Last surviving Mohawk Code Talker receives Congressional medal

Louis Levi Oakes and the 16 other members of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe are confirmed to have served as Code Talkers. Photo by Jessica Loft

The last surviving Code Talker from the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe was presented with a Congressional Silver Medal at a ceremony in New York on May 28.

Louis Levi Oakes, 94, served in World War II. He used the Mohawk language to transmit unbreakable codes.

"I was a young life at that time," Oakes told WWNY. "Had a lot of fun."

In addition to Oakes, the family members of 16 confirmed Mohawk Code Talkers who already passed were presented with the Silver Medal. The family members of another eight unconfirmed Code Talkers received the Bronze Medal.

The medal designs are specific to each tribe. The Mohawk medal features a bear, a fox and a turtle on the obverse to represent the principal clans of the tribe. A Mohawk warrior is featured on the reverse.

The medals were authorized by Congress through the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008. Gold Medals were presented to the 33 tribes that sent their Code Talkers into battle during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in November 2013.

The law authorized Silver Medals to the Code Talkers themselves or their surviving family members.

Get the Story:
Mohawk Indian, 94, gets congressional medal for code talking (AP 6/2)
Last living Akwesasne Code Talker is honored with Congressional Medal (North Country Now 6/1)
Akwesasne code talkers honored in Congressional Medal Ceremony (North Country Now 5/30)
Last surviving WWII Akwesasne Mohawk Code Talker awarded Congressional Silver Medal (The Watertown Daily Times 5/29)
At long last, silver for secret mission (The Plattsburgh Press-Repubilcan 5/29)
WWII Akwesasne Code Talkers Honored With Congressional Medals (WWNY 5/28)

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