Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 8/26/2004 6:34:42 PM EDT

Last of the 'Code Talkers' dies at 86

By Lester Haines
Published Thursday 26th August 2004 12:34 GMT

The last of the Meskwaki "Code Talkers" - native American Indians trained during WWII to use their native tongue as a code for radio communications - died last Saturday in Iowa aged 86.

Frank Sanache was the last of 27 members of the Meskwaki tribe who enlisted in the Iowa National Guard in 1941, and he subsequently saw brief action in North Africa before being captured. Sanache saw out the rest of the war in a POW camp in Poland, the New York Times reports.

The Meskwaki were among 18 tribes whose language skills were put to use by the US military. The most famous were the Navajo, and twenty nine of their number received the Congressional Gold Medal from president Bush in 2001. The Meskwaki, however, never got such acknowledgement, despite lobbying by two Iowa senators. Earlier this year, the Iowa Legislature passed a resolution asking Congress to recognize the Meskwaki for their heroism.

Sanache recalled that his walkie-talkie training lasted two months, followed by a year's jungle training in Louisiana. He noted that on active service he had little chance to use his language skills because of the limited number of fellow Meskwaki speakers and the walkie-talkies' short range.

Link Posted: 8/26/2004 7:52:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 7:55:49 PM EDT
Hell he got too live a nice long life, good for him.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:00:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:02:37 PM EDT
They served their country well. A good example of how everyone contributed to the war effort in whatever way they could.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:05:15 PM EDT
... Growing up in Arizona I’ve met quite a few Navajo Indians. Seems most of them are at one end of the spectrum or the other. Navajos (they call themselves Dine) are a very interesting people. Many of the young are druggies, alcoholics and suffer all kinds of social disorders but many of their elders are intriguing, witty, insightful and have a great deal of respect for the United States.

... We salute you Mr. Frank Sanache, we know you’ve finally made it to the “happy hunting grounds”, and thank you for your service.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:33:35 PM EDT
I grew up on the Western edge of the Meskwaki res & went to school in Tama, never heard of this before
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:41:35 PM EDT
he may be the last Meskwaki code talker, but not the last Native code talker.
there are a few Dine (Navajo) talkers still kicking.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:42:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
Every single job is important. God bless this warrior. Rest in peace, Sir.

The generation that did, no matter the cost.

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 1:28:21 AM EDT
God bless him and his kind.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 1:52:40 AM EDT
Thanks for your service-

your family and friends rejoice at your reunion....
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:39:12 AM EDT
What amazes me is that the Germans had him in captivity for years and it never dawned on them that Indians could be the source of the gobbledygook the Axis heard on the airwaves in battles. they had the intel sitting in their laps, and didn't know it, or care.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:02:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 12:40:31 AM EDT by Pilk]
He has seen the end of war....... I hope that God my bless his soul, ancestors, and decendants....

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:29:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By EX11B:
he may be the last Meskwaki code talker, but not the last Native code talker.
there are a few Dine (Navajo) talkers still kicking.

Exactly what I was thinking....
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:34:17 AM EDT
Top Top