Senate Engrossed





State of Arizona


Fiftieth Legislature

First Regular Session










honoring the hopi code talkers for their substantial contributions to american history and military success.





Whereas, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese Empire attacked Pearl Harbor, and Congress declared war the following day; and

Whereas, the military code developed by the United States for transmitting messages had been deciphered by the Japanese, and United States intelligence made a search to develop new means to counter the enemy; and

Whereas, the United States government called on Native Americans, including members of the Hopi Tribe, to support the military effort by recruiting and enlisting Native American men to serve in the United States Army as radio telephone operators; and

Whereas, at the time, the Hopis were being discouraged from using their own language; and

Whereas, ten United States Army Hopi radio telephone operators, who became known as the Native American Code Talkers, used their Hopi language to develop and communicate military coded messages in the Pacific campaign; and

Whereas, to the enemy's frustration, the code developed by the Hopi Code Talkers proved to be unbreakable and was used extensively throughout the Pacific campaign; and

Whereas, Franklin Shupla, Warren Koiyaquaptewa, Frank Chapella, Travis Yaiva, Charles Lomakema, Percival Navenma, Perry Honani, Sr. and Floyd Dann, Sr., were all assigned to the 323rd Infantry Regiment of the 81st Infantry Division, Headquarters Company, also known as the "Wildcat Division"; and

Whereas, Native American languages were instrumental in developing the most significant and successful military code of the time; and

Whereas, the Hopi and other Native American Code Talkers were so successful that military commanders credited their code with saving the lives of countless American soldiers and with the successful engagements of the American forces in the battles of Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa; and

Whereas, following the conclusion of World War II, the United States Department of Defense maintained the secrecy of the Native American code until it was declassified in 1968. Only then did information about the sacrifice and valor of these brave Native Americans emerge from history; and

Whereas, the Hopi Code Talkers' remarkable contribution to this country went unrecognized until the United States Congress passed the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008 to require the issuance of medals to recognize the dedication and valor of Native American Code Talkers; and

Whereas, on November 11, 2009, the Hopi Tribe and Hopi veterans dedicated a bronze plaque for the eight Hopi Code Talkers who were members of the famed 323rd Infantry Regiment, 81st Infantry Division, known as the "Wild Cat Division"; and

Whereas, Rex Pooyouma assigned to the 380th Bombardment Group and Orville Wadsworth assigned to the 90th Bombardment Group, both units with the Fifth Bomber Command, Fifth Air Force, United States Army Air Force, were selected and trained as part of a secret Native American Code Talker communications network to transmit secret-coded messages using their Hopi Lavayii in the Pacific campaign; and

Whereas, Mr. Pooyouma and Mr. Wadsworth were recognized in 2010 as the ninth and tenth Hopi Code Talker, respectively, by the United States Army Center of Military Studies; and

Whereas, the original ten Hopi Code Talkers came from the villages of Moencopi, Hotevilla, Shungopavi, Mishungnovi, Bacavi and Tewa/Hano and who are all deceased; and

Whereas, the remarkable achievements of the Hopi Code Talkers confounded the Japanese and contributed to the liberation of the South Pacific Islands and final victory against the military forces of the Empire of Japan in World War II.  Their bold wartime actions exemplify the courage, bravery and spirit of America's patriot heroes.


Be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Arizona, the House of Representatives concurring:

1.  That the Members of the Legislature recognize and honor the enormous contributions of the Hopi Code Talkers to American history and military success, and support the preservation of their remarkable legacy.

2.  That the Members of the Legislature encourage schools and civic groups to teach and commemorate the important historical contributions of the Hopi and other Native American Code Talkers have made to the principles of freedom.

3.  That the Secretary of State of the State of Arizona transmit copies of this Resolution to the Secretaries of the United States Department of Defense, the United States Department of Education, the United States Department of the Interior and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Chairman of the Hopi Tribe, the Director of the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services, the National Congress of American Indians and each Member of Congress from the State of Arizona.