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Navajo Code Talkers: A Guide to First-Person Narratives in the Veterans History Project

Biography of Navajo Code Talker Edward Anderson, together with a video recording of his oral history interview from the Veterans History Project archives.

Edward Anderson

Edward Anderson during his oral history interview

Unit: 1st Marine Division
Dates of Service: November 1942 - November 1945
Battles / Campaigns: New Britain

"He said ‘you want to be a Marine Corps radio man?’ He didn’t say nothing about Code Talkers. I was all excited, I said 'okay!'" (Video interview, 2:37)

Edward Anderson was working at an ammunition depot in Flagstaff, Arizona, when he was approached by a Marine Corps recruiter who asked him if he wanted to be a "radio man" in the Marines. Anderson was excited by the prospect and agreed, soon finding himself in boot camp at the Marines' recruit depot in San Diego. After completing boot camp and the grueling training to become a Code Talker, Anderson was assigned to the 1st Marine Division and sent to Australia. From there, he participated in the amphibious landing at Cape Gloucester on the island of New Britain in December 1943. Severely wounded during the battle, Anderson had to wait for two days on the beach before he could be medically evacuated. He was sent to a hospital on New Guinea, then Australia, before finally being relocated to California and Texas for recovery and rehabilitation. While in California, he remembers visiting Yosemite National Park as part of his recuperation. Anderson was honorably discharged from the military in late 1945, after nearly two years of rehabilitation from his wounds.

A longtime resident of Ganado, Arizona, Edward Anderson passed away in July 2014 at the age of 89.

Oral History Interview

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Further Reading

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.