History ETDs

Author

Zonnie Gorman

Publication Date

1-28-2015

Abstract

The Navajo code is considered to be one of the only U.S. military codes never broken by an enemy combatant. Its use in the Pacific campaigns during World War II and the now famous men, the Navajo Code Talkers, owe their success to the original group — 'the first twenty-nine' - who volunteered in the spring of 1942 to join the U. S. Marine Corps for a 'special' assignment. Unbeknownst to them at the time of their enlistment, they would serve as a pilot to develop a code in their native language and test its feasibility for combat communications. Very few details have been available about this initial phase of the first group, even though it was vital in establishing the program. This thesis on the 'first twenty-nine' broadens and reinterprets the traditional historical narrative, employing newly discovered material and several undisclosed interviews with both members of the original group as well as former Marines who were involved in this decisive phase.

Level of Degree

Masters

Degree Name

History

Department Name

History

First Advisor

Szasz, Margaret Connell

First Committee Member (Chair)

Cahill, Cathleen

Second Committee Member

Durwood, Ball

Third Committee Member

N/A

Language

English

Project Sponsors

National Archives Regional Residency Fellowship

Document Type

Thesis

Included in

History Commons

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