CNMI: Memorial for Navajo code talkers and Saipan scouts

A permanent commemorative memorial court of honour, for the Navajo code talkers and the Marianas marine scouts will soon be erected on Saipan.

The Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council recently endorsed the funding request of Governor Arnold Palacios to install the memorial.

It marks their appreciation for the sacrifices made by these two groups during the Battle of Saipan, including Operation Forager from June 15 to July 9, 1944, by the code talkers and from August 1944 to September 1945 by some 50 Chamorro and Carolinian marine scouts recruited by the U.S. Marines.

On August 14, 1982, over 30 years after the Battle of Saipan, U.S. President Ronald Regan declared National Navajo Code Talkers Day. President Reagan stated that the code talkers played an instrumental role in the Pacific War from 1942 to 1945.

In a letter of support to Carmen Cantor, assistant secretary for the Office of Insular and International Affairs, the Saipan council underscored the role of the code talkers as pivotal.

The Navaho soldiers’ ability to encode messages confused the Japanese command as to the location and direction of Operation Forager’s troops, during the pivotal battle of Saipan.

After the major bombardment of Saipan, by the combined forces of the U.S. Marines, Army, and Navy, a few carefully vetted local civilians on Saipan were conscripted into the U.S. Marine battalion: their singular duty was to ensure the continuing safety of U.S. soldiers and local civilians following Operation Forager.

These civilian marines were chosen by the U.S. Marines because of their familiarity with the terrain, knowledge of the Japanese military’s tunnels and caves: including the locations of the Japanese gun emplacements, and Japanese language skills.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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