Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center

Lord of the Plains

Comanche Code Talkers

Comanche Code Talkers
Comanche Code of Honor Click or tap on the image for video

Nʉmʉrekwa’etʉʉ  —  “Comanche speakers”

During World Wars I and II, the United States military used select Native American service men to relay secret battle messages based on words from their traditional tribal languages. “Code Talkers,” as they came to be known, are
twentieth–century heroes.

Although the Nʉmʉnʉʉ (Comanche) language was utilized in battle during WWI, it wasn’t until WWII that an organized code was developed. Twenty-one Comanche men were hand-picked by the U.S. Government to participate in the WWII Code Talker program. Seventeen of those men went on to enlist in the U.S. Army and received training as radio operators and line repairmen with the 4th Infantry Division. During this time, the Army gave them free rein to develop secret Comanche code words that no one outside the group would be able to understand, including other Comanches. The move proved successful. It took a military machine up to four hours to transmit and decode a message, but a Comanche Code Talker could decode the same message in less than three minutes. Their codes were never broken.

Fourteen of the Comanche Code Talkers were sent overseas during WWII to fight in the European Theater. Thirteen of those men hit the beaches of Normandy with Allied troops on D-Day. When the 4th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, they were five miles off their designated target. The first message sent from the beach was sent in Comanche from Code Talker, Private First Class Larry Saupitty. His message was “Tsaakʉ nʉnnuwee. Atahtu nʉnnuwee,” which translates to: “We made a good landing. We landed in the wrong place.”

Several Comanche Code Talkers were wounded in battle but all survived the war. These valiant soldiers are credited with saving the lives of thousands of American and Allied service men. All the Comanche Code Talkers have now passed away but their heroic actions will forever be remembered by a grateful Nation.

Comanche Code Talkers of World War II:

  • Cpl. Charles Chibitty
  • T/4 Haddon Codynah
  • T/5 Robert Holder
  • Cpl. Forrest Kassanavoid
  • T/5 Wellington Mihecoby
  • Pvt. Albert (Edward) Nahquaddy, Jr.
  • Pvt. Perry Noyabad
  • T/5 Clifford Otitivo
  • T/5 Simmons Parker
  • Pvt. Melvin Permansu
  • Pvt. Elgin Red Elk
  • Pfc. Roderick Red Elk
  • Pfc. Larry Saupitty
  • Anthony Tabbytite
  • T/4 Morris Tabbyetchy
  • Pfc. Ralph Wahnee
  • T/5 Willis Yackeschi