noel Johnson Code Talker Noel Johnson, 142nd Infantry, Born August 25, 1894 at Smithville Indian Territory. He attended Dwight Indian Training School. His World War I draft registration stated he had weak eyes. Great Niece Christine Ludlow said he was killed in France and his body was not returned to the US.
- Otis Wilson Leader (a Choctaw by blood roll number 13606) was born March 6, 1882 in what is today Atoka County, Oklahoma. He died March 26, 1961 and is buried in the Coalgate Cemetery.
- Solomon Bond Louis (April 22, 1898 – February 15, 1972). Louis, a full blood Choctaw, was born at Hochatown, Eagle County, Choctaw Nation, in the Indian Territory. He was a member of the 142nd Infantry, Company E. He died in Bennington, Bryan County, Oklahoma in 1972.
- Pete Maytubby was born Peter P. Maytubby (a full blood Chickasaw roll number 4685) on September 26, 1892 in Reagan, Indian Territory now located in Johnston County, Oklahoma. Pete was a member of the 142nd Infantry, Company E. He died in 1964 and is buried at the Tishomingo City Cemetery in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.
- Jeff Nelson (unknown). He was a member of the 142nd Infantry, Company E.
- Joseph Oklahombi (May 1, 1895 – April 13, 1960). Oklahombi – whose surname in the Choctaw language means man killer – was born at Bokchito, Nashoba County, Choctaw Nation in the Indian Territory. He was a member of the 143rd Infantry, Headquarters Company. Oklahombi is Oklahoma's most decorated war hero, and his medals are on display in the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City.
- Robert Taylor (a full blood Choctaw roll number 916) was born January 13, 1894 in Idabel, McCurtain County, Oklahoma (based on his registration for the military in 1917). He was a member of the 142nd Infantry, Company E.
- Charles Walter Veach (May 18, 1884 – October 13, 1966). (Choctaw by Blood roll #10021) Veach was from Durant, OK (Blue County I.T.)he served in the last Choctaw legislature and as Captain of the Oklahoma National Guard, 1st Oklahoma, Company H which served on the TX border against Pancho Villa and put down the Crazy Snake Rebellion. He remained Captain when Company H. 1st Oklahoma, was mustered into Company E. 142nd Infantry, 36th Division, U. S. Army at Ft. Bowie, TX in October 1917. After World War II he represented the Choctaw Nation on the Inter-tribal Council of the 5 Civilized Tribes. He is buried in Highland Cemetery, Durant, Oklahoma.
- Calvin Wilson Calvin was born June 25, 1894 at Eagletown, Eagle County, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. He was a member of the 142nd Infantry, Company E. His date of death is unknown. Wilson's name is misspelled in military records as "Cabin."
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