code talker Joe Morris talks to Museum crowd
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.
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.
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.
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
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.