Fort Benning, Georgia, 1941
Front Row, left to right: Roderick “Dick” Red Elk, Simmons Parker, Larry Saupitty, Melvin Permansu, Willie Yackeschi, Charles Chibitty and Willington Mihecoby. Back Row, left to right: Morris Sunrise, Perry Noyebad, Ralph Wahnee, Haddon Codynah, Robert Holder, Albert Nahquaddy, Clifford Ototivo and Forrest Kassanavoid. (not pictured: Elgin Red Elk and Anthony Tabbitite)
The Comanche Code Talkers were an elite group of young men who were fluent in the Comanche language and used that knowledge, along with the training they were given by the Army, to send critical messages that confused the enemy during World War II. Seventeen young men were trained in communications, but only fourteen were deployed to the European theater.
Serving overseas were Roderick “Dick” Red Elk, Simmons Parker, Larry Saupitty, Melvin Permansu, Willie Yackeschi, Charles Chibitty, Willington Mihecoby, Morris Sunrise, Perry Noyebad, Haddon Codynah, Robert Holder, Clifford Otitivo, Forrest Kassanavoid and Elgin Red Elk. They were recruited from Cache, Cement, Cyril, Fletcher, Indiahoma, Lawton and Walters. Albert Nahquaddy, Anthony Tabbytite and Ralph Wahnee, who trained for the same role, did not serve overseas.
In 1989 the French Government honored the three survivors of the group for their important contribution with the “Chevalier de L’Order National du Merite.” As of 2006 The United States government has not offered any special recognition for the group.
We, as Comanche people, honor them always.