Code Talkers depicted in painting

Tuesday, May 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Indian code talkers of World War II are memorialized in a painting by Depew artist Wayne Cooper that was dedicated Tuesday in a ceremony in the Oklahoma Senate.

Surviving Comanche code talker Charles Chibitty, who was depicted in the painting, spoke to senators in his tribal language about his wartime experiences.

Chibitty is the only surviving member of the 17 original Comanche code talkers who enlisted from the Lawton area and were assigned to the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

Cooper's painting shows Chibitty and a group of U.S. Army troops on Normandy's Utah Beach during the D-Day invasion.

As the Comanches helped with field communications in Europe, members of the Navajo Tribe were used as code talkers in the
Pacific against the Japanese.

The Germans and Japanese "were pretty smart and could break any code, but they could not break the Navajo or Comanche language," Chibitty said.

Chibitty and two other survivors were honored by the French Counsel in 1989 with the Chevalier de L'Ordre National du Merit in
recognition of the services of code talkers in two world wars.

Chibitty also has been presented with the Knowlton Award for his war service in a ceremony at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes.

Cooper is nationally known for his portrayals of western and Indian subjects. He is listed in Artists USA, Who's Who in the Midwest, Who's Who in American Art, the International Who's Who in Art and Antiques and the Universal Directory of the Art and Personalities of the Americas.