42:23 Navajo Code Talker Thomas Begay, Iwo Jima Hero (Full Interview)
See also – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuXc3IenURc – 3 Navajo
Code Talkers in White House Oval Office recognition by President
Donald Trump Nov 27, 2017

American Veterans Center
Thomas Begay was one of the famed “Navajo Code Talkers,” members of the Navajo Nation who were selected by the US Marine Corps to create a code based on the complex, unwritten Navajo language, which ultimately helped the US and Allied Forces win World War II.

Begay enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1943 at the age of 16. He was selected as one of the 33 Navajo Code Talkers to be assigned to the renowned 5th Marine Division Signal Company and in the Radio Section of the H & S Company, 27th Marines. The Navajo Code Talkers developed and used a secret coded Navajo language for radio communication in the Marine Corps battle campaign. During the Battle of Iwo Jima, Private First Class Begay transmitted hundreds of secret messages over the radio network from H-Hour, 19 February 1945 to 27 March 1945. The Navajo Code Talkers were so effective that the Japanese cryptographers were completely baffled and were never able to break that code. Major Howard M. Conner, signal officer of the Fifth Marine Division at Iwo Jima said: “during the first 48 hours while we were landing and consolidating our shore positions, I had six Navajo radio networks operating around the clock. In that period alone, they sent and received over 800 messages without an error. Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima and win the war”.

Thomas H Begay was honorably discharged from the Marines as a Lance Corporal in 1946. He then served in the US Army during the Korean War as a parachutist, glider-man and in combat with the 7th Infantry Division in North Korea. He is a survivor of the Chosin Reservoir battle in November to December, 1950 against the Korean and Chinese forces. He was honorably discharged in 1953. Among his many awards are the Presidential Unit Citation with three Bronze Stars and the Meritorious Unit Citation with the Korean Service Medal with five Bronze Stars. Years later in 2001, he received the Congressional Medal from President George W. Bush.

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