The Last of the Comanche Code TalkersCharles Chibitty, 83, the Last of the Comanche Code Talkers, Is Dead
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: July 22, 2005
OKLAHOMA CITY, July 21 (AP) - Charles Chibitty, the last survivor of the Comanche code talkers who used their native language to transmit messages for the Allies in Europe during World War II, died Wednesday in Tulsa. He was 83.
His death was announced by Cathy Flynn, administrative assistant in the Comanche Nation tribal chairman's office.
The Army selected a group of Comanche Indians from the Lawton, Okla., area for special duty to provide the Allies with a language that the Germans could not decipher. Like the larger group of Navajo Indians who performed a similar service in the Pacific theater, the Comanches were called code talkers.
"It's strange, but growing up as a child I was forbidden to speak my native language at school," Mr. Chibitty said in 2002. "Later my country asked me to. My language helped win the war, and that makes me very proud. Very proud. "
He once told a gathering, "I wonder what the hell Hitler thought when he heard those strange voices."
Mr. Chibitty was born on Nov. 20, 1921, near Medicine Park, Okla., and attended high school at Haskell Indian School in Lawrence, Kan. He enlisted in 1941.
In 1999, he received the Knowlton Award, which recognizes individuals for outstanding intelligence work, during a ceremony at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes.
"We could never do it again," Mr. Chibitty told Oklahoma Today magazine. "It's all electronic and video in war now."