Navajo CodeTalkers are Forgotten Heroes of Iwo Jima, Says Author Michael Class

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In New American History Book for Kids, Author's Time-Traveling Son is an Eyewitness to Battle of Iwo Jima

Author and photographer Michael S. Class has used advanced digital photography to place his twelve year-old son, Anthony, in the cockpit of the Spirit of St. Louis with Charles Lindbergh, on the moon with Neil Armstrong, in the laboratories of Thomas Edison and Jonas Salk, on Normandy beach on D-Day, and in the middle of the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.

"I wanted to capture the interest of today's kids," says Class, "by turning American history into a grand time travel adventure." The book, Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame, is recommended for young adults, grade 6 to grade 12. In the book, it looks like Anthony really did meet Thomas Edison, Jonas Salk, FDR, Lou Gehrig, Charles Lindbergh, and Audie Murphy. The Web site,, displays some of the book’s amazing photographs.

In the chapter on World War II, Anthony sees six marines raise the American flag on Mount Suribachi. The six marines are the subject of the current motion picture, Flags of Our Fathers. Class recommends that parents take their high-school students to see the movie.

But, Anthony also witnesses something else on Iwo Jima.

"I was just in time to see six marines raise the American flag in the rocky ground of Iwo Jima's dormant volcano, Mount Suribachi," reports Anthony. "When the flag went up, the marines on the mountainside and the beach below gave a loud cheer, the U.S. Navy ships anchored offshore blasted their horns, and a coded message crackled on the radio of a marine standing near me. The message was: 'Ni-he da-na-ah-taj ihla.'"

The coded message that Anthony heard was in the Navajo language. The Navajo words meant: "Our flag waves."

Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame includes the interesting story of the development of the secret code, and the Navajo heroes who helped win the war. Navajo is not a written language, it has no alphabet or symbols, and it is only spoken on the Navajo lands in the American Southwest. The American military knew that a code based on the Navajo language would be impossible for the Japanese to break. The code was developed in 1942 by twenty-nine marines from the Navajo Nation.

"In combat," explains Class, "the Navajo Code Talkers spoke the code over the radio to relay important tactical battlefield information. The Japanese heard the messages, but they could not understand them. The Navajo Code Talkers served in all six marine divisions and fought in all the battles in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. World War II combat veterans have said that the Battle of Iwo Jima would not have been won without the help and bravery of the Navajo Code Talkers."

The top secret Navajo Code was declassified by the U.S. Government in 1969.

On July 26, 2001, President George W. Bush presented the Navajo Code Talkers with a Congressional Gold Medal, honoring their service to the country in World War II. On the back of the medal are the words: “Dine Bizaad Yee Atah Naayee Yik'eh Deesdlii," meaning “The Navajo Language Was Used to Defeat the Enemy." Other Native American Code Talkers contributed to American success in World War II (and World War I), including: Comanche, Choctaw, and Sioux.

Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame was named Outstanding Book of the Year and Most Original Concept of 2006 by Independent Publisher, Reviewers Choice by Midwest Book Review, and Editor's Pick by Homefires: The Journal of Homeschooling Online. Nationally syndicated talk-show host Michael Medved calls the book "entertaining and educational." Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin says "parents and teachers will appreciate the inspiring message this unique history book holds for America's next generation. I recommend this book to all young Americans, may they take us to the stars and beyond." ??Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame (hardcover, 225 pages, $26.50) is available at, by calling toll-free 1-800-247-6553, at select bookstores, and on

Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame includes built-in tools for parents and teachers: recommendations for hundreds of books, movies, songs, and places to visit, keyed to the subjects of each chapter. The author's Web site includes a fun final exam; the author's blog is a place for readers to discuss the book's moral lessons (

Note to editors and book reviewers: Author and son are available for interviews. Photographs and review copies are available.

Contact: Michael Class, 425-890-4894


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