Native US Americans in WW2

Discussion in 'US Units' started by Lindele, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Are there any good stories of native Indian Americans fighting in the war?

    And as as someone living in Europe with no connection to US Natives at all, what is the view of our US members towards them today, no matter in which state you live today.
    I was triggered by the fact that today 309 years ago the Tuscarora started a war in North Carolina with European settlers lasting over three years. These natives lost some 850 men, women and kids

  2. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    All I know is that native Indian Americans were used as 'Code talkers'. Relying on the fact that the enemy were unlikely to have a native language speaker, they speeded up the passing of tactical information and orders as they by-passed the need for signals to be coded.

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  3. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

  4. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    They fought in all the theaters in all the US branches. US Indian Reservations are theoretically sovereign nations but the federal government, state governments and Indian leaders don't seem to be consistent in the way they apply sovereignty and it depends on the situation. Indians were not subject to the draft during WWI but were during WWII.

    A famous American Indian is Ira Hayes, one of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima.

    Ira Hayes - Wikipedia.

    John Waldron of Midway fame was half Sioux on his mother's side

    John C. Waldron - Wikipedia

    There were also code talkers who used their native languages to create local tactical radio codes. The most famous here are from the Navajo tribe but there were other tribes as well with their own languages in both the Marines and Army.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
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  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    First Nation Americans from both Canada and the USA played an important role as early as WW1 using their language skills (Maoris also operated in this mode on the Western Front).
    For WW2 see "USA Indians in the War" produced in 1945 - a google on this should bring you to the PDF
  6. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    The 158th Infantry Regiment of the Arizona National Guard contained a very high percentage of American Indian and Mexican-American personnel. The 158th served as an independent regiment in the Pacific with great distinction and its memory is still kept green by the Indians and Mexicans of Arizona. See Anthony Arthur's fine regimental history, Bushmasters.
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  7. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    With regards to American Indians in our armed forces generally, their attitude towards military service has been much like that of American Blacks. Indians know the warrior traditions of their ancestors and they regard military service as a way of proving their right to belong, of earning their status as full Americans--and remember that for a long time Indians did not have full citizenship rights. Indians served on both sides in our Civil War; Ulysses S. Grant's military secretary, Colonel Ely S. Parker, was a full-blooded Iroquois. After 1865, many Indians served as scouts with the army in the post-1865 wars against the Plains hostiles. (The Sioux and Cheyenne had many enemies among the other tribes, the Crow being the bitterest.) I remember going through the poor Indian and Mexican villages of New Mexico on a train just after 9/11, and practically every house had an American flag in the window. I don't know about other white people, but I have a lot of respect for American Indian patriotism and the Indian military tradition.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
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  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Both the French and British had Indian allies in the French and Indian War.

    The additional taxes imposed on the colonies to pay off the cost of the war were the tipping point that caused the American Revolution

    French and Indian War - Wikipedia
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  9. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

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  10. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Thank you for all contributions.
    At first I didn't want to start this thread, but now I am happy.
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  11. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    One for you(and all) here Stefan.

    Navajo code talker Thomas Begay USMC.

    Kind regards, always,

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  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Stefan, I would daresay that just about any company-sized unit had at least a couple of American Indians in them, some from reservations, some not.
    The Indian tribe in our area has so intermingled with European descendants over the years, that you would be hard-pressed to differentiate them in a group of other locals.
    In my book, Mr. Sanford mentioned one, although there were several he encountered in his training and combat that I did not include.
    They were not necessarily segregated into separate units. The regiment mentioned above was a Guard outfit, if I remember right, and was from areas that had a large percentage of Native Americans.
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  13. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

  14. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    I listened to the words of Thomas Begay, interesting and sometimes amusing. Although I have to admit, to follow Thomas was sometimes challenging.
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  15. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

    My father was in the FSSF Service Battalion with a Native American and last year I had the honor to speak at the dedication of new marker at his gravesite. It was a wonderful ceremony with a military honor guard and representatives of the tribe. IMG_1381.jpg
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  16. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Dave, wooley12, thank you, and thank you.

    For all, if you don't read anything else today.

    Always remember, never forget,



    Pfc Ben Quintana 1.jpg

    Pfc Ben Quintana 2.jpg

    Pvt Clarence Spotted Wolf.jpg

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  17. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    I liked the part when he said he signed up to be an aerial gunner and they told him, "Too bad. If you don't report to code talker school you will be court marshalled and if you run off we're going to shoot you too."

    Seems a pretty persuasive argument.
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  18. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    A decade or so the Flanders Fields Museum, Ieper, Belgium, had an exhibition called five continents in Flanders and published a book on the subject.

    It picked up one point about Native Americans in the US Army. Unlike black men, who had served in the Indian Wars in the US Army native Americans were treated as white and did not serve in segregated units.

    The grandson of one of the most famouse native Americans died as a Canadian soldier in 1918. Joseph Standing Buffalo aged 19 was the son of Julius Standing Buffalo and grandson of Siffing Bull. Casualty Details | CWGC
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
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  19. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

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  20. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    I sent this link to a childhood friend who is a retired Marine Lt. Col.
    He said his ribbons and badges show that he was a paratrooper as well as a US Army glider infantryman in the Korean war.

    Here is my friend's website that you all might find interesting.
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