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Meskwaki Code Talkers

Tama Township

Meskwaki Code Talkers of Tama County, Iowa

Many Native Americans served in WWII, including a few who were called upon for their language skills. Their spoken native languages were inscrutable to the Germans and Italians. Among these Native American Code Talkers were eight men from the Meskwaki (Sac and Fox) Tribe, in Tama County, Iowa.

The eight Meskwaki Code Talkers were Edward Benson, Dewey Roberts, Frank Sanache, Willard Sanache, Melvin Twin, Judy Wayne Wabaunasee, Mike Wayne Wabaunasee and Dewey Youngbear, but I don't know which is which, in the picture. They are shown here with their commanding officer.

The last of the eight died in 2004. In 2013, they were posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

The Code Talkers never received much recognition for their sacrifices, as the codes remained classified until 1968. The Navaho Code Talkers were memorialized in a 2002 movie, Windtalkers.

Meskwaki WWII veterans.

Color guard leading grand entry dance at the 100th Meskwaki Annual POWWOW, 9 Aug 2014.

Thanks to Donald Wanatee and Sharon Becker for these pictures.

Updated 24 Nov 2019 by the Tama County Coordinator.

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