Staff Sgt. Ysmael R. Villegas
Riverside, California, South Pacific WW II
In 1997 the Marine Corps honored the nation's 39 Latino Medal of Honor recipients, 13 of whom were Marines.
Navajo Code Talkers, they were young Navajo men who transmitted secret communications on the battlefields of WWII. At a time when America's best cryptographers were falling short, these modest sheepherders and farmers were able to fashion the most ingenious and successful code in military history. They drew upon their proud warrior tradition to brave the dense jungles of Guadalcanal and the exposed beachheads of Iwo Jima. Serving with distinction in every major engagement of the Pacific theater from 1942-1945, their unbreakable code played a pivotal role in saving countless lives and hastening the war's end.
And these were the Choctaw Code Talkers in World War I.