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Navajo code talker Joe Morris talks to Museum crowd

The Computer Museum of America celebrated its first year Downtown with a special guest – Joe Morris, Sr., one of the famed World War II Navajo code talkers.

Mr. Morris related how he enlisted in 1942 at age 17 and was trained in San Diego to be one of the people responsible for secret messaging during the war. Their unique way of communicating confounded the enemy and stands as the only unbroken code used by modern armies.

Mr. Morris’ wife, Charlotte, who accompanied him from their home in Daggett, Calif., admitted that she did not know of her husband's heroic role as a code talker until the early 1970s when public disclosure was permitted. In December, 2000, Congress awarded the Navajo code talkers the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The talk by Mr. Morris was attended by a capacity crowd at the Museum, and was part of the Museum's ongoing crypology exhibit. The exhibit also highlights the German Air Force Enigma machine on loan from the National Cryptologic Museum, part of the National Security Agency. The three-rotor Enigma was used to facilitate secure messages during World War II for the Nazi war effort. In addition, the National Security Agency has loaned the CMA an M-209, a U.S. Army Signal Corps machine used by American troops to send and receive encrypted messages. Through the generosity of local collector Warren Brader, several Cold War-era "spy" radios and Special Forces crypto-devices are also on public display.

The CMA is dedicated to preserving the major milestones in the development of the computer industry and chronicling those milestones for the enrichment and education of all. Information about school tours, memberships or donations may be obtained by calling (619) 464-8220.



Navajo code talker Joe Morris speaks of his World War II service at the CMA.

Joe Morris during his service in World War II.



2006 San Diego Computer Museum
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