Native Americans in WWII

Pfc. Carl Gorman on Saipan, 6/27/44

Aug 1940- BIA Commissioner John Collier met with Selective Service representatives to determine how to register Indians.

Sep 1940- Congress passed Selective Service Act.

Oct 1940 - Congress passed Nationalities Act granting citizenship to all Native Americans without impairing tribal authority. For the first time, American Indians registered for the draft.

Jan 1941- The Fourth Signal Company recruited thirty Oklahoma Comanche Indians to be part of a special Signal Corps Detachment.

Dec 1941- There are 5,000 Native Americans in the armed forces when Japanese forces attack Pearl Harbor.

Jan 1942 - According to Selective Service officials, 99 percent of all eligible Native Americans had registered for the draft. This percentage set the national standard for the nation.

Jan 1942 - The Navajo Tribal Council called a special convention to dramatize their support for the war effort; 50,000 attend.

Jun 1942 - 1st group of Navajo graduated from Marine boot camp in San Diego, then sent to new Navajo Communication School at Camp Elliot in San Diego to become the Navajo Code Talkers.

Jul 1942 - The Six Nations (Mohawks, Oneida, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, 1942 and Iroquois) declared war on the Axis Powers.

1942-1943- The Army Air Corps ran a literacy program in Atlantic City, NJ, for Native Americans who could not meet military literacy standards.

Apr 1943- Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes announced that Indians have bought $12.6 million in war bonds.

1944 - Over 46,000 Indian men and women left their reservations for defense-related jobs.

Nov 1944- Fifty tribes established the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in Denver, Colorado.

Jan 1945- John Collier resigned as Indian Commissioner after years of political controversy.

1946- Indian Claims Commission Act was created by Congress to adjudicate Indian land claims in the aftermath of WWII.

1947 - Army Indian Scouts discontinued as a separate element of the U.S. armed forces. They had last been used on border patrol duties.

1957 - Utah became the last state to permit Indians to vote.


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WWII Timeline start | Links | Topics | Pictures | Maps | Documents | Bibliography | revised 11/1/05 by Steven Schoenherr