LAWTON, OKLAHOMA — He sent the very first Allied message from Utah Beach on D-Day.
The message was in a code based on the Comanche language.
Larry Saupitty was his name.
His cousin, Charles Chibitty, made the landing on D-Day too.
The two cousins and fifteen other Comanche teenagers formed a key part of the 4th Infantry Signal Corps.
They were recruited in the first months of WWII from the Fort Sill Indian School to come up with an un-breakable code based on the language of their fathers.
Carney Saupitty, nephew to both veterans, explains their remarkable service.
“They created 250 terms from the Numic language at Fort Benning, Georgia,” he says.
“For young people to do, these men were teenagers, it was just remarkable.”
They were all from Southwest Oklahoma.
Several were related to each other.
They trained for the invasion of Europe at their base near Augusta, Georgia.
Larry took dozens of pictures during that time, but he also kept a journal.
“Dear Diary,” it starts on the first inside page, “Whatever secrets of mine that I hold within will be jealously and ceremoniously guarded.”
“It was given to my dad,” says Carney. “He told his little brother, ‘don’t open it until after I’m gone.'”
It wasn’t until 2013 that Carney, who is now the cultural specialist at the Comanche National Museum, took the seals off to make Larry’s journal part of an exhibit of the Army’s first code talker unit.
The younger Saupitty says, “To me it’s just amazing that he could go through all that he did and still record his activities and daily observations.”
Larry died in his forties.
His cousin Charles told stories of his code talker days until he died in 2005.
Of the original 17 Comanche Code Talkers, all of them came home.
Carney is one of many who continue to pay tribute.
His message, spoken in the Comanche language translates, “Our Comanche Code Talkers are real warriors and heroes. Our heroes’ stories will now be told. They were with each other at Utah Beach. They returned from their war journey. That is the way it is.”
An exhibit paying tribute to the Code Talkers wartime experiences is on display at the Comanche National Museum until the end of September, 2014.
For more information go to http://www.comanchemuseum.com/