WWII Navajo Code Talker makes Michigan stop
BUCHANAN, Mich. --- A WWII veteran shared his experiences with Michiana residents at the American Legion in Buchanan on Monday.
Peter MacDonald, Sr. is one of the last Navajo Code Talkers alive.
The Navajo Code Talkers created a top secret code during the war to keep enemies from cracking communication messages.
Navajo Code Talkers helped lead to the victor in the war in the Pacific.
MacDonald joined the war at just 15-years-old; his parents did not even know he had joined until he returned from boot camp wearing a US military uniform. MacDonald is now 92 years old.
Navajo Code Talkers trained at Navajo Code School held at a top secret location just east of San Diego.
MacDonald and other Code Talkers were then certified to create the secret code that helped saved thousands of American lives and eventually win key battles.
“They tell us it’s the only official military code in modern history never broken by an enemy,” said MacDonald.
All of the words in the code were memorized and by the time the war was over, the group ended up with over 600 code words.
After the code was successfully tested in 1942, Code Talkers were at every major military landing during the war and coded messages were used until the battle lines were secured.
At the Battle of Iwo Jima in the Pacific, Code Talkers sent a top secret message in just 20 seconds to call for help.
“Without Navajo, marines would not have taken the island of Iwo Jima,” said MacDonald.
For 23 years, no one knew about the Code Talkers until the code was declassified in 1968.
The brave Navajo soldiers simply told family and friends they worked with radio communication in the war.
“We’ve been a radio man for 23 years. Now we can tell them we were code talkers,” said MacDonald.