Native American Code Talkers recognized with gold medals

Two laws authorize 34 separate medallic honors
By , Coin World
Published : 05/18/15
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This is the second in a series of article on congressional gold medals issued by the U.S. Mint:

Previous post: Congressional gold medals honor many heroes around the world

To this point, the most extensive series of congressional gold medals authorized are those for the Native American Code Talkers, recently recognized for sending unbreakable radio messages coded in their native languages, providing unparalleled communications services for military operations during World Wars I and II.

Two separate pieces of Code Talkers legislation were passed eight years apart — the Navajo Code Talkers Congressional Gold Medal Act in 2000, and the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008.

The 2000 act specifically recognizes the Navajo Marine Corps Radio Operators from World War II. The 2008 act recognizes the Code Talker contributions in World Wars I and II from 33 other tribes.

The Navajo Code Talkers medal’s obverse features the likenesses of two actual Code Talkers, Henry Bake and George Kirk, who served in the South Pacific.

Bronze duplicates of each of the first 27 of the 33 planned medals are available from the U.S. Mint, in 1.5-inch and 3-inch sizes, respectively priced at $6.95 and $39.95 each. The U.S. Mint has struck and presented gold medals, so far, to the following tribes:

➤ Cherokee Nation

➤ Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

➤ Choctaw Nation

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