Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Albert Billy, one of first to use native Language to transmit coded messages
BISHINIK March 2000

During World War I, with the tapping of the American Army’s phone line, the Germans were able to learn the location of the American Forces as well as where their supplies were kept. According to Mozelle Dawson of Coalinga, California, her father, Albert Billy, suggested to his commanding officer that the Choctaw language be used to confuse the enemy. She said Billy had the idea that Indians be used on the phone lines talking in their native dialect. This would confuse anyone tapping into the lines. As it turned out, the Germans were more than just a little confused, and after the Choctaw Code Talkers were put on the phones, the Germans immediately began losing.

Ms. Dawson said her father told her that during the night, some Germans were captured, and a General of the German Army said that he would like to ask just one question: “What nationality was on the phones that night?” The only reply that this German officer received was that it was only Americans that had been on the phones. Albert Billy died in 1958. He was a member of the 142nd Infantry of the U.S. Army and was from Poteau, Oklahoma in LeFlore County.