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
Szasz, Margaret Connell
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
National Archives Regional Residency Fellowship
Gorman, Zonnie. "The Navajo Code Talkers of World War II: The First Twenty-Nine." (2015). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hist_etds/32