Grandson Of WWII Code Talker Refusing To Let Legacy Die - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Grandson Of WWII Code Talker Refusing To Let Legacy Die

"My grandfather's name was Charles Chibitty and he was full blood Comanche," says Joe Martinez.

Martinez' grandfather was one of a small fraternity of Native Americans recruited to by the U.S. Army be a code talker.

"The language that they spoke was unwritten and it's been passed down by oral history," says Martinez.

Martinez says his grandfather was there on June 6, 1944 at the Battle of Normandy, relaying information to generals.

"They had a word for Hitler. Another code that means 'sewing machine gun from tiger tank.' So that means we need help. So if the Germans were able to translate that, they would know it's a tank that's attacking them with machine guns and they needed help," Martinez explains.

Over the years, Martinez' grandfather would share these war stories with his grandson along with handing down priceless memorabilia. Like the weapon that a German nearly took his grandfather's life with.

"He took the bayonet out to try to kill my grandfather with it. [Grandfather] took it right out of the German's hand," says Martinez.

Martinez says his grandfather never considered himself a hero even before his death about a year ago at the age of 84.

"He said all the heroes are all the ones on the battlefield or the ones that died those are the real heroes," says Martinez.

But the story of the code talkers will be one chapter Martinez will make sure is never closed.

"I realized all these stories and everything he was telling me was history within the Comanche Nation along with American History," says Martinez.

Not only will Martinez continue to share his grandfather's war stories, he says he plans on keeping all his grandfather's photos and memorabilia from the war.

Christine Nelson reporting.

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