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Native American Veteran and Canadian aboriginal veteran List.

Cherokee Code Talker

IN SERVICE: 40 Enlisted

Service: In the 119th Infantry, 120th Infantry, 142nd Infantry - In Europe - 1st and 2nd World War.



During the second battle of the Somme in August and September 1918, an American unit was fighting alongside the British. Among them, Captain John W Stanley of the 105th Field Signal Battalion.


Cherokee code talker doc 1

119thinfantry 30thdiv

Cherokee code talker doc 2

After the battle, at a meeting of the headquarters on October 7, 1918, it was found that the Germans managed to listen to the orders sent, thus losing any effect of surprise on the part of the Americans. On October 8, Captain John W Stanley proposed at a meeting of corps signal officers to use the Cherokees within the 119th and 120th Infantry, all from North Carolina, to transmit orders in their natural language. 
The next day, October 9, 1918, Cherokee soldiers were placed behind each telephone Company and brigade present on the front of the Somme. On the 12th of October, after three days of this new system, a captured German officer asked; "Gentlemen, we have officers in our unit who know how to speak all the languages ??of the world, but none could understand the language you have used in recent days. Gentlemen, could you tell me what kind of language is it? ''



Cherokee code talker doc 3

Cherokee code talker doc 4

Cherokee code talker doc 5


No American officer in place answered the German, just laughing. 
From 9 to 12 October 1918, in the Somme, a new code system had just been created. The first Code Talkers in history, are Cherokee from North Carolina within the 119th and 120th Infantry.



The case of ADAIR George is particular. The official list of Code Talkers is established by the US Department of Defense. They took a soldier from the 142nd Infantry, a unit well known for its number of Native Americans and gave it the title of Cherokee Code Talker. Except that it is impossible to know what documents or information they have based on that.

However, the 142nd did not serve during the 2 nd battle of the Somme, where the Cherokees Code Talkers were illustrated, it may be that it is not really a Code Talker. We leave it in the list until we find more information.


Regarding the case of NIGH Charles and his service during the Second World War, we only know he served in the Marine Corps.


Cherokee code talker doc 6

Last edited: 11/12/2018