Freedom Fighters: Code Talkers - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Freedom Fighters: Code Talkers

By Joan Hallmark - bio | email

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - One of the best kept secrets of World War Two was the role of the Comanche Code Talkers in the Normandy Invasion. "We're on the right beach but we're at the wrong place" was the very first Comanche code message sent during the Normandy Invasion. The moment is captured in a painting hanging in the Oklahoma State Capitol building.

Joe Martinez is the grandson of Charles Chibetty who sent that first message. Martinez was commissioned by Chibetty to be the "the Comanche story keeper" so that important part of history would never be lost.

Ironically, for years the U.S. Government had worked to obliterate the Comanche language, only to officially sanction its' use during the war. It was one code the Germans were never able to break and was important to the Allied victory in World War Two

Charles Chibetty died in 2005. Because the Comanche language isn't written, Joe Martinez travels widely in his mission to keep alive one of the most fascinating languages and stories of our American heritage.

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